Envisioned as a cozy private resort by Stanley Tham of KNQ Associates, this four-story house is nestled in a quiet enclave of Katong, Singapore. In many of the rooms, tall windows all around bring in ample day lighting into the space. Hence, the objective of this entire remodeling exercise is as much about maximizing the available footprint for the family of 7 (plus a domestic helper) as building further on this inherent architectural feature to create an uncomplicated, airy interior throughout.
With that vision in mind, the designers have deliberately kept the material palette simple, relying instead on a minimal number of colors to accentuate the tones, textures and shapes of the furniture or furnishings. This also allows key elements in the rooms to stand out more on their own and shine. This theory extends into the bedrooms and the basement level (which functions as a big activities/ entertainment room cum art gallery where the art student daughter’s own works hang). As an example, in the master suite, visual interest is created through the juxtaposition and contrast of texture and surfaces, rather than through pattern, which can interrupt the visual flow of the room.
In one of the childrens’ rooms, contrast in shapes and colors, rather than fanciful, over-the-top graphics or patterns that so typically define kids’ rooms, provide the subtle playful touch to the room. A house has to be user friendly for the owner in years to come. Overall, ample concealed storage is provided at all areas to cater to the demands of a relatively large family. A careful attention to detailing ensures a seamless look where the storage units gel into the environment, looking more like walls than bulky cabinets. [Information provided via e-mail by KNQ Associates]
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.