A carved out open basement is the driving concept behind this contemporary family home in central Singapore. The basement was necessary as the small size of the site was not sufficient for the family’s needs. We designed the basement as a double-volume space to give it a sense of airiness and drama, with light flowing in from the first storey through full-length glass panels. Open sunken gardens were strategically located to bring natural illumination deeper into the space. As a final touch, an acrylic pool viewing panel was installed into the side of the building to allow filtered and refracted daylight to stream into the basement, which results in an eye-catching interplay of light and shadow throughout the day. The spiral staircase acts as a connecting architectural element tying the basement stories to the upper floors above. Upon entry, one is greeted with a view of the casual living area, dining and dry kitchen, defined by dark wall panelling running the full length of these spaces. Moving down, the formal living is situated in the basement, together with a home gym, wine storage and pantry, study and guest room. The private bedrooms are located on the upper two stories, separated from the entertainment areas below.
On the building façade, the exterior walls were cladded in a dark granite stone to provide a sense of permanence to the house. On the upper stories, formliners were imported from Germany and used to cast a timber board-form aesthetic onto the faircase off-form concrete walls. Black steel elements serve to provide contrast to the walls and tie the visuals together. In the interiors, materials selected consisted of natural teak wood flooring, grey marble and walnut stained wall panelling, resulting in a contemporary and clean style, consistent with the architecture of the house.