Architecture Lifestyle Residential design Sustainable design

Hyla Architects designs a grid-based residential project in Singapore to optimise sunlight

October 7, 2019

Singapore’s Hyla Architects, led by Han Loke Kwang, has designed a residential property in the West Coast area, in the vicinity of the National University of Singapore and Clementi precinct. The small corner terrace house, called the Custom Shades House, has an east-west orientation so exposure to and protection from the sun was a primary consideration in the design. The side faces a primary school creating noise and privacy challenges.

An unusual planning requirement for this 404m² house is that the setbacks are inverted with the larger setback facing the rear to remain consistent with the existing street block. All these contextual factors were instrumental in the development of the design.

Each of the three sides faces different views and orientation so each has a different strategy. An almost blank off-form concrete wall on the side shields view and noise from the school. A light and breezy concrete screen at the front encloses an outdoor space with lush planting that makes good use of the morning sun.

The custom made pre-cast concrete blocks on the rear give the main living area the much-needed privacy from the neighbour. Its carefully-sized openings, arranged on a playful grid across the wall, are glazed with a combination of clear and stained glass. The delicate hues of pink and yellow soften, yet add richness to the afternoon sun.


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