The Tatler Homes Design Awards is in its sixth iteration in Singapore—here are the winners for 2022
Now into its sixth edition, the Tatler Homes Design Awards (THDA) once again shines a spotlight on the most outstanding residential and commercial projects undertaken in Singapore over the past year. The 2022 instalment, themed A Natural Flair, identifies stylish spaces with bespoke and local elements, as well as projects that celebrate our connection to nature. This year's awards are sponsored by Arova, Gaggenau, Gallery 1819, Hafary, KEF, Liaigre, Sol Luminaire, Synergraphic Design and Toto.
Besides recognising clever creative execution that also takes into consideration functionality and practicality, this year’s event reintroduces the Designers on the Rise category, which identifies and fetes the work of up-and-coming studios and their eco-conscious work.
We present the winners of this year’s edition: the projects and firms featured struck an effective balance in pairing creative concepts with astute implementation, conveying a seamless blend of both form and function.
Best Architectural Concept: Ming Architects
This 7,000 sq ft abode’s moniker, Carve House, was inspired by the challenges in turning it into a modern architectural masterpiece. Ming Architects had to work within the bounds of a constricted area while realising the homeowners’ dream of an expansive basement floor.
Principal architect Tan Cher Ming refers to the construction of the house as the “creation of space from the constraints of a tight site, almost like rock that is chiselled away to reveal a sculpture”. The result is a stylish, modern home in Bukit Timah that boasts an airy double-volume basement, a lap pool and a stunning two-storey staircase that is also visible from the outside.
“I love the clarity of the architecture and the great use of light,” says Ed Bakos, CEO of Champalimaud Design and THDA jury member.
With its full-length glass panels, TV and Eurocave wine chillers, the light-filled basement has become the family’s main living area and a cosy spot in which to host guests. As a testament to the design practice’s expertise in space optimisation, the capacious basement also houses a pantry, study, home gym and guest room.
“The architect adopted an ingenious approach to bring daylight into the basement, and the staircase also anchors the space nicely,” says Mark Wee, executive director of Design Singapore Council and THDA jury member.
Best House (Interior Design): Design Intervention
Helmed by founder Nikki Hunt and partner Andrea Savage, Design Intervention gave the tired interiors of this shophouse an incredible makeover; the unit used to be an office but now houses a family of three and their pet dog. The firm created compelling yet thoughtful touches that remain respectful of the structure’s heritage.
In keeping with the owners’ preference for a monochromatic palette, a black-and-white scheme graces the home’s facade and interiors, with the latter peppered with lively pops of colour and various patterns.
“The bold use of a black and white palette with colour accents and touches of gold give a richness to the interior,” say Belinda Huang and Khoo Peng Beng, co-founders of Arc Studio Architecture + Urbanism and THDA jury members.
Elements inspired by the eclectic work of Italian artist Piero Fornasetti add a dose of fun to the home; these include the customised TV console as well as the Cole & Son wallcovering installed in the dining area. The thoughtful placement of lighting elements emphasises the home’s architectural details and brings warmth to the monochromatic scheme, resulting in a cosy abode the owners love coming home to.
“The firm has put a unique spin on shophouse design, creating an interior that’s memorable, stylish and true to its historical roots,” says Hong Xinying, regional managing editor, Tatler Homes Singapore.
Best Luxury Concept: Dwell Interior Design
“Welcoming” would be an apt descriptor for this stylish four-bedroom residence in central Singapore. Designed by Ed Ong, founder of Dwell Interior Design, this home is tailor-made for entertaining with its elegant aesthetic.
The airy open-plan living and dining areas feature a wealth of seating options; these neutral-toned spaces are graced by colourful accent pieces that include an abstract painting in bright hues. “The soft, subtle and elegant colour palette helps to create a luxurious ambience,” adds Clint Nagata, founder and creative partner of Blink Design Group and THDA jury member.
A silver travertine wall, wooden panels and rose gold trimmings increase the level of sophistication in the common areas. Luxury abounds even in the home’s private spaces, with the master bedroom sporting a sophisticated bronze, grey and champagne gold colour scheme inspired by the Armani Hotel in Milan.
Frank Leung, founder and principal of Via. and THDA jury member, adds: “I’m attracted to the understated quality of the colour scheme and the thoughtful choice of luxurious materials and furniture.”
The powder room is one of the surprising highlights of this home; it features a basin carved from a solid block of black marble as well as mirrored walls that visually expand its dimensions.
