Many people think of basements as dark and dingy places. But that need not be the case—they can be light and airy, and offer much needed extra space, too. The owners of Carve House, a stylish Bukit Timah home to a family of four, wanted a basement floor to maximise their gross floor area. They also desired a lap pool, along with a staircase that was to become the focal point of their 7,000sqft abode.
These requests provided Cher Ming Tan, principal architect of Ming Architects, with the ideal opportunity to conceptualise a modern building with visual impact. “We decided to combine these elements as architectural features which would form the main design concept of the house, driven by the basement being its main feature,” says Tan, whose firm collaborated with local builder Space Scope to realise the project.
The architect designed the basement as a double-volume space to give it a sense of airiness, with light flowing in from the first storey through full-length glass panels. Open sunken gardens were strategically located in the abode to bring natural illumination deeper into the space.
As a final touch, a glass pool viewing panel was installed into the side of the building to allow filtered and refracted daylight to stream into the basement, which results in an eye-catching interplay of light and shadow throughout the day.
“The moving pool water creates visual interest when viewed from different parts of the house, and casts dynamic shadow patterns on the basement walls and floor at different times of the day,” says Tan.
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