Cover Edra Standard Sofa, from Space Furniture

Lab Architects founder Brenda Ang seeks to convey a timeless elegance in her projects, which marry elements of luxury with utter comfort for the tropics. Here, she shares how you can replicate this sense of ease in your home

“Architects spend much of their lives pursuing a rational approach to design [for it] to endure the passage of time,” declares Brenda Ang, founder of Lab Architects.

The firm is known for crafting homes with a timeless appeal; Ang has designed a dazzling variety of houses across Asia, ranging from stately Good Class Bungalows in Singapore to luxurious properties in Brunei and China. The architect looks to the work of American modernist architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn and Mies van der Rohe for inspiration, and favours clean-lined designs to create effortlessly elegant abodes for her clients. “We strive to find the perfect balance between comfort, practicality and beauty. Our goal is not only to create stunning structures but to improve lives. We want to create spaces that allow the owner to enjoy the finer things in life,” says the architect.

This means paying heed to the tropical climate to provide luxury and comfort in equal measure, while ensuring that the house has a consistent design language inside and out. Here, Ang highlights some of the collections featured in her recent projects, and tells us more about how each piece fits within its unique context.

1. With open arms

The architect enjoys hand-picking pieces that best fit the visual narrative of each home. For a house with a bridge-like hallway that overlooks the living room and the pool, Ang selected a pair of Kartell Uncle Jim armchairs by Philippe Starck, available at Space Furniture. Their sleek design is a perfect fit for the modern look of the abode, while encouraging the family to enjoy the soothing views of the pool and the greenery in the distance.

In case you missed it: Ask a Designer: How to Create a Modern Asian Look in Your Home

2. The right direction

The Minotti West sofa by Rodolfo Dordoni features a classic look that is paired with goose-down padding for optimal comfort. Available in units that come in rectangular, hexagonal and pentagonal forms, this sofa is raised elegantly above the ground by sleek aluminium legs that skim the floor and are clad in a polished brandy brown finish. The piping that lines the upholstered seats adds a nice sartorial touch. 

3. Sleeping beauty

The Poliform Gentleman bed by Marcel Wanders is an exquisite blend of refinement and comfort. “The distinctive Poliform Gentleman bed features a perfect mix: a winged-shaped enveloping form, clean lines, and comfort,” says Ang. Pair it with the Poliform Gentleman bedside table, which sports a rounded form and an elegant top in an array of matte lacquered finishes that can be customised to match the design of your bedroom.

4. A new twist

Designed by Massimo Zazzeron, the Giorgetti Kendama lamp from Space Furniture is made of burnished metal and blown Murano glass. Its playful, modular form is inspired by the kendama, a Japanese toy that comprises a double-sided handle connected to a ball and a string. This lamp features an interconnected stem, cone and sphere that can be arranged in various ways; in one of Ang’s projects, it serves as the focal point of a lounge area, and is a refreshing alternative to traditional crystal chandeliers.

5. Lean on me

The Edra Standard sofa by Francesco Binfaré has an appealing and adaptable form that is perfect for lounging on. The hidden joints allow for the cushions to be propped upwards as backrests, or even downwards as armrests. It’s why Ang selected it for a basement entertainment room to provide maximum comfort for the owners, making the area “a comfortable space to entertain and be entertained in”, adds Ang. “It marries simplicity with comfort.”

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