Serenity Now W
THIS AWARD-WINNING HOUSE BY RENAISSANCE PLANNERS & DESIGNERS IS A MODERN SANCTUARY THAT’S ALSO ATTENTIVE TO ITS TROPICAL CONTEXT
ith walls that were “cracking and falling apart”, this house was in dire need of a renovation. The homeowners whom have been living in this residence since 2000, wanted a change as well to suit their changing needs and lifestyles. They only had one main request for Kelvin Bing, the founder of Renaissance Planners & Designers— for an energy-efficient design that could combat the heat of the tropics. With copious creative freedom, the designer took a single idea, and turned the old terrace house into a breath of fresh air.
Passive cooling design features compose a large part of this twostorey estate. The designer employed an open-plan layout for the common areas to improve the air flow at the ground floor. Adding to the improved natural light and ventilation are the kitchen’s high ceiling, and the use of full-length glass doors in the living and dining space that lead to the outdoor garden. A little haven of calm is created at the foot of the stairwell with a water fountain, which keeps the area cool, and serves as a serene fixture as well. Above the stairs, a skylight
illuminates the spot, and features “a small opening at the top to draw out any hot air”, says Bing. On top of that, “the staircase core acts as an air well for passive ventilation”, making it a highlight of the home. It brings you to the bedrooms on the second floor, which is built with a slight cantilever to protect the interiors from harsh sun-rays. The same is achieved with timber screens that enclose the couple’s sleeping quarters.
To deliver a modern classic aesthetic that the owners wanted, Bing applied luxury finishes such as the white marble floors in the living and dining area. Made of slabs cut from the quarry and flown in from Italy, it complements the warm timber features to create a laid-back elegance. In the bathrooms, the walls are clad in soothing travertine, which is paired with a striking feature wall in the master bath made out of a tonne of granite. Its raw, uneven surface offers visual and tactile appeal, and adds character to the clean lines of the home. A warmer palette envelopes the more intimate spaces, with Burmese teak floors running through the rooms. Other features include the master bedroom’s timber accent wall, which hides a secret study, and a full timber ceiling in the top floor family lounge. It puts the finishing touch to an award-winning abode that earned not one, but two accolades in 2016—a Singapore Good Design Award from the Design Chamber of Business Singapore, and a silver A’design Award from OMC Industrial Design Studios.