59BTP-House in Bukit Timah, Singapore is a contemporary renovation project delivered by ONG&ONG, an architecture company with offices currently opened in 12 Asian cities. Initially built by the owner’s father, the dwelling lack plenty of features needed to accommodate the modern living needs of the current users: “The client wanted to have two master bedrooms along with four bedrooms – this required additional floor area as the original house area could not comfortably fit in the extra rooms”, explained the project developers. The challenge was met by adding an extra volume to the existing building to accommodate the new en-suite bedrooms.
Several changes were made in order to ensure a contemporary look and feel, yet quite a few elements were preserved from the old house as well: “A stonewall in the original house was replaced with a concrete wall to give it a more modern finish whilst still staying true to the spirit of the earlier design. Wherever possible, the original material was retained, such as the plaster that forms the upper levels.” Opened towards the lush surrounding landscape through large expanses of glass, the new bedrooms are welcoming and soothing. [Photography by Derek Swalwell]
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests