The Narrow House – Functional Contemporary Design From Singapore
A narrow plot of land may be seen as one posing problems for someone looking to build a house on it and hence the fact many potential customers ignore it. But a narrow plot also means a visionary and original architecture designed to match the conditions on the ground, just like our example today, a modern three story house in Singapore, clearly shows. The narrow house has it all, featuring comfort and functionality along a striking contemporary design.
As a typology, the semi-detached house is often perceived as a Siamese twin, reluctantly conjoined to its symmetrical other via a single party wall, architects say in their presentation of this house. The desire to challenge such a notion drives the party of this single-family house. By separating and pulling the main building block away from the party wall, a semi-detached house breaks free. With the easily noticeable metallic rails lining one of the sides of the house and also continuing inside, the dwelling was named “the railway house” by its designers.
Not only does this formally and aesthetically liberate the house from its neighbor; it also creates a 3m-wide fissure into which light and air penetrate deep into its interiors.
One enters the house through the front of this fissure, where he is greeted by a double-story volume foyer naturally lit from above. Light splashes onto the richly-textured brick wall, casting shadows which vary in form and intensity over time. The light leads one up the staircase onto the second story. By now, the fissure manifests itself as a gathering realm for the family. In this funnel-like, naturally-ventilated space, wind passes through freely from the front to the back, both ends at which pockets of green have been inserted. Deep overhangs and operable blinds protect the interiors where necessary.
Herein lays the beauty of the house: a space which is at once sheltered yet connected to its environment, architects conclude. The house was built on a 334 square meter land area, but its total living area amounts to 424 square meters.