WITH ITS OPEN SPACES AND DRAMATIC CENTRAL STAIRCASE, THIS SEMI-DETACHED HOUSE BY RENAISSANCE PLANNERS & DESIGNERS IS A STRIKINGLY LIVEABLE HOME BUILT FOR THE TROPICS
This semi-detached house doesn’t reveal much at first glance. Through its perforated screens and the greenery in front, you catch glimpses of the interiors, hinting at the spaces within. Named the Screen House, the project by Renaissance Planners & Designers bagged the Platinum A’design Award Winner in the Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category, 20132014. Completed within 16 months, designer Kelvin Bing transformed what was once a dark house with poor cross-ventilation into a modern home full of natural light, with ample ventilation for the tropical climate.
LIGHTNESS OF BEING
One of the home’s most notable feature is the screen on its external facade, which shields the house from prying eyes while providing shade from the sun. The designers also proposed full-length sliding doors to fill the home with natural light. They took advantage of the elongated site area by designing a 15-metre-long lap pool that runs along the length of the house. On cooler days and in the evenings, the owners have the option of opening the five-metre-high aluminum sliding screen doors, which maximise the views of the surrounding landscape. The introduction of skylights and additional ventilation vents help boost air circulation within the house for maximal coolness in the day.
Step inside, and the interiors reflect the beauty of living in the tropics. The ground floor is a light-filled space, with plenty of room for socialising and for the family pet to roam about. And at the heart of the home is a cantilevered staircase—the solid teak wood steps appear to float in mid-air, hovering dramatically over the serene koi pond and into a three-storey air well. Equipped with a well-stocked bar and ample seating, the attic has been transformed into an entertainment area with panoramic views of the neighbourhood. Built-in display shelves add to the streamlined look of the space, while showcasing the couple’s favourite sculptures and vases, creating conversation starters for their lively gatherings. A consistent palette of natural stone and wood has been kept throughout the home, and is paired with a collection of sleek furniture pieces in a neutral tone. The streamlined forms of the furniture stay true to the modern aesthetic of the house, while providing ample seating for a variety of social spaces. Pops of colour have been injected through artworks and lighting pieces. Take for instance, that striking pair of red chandeliers above the dining area. With its combination of meticulous space planning and a design that’s attuned to the tropics, the Screen House balances privacy and openness, and is a stellar example of a modern home.
LEFT TO RIGHT A 15-metre lap pool runs along the length of the house; the cantilevered stairway appears to float in mid-air; pops of colour from the artwork and pendant lights enliven the living and dining areas; the bedroom is a sleek space that enjoys plenty of natural light