Best Modern Concept: Super Assembly
Fantastic sea views are a hallmark of this 1,195 sq ft unit in the towering Wallich Residence luxury apartment complex. Led by principal architect Iskandar Idris and director Patrick Siah, local design firm Super Assembly chose to highlight the home’s stunning panoramas with a minimalist interior inspired by Japanese aesthetics.
“Japanese and natural elements help to calm the interior, creating a haven to unwind in for harried city dwellers,” says Teo Su Seam, partner of LTW Designworks and THDA jury member.
Sabrina Long, dean of the School of Art and Design at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and THDA jury member, agrees: “The home exemplifies the qualities of calmness through vernacular textures, repetition and rhythm.”
Large windows span the length of the living area and bring the outdoors in; the space was also enlarged by removing an adjacent room. A pivoted wall and sliding door allow this space to be converted into a guest room if needed. The simple yet impactful material mix, comprising wood, brass and mirrored surfaces, conveys an elegant and modern feel.
To evoke a sense of calm via “repetition, rhythm and variation”, vertical strips that vary in proportion are employed throughout as a design element. Various storage options contribute to the apartment’s uncluttered appearance, as do the timber panel that slides over the TV when it is not in use and the panels in the corridor that hide the doors to the rooms.
Best Penthouse Project: Antimatter
The generous use of timber in various textures and grain varieties gives this two-storey penthouse a warm, timeless look; the wood detailing also creates a unity between the apartment and its verdant surrounds. Conceptualised by Antimatter founder Gabriel Tan, the home sports an old-world elegance and an abundance of spaces for socialising.
Leung notes that the penthouse boasts “a delightful interior with a variety of tones within a consistent aesthetic”, and that “the vaulted ceiling is especially memorable”.
Parts of this cosy sanctuary boast design inspiration from various parts of the world, informed by Tan’s continent-spanning career. For instance, the curved ceiling design is a nod to the Catalan vaulted ceilings that drew his eye when he was in Barcelona, while the furniture selection features a tasteful mix of pieces from established luxury brands, new international labels and Tan’s own creations.
Elsewhere, various materials such as copper and Marmorino plaster add texture, melding effortlessly to create a beautiful, multisensorial abode.
Erwin Viray, chief sustainability officer at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and THDA jury member, highlights that Tan managed to “capture the spirit of the penthouse in framing views, and creating a liveable space”.
In case you missed it: Home Tour: A Singapore Penthouse With Stylish Spaces For Socialising
Best Use of Art: Architology Interiors
Designed by Architology Interiors, a local firm co-founded by directors Terrence Quah and Bu Shukun, this 3,671 sq ft home celebrates the impact that art can bring to an interior; it was envisioned as a giant canvas for its owners’ collection of Chinese contemporary art.
The four-bedroom home is divided into two distinct zones: the main floor, comprising the living and dining areas, is the abode’s social centre while the upper floor houses the master suite for the couple.
The apartment also pulls off a duality in palette with aplomb: the living area was done up in darker tones, offset by sunlight entering from the balcony, while the dining zone, located further inside the home, features a lighter palette. Dynamic artworks by Chinese artists pepper the home, hand-picked and installed where they would make the most visual impact.
“The usage of art elevates the space and frames the interior,” says Teo. Huang and Khoo agree, noting that “the art and the interior are complementary to each other, yet are beautiful in their own right”.
Best Use of Colour: WY-TO
This stylish two-storey apartment features a lively colour scheme inspired by the owner’s love of retro pop tunes. French architect Yann Follain used the client’s playlist as a starting point to grace the 1,937 sq ft home with bright hues and vibrant accent pieces.
Seemingly disparate elements such as a yellow concrete kitchen counter and teal-hued cabinetry coexist in harmony in light-filled spaces, with the overall setting influenced by the oeuvre of American designers Charles and Ray Eames, as well as Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s colour-blocked works.
Walls were torn down to create an “endless perception of space”, which also serves to improve cross-ventilation throughout the home. The abode doesn’t just look chic; practical storage reduces visual clutter and conceals appliances when they are not in use.
“The happy, sophisticated use of colour has resulted in a home befitting the personality of its owner,” comments Wee. Nagata agrees, noting that “the bold use of colour throughout the home creates a modern ambience”.
Readers' Choice: Best Bespoke Concept: SuMisura
SuMisura founder Angela Lim has made a name working on stunning homes and show units for luxury developments in Singapore, and this captivating apartment in South Beach Residences is no exception. A pair of two-bedroom units was merged to form a single 2,800 sq ft abode with a family-friendly layout and luxurious touches inspired by the art deco movement.
