Singaporean architectural studio ONG&ONG have re-designed a modern home on the west coast of Singapore, at 28 West Coast Grove, in a tranquil neighborhood. Through the use of wide, open spaces, the architects transformed the former residence into a sun-filled display of modern interiors. Extensive use of glass contributed to brightening up the living, entertaining and sleeping areas, but it also helped recreate the space arrangement. ONG & ONG “detached the main elements of the first floor rooms from the party wall, allowing light to enter from all sides of the residence. A secondary measure was the introduction of several skylights, thereby allowing natural light in to illuminate the greenery within. These plants give the interior a refreshing, outdoor-like feel. An infinity koi pond was also added to the back garden, creating a tranquil area for contemplation. When the folding doors are left open, the house’s inner space merges with the yard into one seamless area. The highlight of this home is the master suite, comprising of bedroom, bathroom, stand-alone island with free standing tub and an exercise area. The overall feel is a spa-like environment without ever having to leave home.” The only thing I don’t like about this residence is the fact that the neighbors are so close.
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
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.