The site falls under two different housing zones. The front portion is zoned for landed housing while the rear portion is zoned for low-rise apartments limited to a ‘5 + Attic’ height and maximum plot ratio of 1.4. We devised vehicular/pedestrian circulations that retained privacy for the strata houses while granting access to the communal facilities and maintaining openness to the landscape.
In our design debates, we also grappled with a mandatory security screening requirement imposed on our site. We turned this constraint into a design opportunity by creating a fine louvered veil as opposed to adopting large panels. This louver veil screens in the day, and 'disappears' in the night.
In balancing privacy with density, we designed the houses in an interlocking layout. From the North and South elevations, only two houses are exposed at a time. Yet, all the spaces enjoy natural light and ventilation via the insertion of internal courtyards to separate each house.
The design premise for the overall ribbon form started with a critique on the default attic roof design: for regulatory compliance, many a 45-degree sloped roof has been applied over disparate housing floors below in a marriage of convenience. We felt strongly that there was a need to formally unify the entire house.
We are particularly pleased that in addressing the conditions and constraints of the site and client’s brief, our design manoeuvres generated a distinguishable form that breaks away from the ubiquitous landed house form plaguing the housing aesthetic of Singapore.