T House, a terrace house re-imagined by architect Ling Hao has won the Design of the Year award at the President’s Design Award 2014.
Description of the project excerpted from Design Singapore‘s website –
T House resides on a compact plot of land, six metres by 22 metres, in a residential area near Peirce Reservoir. The interior and exterior of this rebuilt two-storey home come together to make each individual space feel like it is both the inside and the outside.
Sticking to the original levels, architect Ling Hao has allowed the first level to drop about 1.5 metres from the entrance road. A few small rooms here share a garden-like covered court where birds fly through while the homeowners sit and chat or watch television programmes. The dining area extends into a side garden bounded by money plants that soar skywards on a high wall. At night, one hears crickets chirping in the side gardens. Around and through the space are various paths. One of them threads through an open kitchen with a palm garden and a staircase leading to a bedroom. Rooms in this home have big openings that allow family members to feel one another’s presence in the natural light, among the plants.
Throughout the day, the airy interior courtyard “records” weather conditions: the movements of the sun, the sudden appearance of clouds, gusts of winds.
On the roof of the residence is a garden, six metres by 12.5 metres, covering the entire buildable footprint. The relaxing realm offers the homeowner and his family the space for planting, weeding and cultivating, as well as enjoying morning tea, evening chats and occasional parties. It also encourages gardening to continue, from one end of the house to the other.
It is a house that has made a difference to the lives of its inhabitants. “The environment that was made is also a way for the inhabitants to imagine a different kind of everyday experience, one where the family could go about doing things intimately around gardens that change ‘silently’”, says Ling Hao.
While Ling Hao has completed the project of building a small house for the owner and his family to do some gardening, the client is taking the project further on his own by cultivating the plants. “He has since started a garden company to do work outside the house as a hobby”, the architect adds.
This is an abode where the everyday is intimately related with the external environment, offering an open and simple way for the homeowners to relate to the tropical world.