“The art deco brief immediately demands a sense of bespoke craftsmanship, with the designer providing a glamorous setting for the owners,” says Wee.
The first step was configuring one unit to house the entrance foyer and a large living room, and turning the other into a private dining space with an enclosed kitchen. A powder room was removed to expand the living area in order to house a feature wall, while both the open-concept kitchens were turned into a fully enclosed culinary zone and a home bar.
Light, off-white tones are the perfect setting for hints of opulence, such as the use of champagne gold on the walls, with white marble flooring providing a luxurious touch underfoot. All the furnishings were also made bespoke to ensure a harmonious look.
Bakos sums the apartment up as “a beautifully detailed project, with various spaces that are elegant, welcoming and comfortable”.
Readers' Choice: Best Show Unit: 2nd Edition
The show units at the luxurious Ki Residences incorporate a strong Japanese aesthetic, which imbues them with an undeniable elegance and a sense of calm that gels with the development’s tranquil, verdant setting. Local studio 2nd Edition, led by founder Hilary Loh, worked on these units as well as the sales gallery, centring its creative concept on ki, a multifaceted Japanese word that represents energy, atmosphere, the mind, spirit, and feelings.
The design experience begins at the immersive sales gallery, before continuing on to the show units as an extension of the visual and sensorial journey. An earthy palette, light wood furnishings and dark-stained wood panels, as well as elements inspired by Japan’s tea and sake drinking culture, are worked into the interiors. The resulting spaces wear their Japanese inspiration proudly on their proverbial sleeve, augmented by touches that create a sophisticated ambience.
“The juxtaposition of dark wood and light wood creates a variation in ambience and emotions, with the fluted panels, curved edges and choice of fabric softening the spaces,” Huang and Khoo note. Long agrees, highlighting that the apartments are “a visual journey that evokes feelings of tranquillity; there is elegance and subtle sensitivity in the execution”.
Readers' Choice: Best Showroom: Hafary Gallery by Park + Associates
There are showrooms, and then there are the truly experiential venues that fully immerse visitors in the brand experience. Local building material supplier Hafary’s new gallery takes visitors on a journey through carefully curated spaces that engage their senses and inspire visitors to look at tiles beyond just their functional purposes.
Led by Park + Associates director Christina Thean, the design team sectioned the 43,000 sq ft showroom into various zones that display the brand’s catalogue of over 5,000 products, including tiles, stone and mosaic, in stunning settings.
For instance, The Mansion offers ideas on how clients can utilise tiles to decorate their living and dining areas, while The Hall of Tiles showcases some of Hafary’s newest offerings: large-format porcelain slabs. Another key area is The Plaza, which is positioned as a gathering space where customers can meet designers to discuss the ways to realise their dream home.
“The space is transformative, and I love the sense of journey and wonder it conveys,” says Bakos. Long is equally impressed, noting that the showroom is “an interactive, immersive space that engages all your senses and curiosity to explore, discover and rediscover”.
Designers on the Rise: AL+, FDAT Architects and Goy Architects
Three young firms—AL+, FDAT Architects and Goy Architects—have been selected as joint winners of the Designers on the Rise accolade for the Tatler Homes Design Awards 2022. These recipients have placed a key focus on sustainability in their work, producing notable eco-conscious projects that embrace innovation.
Read More: Tatler Homes Design Awards 2022: 3 Eco-Conscious Singapore Studios Designing a Greener Future
Notable projects by Goy Architects include the Sukasantai Farm stay, a family-run organic vegetable farm in Indonesia. The 12-room farm stay boasts an open kitchen and dining concept that encourages an authentic farm to fork experience. Sukasantai features a wide variety of tropical vegetables, fruits and rare indigenous plants.
Local firm AL+ on the other hand, completed projects with ecological impact; these include the Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank, a collaborative project with AlfaTech that saw to the creation of a plant conservation, research and education facility housed within a colonial-style house. Within the space is a gallery as well as a unique seed dispersal garden with sculptures showing the different seed dispersal mechanisms.
FDAT Architects notably completed the recent renovation of Park Royal Collection Marina Bay, which features a “hotel-in-a-garden” concept. The firm refreshed the hotel's iconic 21-storey atrium was tranformed into an urban oasis that features 2,400 plants and trees as well as a skylight designed with double-glazed, low-emissivity glass.