Out-of-This-World Houses in Singapore You Never Knew Existed
719.1 square km, 5.7 million people, 7,697 people per square km – that makes Singapore a very crowded place. The island state’s population density is out ranked on a global tally only by Monaco and Macau. However, a whopping 80% of the population resides in public housing apartments, with the remainder fortunate enough to get to go home to a growing number of condominiums or the much more exclusive landed properties.
At the head of this private property pack are the GCBs (Good Class Bungalows), 2,700 units of properties in excess of 15,000 square feet. It is within these rare oases of space that the movers and shakers of industry and Singaporean high society kick off their shoes at end of the day. With ample resources at their disposal and a desire to create a unique space, architects can work hand in hand with their patron to let their imaginations run wild and what a sight many of these residences are to behold.
1. The Nest House
Designed by renowned firm WOHA, the sprawling house gets its name from its twig-like structures on the façade, which is an aesthetic piece that forms the premise of the design. Just like a nest, this home is also warm and inviting, just like a home should be. The complex incorporates the extended owner’s family – grandad has a personal space to call his own, while the children’s private rooms are perched at the highest levels of the house.
2. 21 Jevois Hill
This project by award-winning firm Ar43 Architects draws its inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Midwestern Falling Water, with its cantilevered second story hanging over a lap pool. A far cry from its urban location at the centre of a prime-shopping district, the house is sheltered from the hustle and bustle by an oasis of greenery. The home is designed as a perfect harmony of natural elements such as water, foliage, wood and light, which are distinctive design elements that this construction deftly placed throughout the home.
The Fish House
Set on sprawling grounds, this home takes its inspiration from local building traditions that make use of open architecture to allow winds to dispel the enervating tropical heat. Indeed, the dominant feature of this home is the living room, which resembles Malay stilted houses. This bold design incorporates elements of its seaside location with its curved roofs that symbolise the waves from the nearby sea. Aside from the floors and roof, the walls of this construction are largely composed of glass which can be opened to allow ventilation or left closed without isolating the living spaces from nature.
4. Nassim Villas
Conceived by the mind of the late, great Zaha Hadid, Nassim Villas is typical of the dramatic constructions that Hadid was famous for. With space-age curved forms and organic lines, this home will be a statement piece when completed. Even the materials to be used are unconventional: cat aluminium and fibre-reinforced concrete. This home is so futuristic-looking that one could envision it rise erect on its side and blast off into outer space.
5. The House in 3 Movements
Inspired by music, especially symphonies, which are usually composed of three movements, this home has as a recurring theme or lleitmotif, three spiralling staircases, around which three separate by interconnected blocks are built around.
6. Ninety7 Siglap
This modern white residence combines the curves of the hills, which are a dominant feature of the landscape and that of a ship. The construction of the house takes advantage of the inspiring panoramas from the top of the hill and provides shelter to those looking across the vistas from the ground level.
7. 13 Cove Grove
Similar to colonial shop houses, the site presented a challenge to builders with its long yet narrow shape. To take full advantage of the small frontage to the waterfront, the house was designed to curve like a boomerang, so that all the bedrooms could have views of the waterfront. Being the dominant feature, guests at the entrance of this home are also afforded views of the waterfront upon entering the property.
The next time someone remarks that artistic creativity is on the wane in Singapore, drive up to one of the addresses above and the marvels behind the gates should suffice to dispel that opinion.