Inspired by the beauty of free-flowing curves, this house is a fusion of sculpture and building, a blending of form and function to create living spaces that inspire. Built for an avid collector of antiques and ultra-modern furniture, EHKA Studio’s Jalan Seaview House in Singapore embraces traditional concepts of tropical architecture while reinterpreting them in contemporary forms.
Sensual curves are deployed throughout the house, from the building to the landscaping and ground-scape, to the staircases and curved glass railings, to the edging soffit details and corrugated perforated metal sheets, and even to the interior cabinetries, furniture and fitting out accessories. At each scale of the project, from the building form to the details, there is a pursuit of sensuality of form.
The columns became a curvaceous stiletto, supporting the entry porches, illuminated dramatically by night. Glass is used generously for the facade and balustrades to create a sense of lightness. Even though some spaces are deep, none feel dark or claustrophobic. Double-height glass in the living room allows the living spaces, with all its furniture and antiques to be on “display” to the public. Being located at low lying area, the ground floor is required by law to be elevated by around 1.5m from the road level. To negotiate the level changes, the studio created fluidly shaped steps that blend into the landscape. The entry approach from the carpark lot is sheltered by floating “pods” the follow the level changes.
Although this house is located in a two-storey residential zone, by working within the envelope control requirements of Urban Redevelopment Authority, EHKA Studio managed to squeeze in an additional mezzanine floor. To prevent the spaces below the mezzanine from feeling too “squashed up”, the entire mezzanine floor is constructed with glass, so the kitchen and bar area below the mezzanine still feels lofty. All the rooms are pushed to the edge of the allowable setbacks. The sculpted roofs and floor slabs work within the allowable eave setbacks, while the internal spaces and balconies are pushed to the maximum building setback. The combination maximizes space while creating a “playful” facade.
The western façade is mostly solid walls, and the double-height sliding glass doors at the dining area have an exterior sliding aluminum screen to block the western sun. On the north and eastern facades, we have large double-height glass, with sliding doors that can fully open, allowing the space to be cross-ventilated. Coupled with the ceiling fans, large overhanging eaves to provide shade, and pool and water overflow wall along the entire boundary to cool the surroundings, these tropical design strategies help create a comfortable living space that can be used even without air-conditioning. The use of low-emissive glass also helps to minimize the thermal impact.