Chord House is situated in the small estate of Moonbeam in Singapore. The house sits on a sloping road which has a public bus route running along it, with a bus stop located two houses away. Due to the heavy traffic, privacy from vehicle and pedestrian traffic was a big factor in our design for the house.
The form of the house was derived from this context of highly built-up suburban districts. As a semi-detached house, the party wall provided an opportunity to create an inward-facing courtyard for privacy, in place of the typical fenestration which faces outwards to the surrounding neighbours and street. The courtyard was conceptualised as a means to create inward facing views, and introduce light and ventilation into the house without sacrificing privacy.
Chord House, termed due to the notion of how two points on a curve are related, inverts this idea, and we employed a curved building form on the building facade to emphasize the notion of the courtyard being carved out from the building mass. A seven-metre high Caesalpinia tree was specially sourced so that its foliage would be clearly visible from the master bedroom on the second storey and when traversing the staircase between all three floors. The courtyard is designed to pull in nature deep into the building plan. On the first storey, natural ventilation and light floods the living and dining spaces when the oversized glass doors are opened. The garden feels almost a part of the living, which was important as we did not want the courtyard to feel disconnected from the interiors.
It was important for us to introduce light and landscape views not only into the living spaces but also the circulation areas, to enable the homeowner to experience the courtyard in a deeper, more seamless way.