The apartment in downtown Singapore, which belongs to a young couple, is very small in area. To maximize space, the public arena which consists of the Kitchen, Dining and Living, is in one open continuous space. This space leads further to an outdoor balcony. The private spaces of a bedroom, a utility room and a bathroom are tucked away.
The clients have an additional request for the Living to be speedily converted into a guest room when their relatives stay over on some days of the month.
We decided to use fabric as a demarcation device and take the opportunity to play up on the various ways curtain fabric in residential interiors can be utilized other than to filter natural sunlight from the exterior.
At the Living, when the curtains are drawn back, they parked neatly by the 2 sides of the lounge sofa-bed. When the need arises for the space to be converted into a sleeping area, the curtains can be readily closed from the 2 sides to form an enclosed zone within the Living. A room within a room is created. One can still access the outdoor balcony without entering into the newly converted room.
The pelmets on the ceiling that hide the curtain track, are designed and detailed to negotiate 2 different ceiling heights of the Living.
The pelmets are also intended to be the design interests of the ceiling, and over the dining table, it becomes light pelmet to hides track lights within them.
The clients asked for as much storage as possible in the tiny Bedroom.
In response to that, we designed the sleeping area on a low timber platform and detailed a full height open storage area for wardrobe and other storage uses. In place of typical wardrobe doors, we designed fabrics which can be drawn to cover up the storage area. The same fabric is also used as curtain for the windows opposite storage area. When closed, the full height fabrics soften the look of the bedroom as they hide the windows and the storage shelves. During daytime, the bedroom feels lofty as natural daylight filters in gently. At night, the bedroom exudes a chic and intimate ambiance, which the clients appreciate.
Frames & Zones
The clients are a middle aged couple with 2 teenagers children.
The design brief is simple enough: a look that is clean and cosy.
We decide to interpret the spaces in a more architectural way: to create an interior space within a space.
For the Foyer, Dining and Living area, we created a painted border to 'frame' up the views beyond.
From the Foyer, the Living will be 'framed' up, and vice versa.
The 2 zones are painted in different hues of creams.
In order to make the spaces flow from one to another and not to make the space segregated, one zone is painted in a cream hue that is just slightly different from the other zone.
The result is a very layered look that adds visual depth to this Public zone.
For the teenagers' bedrooms, we want to add more controlled drama and to heighten the senses a notch up.
The study area is created entirely in one colour; the paint on the walls, ceiling, and the laminates on the cabinets and tables, in either luminous blues or sparkling whites
The bed and wardrobe area is 'zoned' in Creams to contrast with the blues and whites.
The resulting look actually makes the rooms look bigger than it is, and way more exciting.
Note that cabinetry in the bedrooms is designed in an elegant manner that emphasizes the texture of the fabric-grained laminate patterned
with neat interval lines. This is a similar language that is consistent with the cabinetry in other areas of the apartment.
Photography House attempts to create a unique residential space that answers the needs and reflects the personality of the User through conceptual design interpretation of the User’s profession who is commercial photographer.
Lomography walls and the Dark Room, inspired by photography, are created to form 2 major cores of central spaces to organise all other activity zones around them. Polaroids and the notion of framing in photography, are expressed throughout the apartment in numerous forms for different functional elements or aesthetics interpretation. The play of light and darkness is also explored in the apartment. For example, in the Kitchen area, the functional shelves and table tops are inspired by 'random and dashing strokes of white light' in certain creative photography.
While the User has a photography studio elsewhere for his practice, he typically works from home when he is not meeting clients or having photoshoots. The Dark Room, which is traditionally a working room used by photographers to process photographic materials, is given a new twist here. The wall in two former bedrooms are opened up to make way for a larger room that we named Dark Room, since it is now the working place of the photographer.
The Dark Room is meant to be ‘inwards looking’. The floor and ceiling are finished in very dark coloured materials but the walls in white. This makes the space feel vertically compressed but horizontally expanding. This space houses the working area as well as a sprawling wardrobe which is essential to user’s professional needs. The external walls of the Dark Room are expressed in black colour, visually marking it as one of the two central cores of the apartment.
Lomography walls are the opposite. They are meant to be ‘outwards looking’ to influence the visual aesthetics of the functional spaces that surround them. Lomography in photography is about experimentation with exposures, colors and light. The essence of lomography are expressed on these walls, and it is also deliberate that these are the only full walls in the apartment with hues and colours.
Polaroid and framing are the other aspects of photography that we ledged on to design the functional elements in the apartment. We wanted to test how far the translation can go.
At the main entrance for instance, a divider is designed in the form of a ‘polaroid’ to separate the Foyer and Dining. It was hung up and made to appear ‘floating’ in the mid air so as to frame the Dining table and pendant lights behind it.
The longitudinal walls of the Foyer, Dining and Living are painted in as ‘overlapping polaroids’, thus creating ‘frames’ ready for photographic works or artworks to be put up anytime.
In the Living, the TV was hung at the centre portion of the ‘polaroid frame’ on the wall and its photo content (which is the TV itself) can rotate around for the TV to be watched inside the Dark Room.
The book cabinet in the Dark Room takes the form of a vertical Polaroid folded in the middle. The display cabinet in MasterRoom are inspired from a vertical stack of flipping Polaroids.