Tucked away in a verdant enclave, this elegant abode boasts an enviably serene setting. Lush foliage forms the backdrop to its rustic brick façade, accompanied by the occasional sounds of bird calls—and little else.
During their search for their dream home, a family of four discovered this gem, nestled within the exclusive Bukit Timah residential area. The couple worked with Diego Molina and Maria Arango, directors at architecture firm Ong & Ong, to craft a home with plenty of communal spaces. They also wished to bring cadences of California and Provence to their home inside and out—the couple’s companies are based in these two locales, which are also destinations they love travelling to.
“The key to combining the regions was to identify their similarities—we had to contextualise these two foreign styles within the local environment,” elaborates Molina on the inspiration behind the “SoCal meets Southern France” abode.
One of the reasons that convinced the homeowners and architects to do a reconstruction was the way the original house had completely turned its back on the verdant landscape behind it. The existing good class bungalow was almost 30 years old, with a brick façade and tiled pitched roofs similar to the neighbouring houses.
“We turned the house around so that it faces the natural backdrop—the service areas and kitchen were previously located next to the forested area of the drainage reserve,” explains Molina. Besides orientating the spaces to take full advantage of the lush foliage, the architects also created capacious living spaces that have a liberating effect on the previously congested floor plan. These spaces now flow seamlessly into one another, without resorting to utilitarian corridors or underutilised pockets of transitional spaces.
Large expanses of French windows can be found around the first-storey envelope. Fabricated from anodised aluminium, the windows are reminiscent of the bronze frames in Provencal homes. These floor-to-ceiling fenestrations let in abundant natural light, and when opened, allow natural cross-ventilation throughout the entire home.