Situated in the well-known Caldecott region of central Singapore, this bungalow by A D Lab enjoysthe relaxed atmosphere of its quaint residential neighbourhood with gorgeous views of theMacRitchie Reservoir, one of the nation’s most popular nature reserves. The architects, however,had to contend with the site's proximity to a busy highway, that although is not visible from the site,creates a significant amount of noise. The undulating terrain of the neighbourhood is quite unusualin Singapore, and creates a streetscape whereby the plots of land are about a storey below the streetlevel. As such, each house along the street is entered from the second storey level. The architectstook advantage of this unusual situation to lower most of the communal facilities down into a sunkencourt that shields them from the noise of the highway, as well as heightens the level of privacy andintimacy of the house.
From the external entrance of the house, the architectural expression is very understated. Thearchitects kept the built form above street level as ground-hugging as possible by making the roofsappear as folds and peels in the landscape. This understated expression is further assisted by thefolding of the roof downward toward the outer edges of the house. The internal spatial expressionof this tilting roof form gives the opposite experience, whereby the entrance to the spaces are lowand rise upward from the entry, creating the sensation of an enlarging, grand internal room thatsimultaneously leads the eyes upward to the sky, as well as downward to the intimate centralcourtyard below. The undulating and folding roof form is covered in turf, further defining it as acontinuation of the surrounding green landscape. At certain locations, the roof folds up from theearth level to allow wind and light into the sunken courtyard.
In another move to increase privacy, A D Lab encircles the main rooms at all levels with circulationspace that acts as noise buffers. The corridors and staircases wrap around the outer perimeter of thehouse, focusing the view from the rooms towards the central courtyard, as well as creating a sense ofdrama about the movement of a person through the house. The “viewer” moves through the housevia these corridors that are at times hidden hallways behind the rooms and at other times open outto theatrical balcony-like spaces that view down to the garden and main living spaces.
The owner lives in this house with his parents, so this network of hidden and detached corridorsallows the inhabitants the flexibility of moving around the house either subtly or in full viewdepending on the varying social situation and need for privacy. The central courtyard is a private andserene oasis. A luxurious swimming pool cools the courtyard along with a series of indoor andoutdoor water features that separate the main public rooms from each other and bring the poolelement into the house itself.