Outside In


Award Category: Residential Projects

Architecture Firm:

HYLA Architects

Project Architect:

Han Loke Kwang

Year Completed:


Builder Firm:

Emma Groups Construction Pte Ltd

This house for a family of five sits on high ground with the rear having the view but facing west. The front faces east on a typical residential street. The design strategy was to place the living areas as well as the main bedrooms facing west to take advantage of the view. These spaces have deep overhangs or operable timber screens to protect them from the afternoon sun. In front, a 15 m high forecourt with a koi pond and feature tree acts as the buffer to the public street frontage. This space is covered, yet outdoors as there are openings on various sides. It is enclosed yet permanently and effectively ventilated. And it is private from the outside world, yet serves as the public space for the house where most of the circulation takes place.

At the rear, the pool deck is sheltered by the mezzanine study above which then acts as the shield for the double-volume living-dining space. This study is in turn protected by a rotating timber screen with each blade made up of 8 pieces of timber. In order to span the entire width of the house the floor is suspended from the top floor, via a pair of deep beams which also serve as a planter for the master bedroom.

Throughout the house, nature is introduced and emphasizes the duality of the spaces. Are you inside, or outside? Why not both?

Jury Citation

This house exemplifies a masterful balance between material and scale, light and space, in such a sensitive way that seemingly humble efforts become extraordinary. The architects’ principles of design are executed consistently throughout the house, achieving a quality of light and space that is harmoniously blended overall.