The Client initially would like to renovate an abandoned grandma’s house into his own, but the new requirements exceeded the available space, so the final decision was to build a new one next to it. Contextually, a row of 4-8 storey tall neighbours made poor natural light and ventilation an inevitable problem so the design team introduced a courtyard and divided the rest of the massing into smaller blocks making it more porous to improve natural light and ventilation. Another problem was an army of pigeons and their droppings along the roof eave. To avoid that, a detail of sloping aluminium trim is applied to roof edges, canopies, and window frame to make it too slippery for pigeons to stand on.
In term of circulation, the house is built within an extended family compound with a common garage, so parking spaces are not further required. The linkage from the garage is planned in front of the old house but the existing roof overhang is too high, so a lower canopy is added. A row of double steel columns is provided alongside existing RC columns only on one side to allow for a seamless connection to the garden. Visitors can walk along this scenic corridor, opening the door into the Main Foyer to discover a landscape courtyard as a little surprise and then proceed to the Living Room directly without passing through other parts of the house. For day-to-day use, homeowners can enter through the nearer Sub Foyer that leads directly to the second floor.
For functional layout, the internal courtyard is used as a center of spaces for homeowners such as Living Room, Dining Room and Pantry to ensure best quality of natural light and ventilation. The courtyard also allows for a cross ventilation through large windows in the Master Suite on the second floor. All large glazing units are north facing for maximum daylight but minimum heat gain. The side elevation along the road, facing west, is solid to block traffic noise pollution and sunset heat. Service functions such as Bathrooms, Laundry and Yard, AC ledges, etc. are placed facing south with all mechanical louvres strictly on this elevation for the tidiness of the main elevation and to keep service technicians within this zone only.
The house has shared moments with the Owners since the beginning when they were not married, up until the completion when the couple already has a child. Even recently, during COVID-19 pandemic when WFH policy was implemented for an extensive period, life was inevitably spent more at home, so the planning of the house needed an adaptation following the changing lifestyle. To accomplish this at the last stage of construction, parts of the old house were then renovated instead of adding an annex. With the new programs implanted in, grandma’s house is now the center of the three generations. In the end, both houses are merged into one, respecting and depending on each other, as per the Client’s wish from the start. They have evolved and grown together with the Owners, truly.