Home Tour: A Transforming Japanese-Style Minimalist Apartment in Wallich Residence
“We always seek to discover and inspire possibilities (in order to serve as) the client’s impetus to challenge the current state (of their interiors); working together with the client towards achieving an alternative and desired state, ” says Iskandar Idris, the principal architect of local architecture firm Super Assembly.
With this philosophy in mind, Idris, together with Super Assembly’s director Patrick Siah and designer Rubina Aw, crafted a contemporary abode that serves as a haven of serenity for a couple. Nestled within GuocoLand’s luxury apartment complex Wallich Residence, the 1,195sqft unit offers a sprawling scenic view that the design team sought to highlight.
“The clear unobstructed view of the sea horizon when one enters the property was the first thing that struck us when we saw the unit,” Idris reveals. “It was also the impetus that led the client to decide on purchasing the property.”
Large windows that frame the picturesque panorama line the length of the living room, bathing the space with natural daylight that streams in. “To further accentuate and give prominence to the view, we decided to demolish the adjacent room to the living area; this enlarged the living space and extended the window view horizontally,” says the architect.
The design team maximised the space by knocking down the walls of the original adjacent room
The extended communal area can be transformed into a guestroom whenever needed
To ensure that the homeowners are able to make full use of the space, the team expertly designed the area to be easily converted into a guestroom. “The pivoted wall and sliding door allows the space to be reclaimed back into a room when the need arises,” Idris notes; this nifty concept is also his favourite design element of the home.
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The clients also admired the “simplicity of Japanese aesthetics”, and sought to incorporate the minimalist sensibilities into the narrative of the apartment. “We decided to explore more on how one can achieve a state of calmness through a spatial experience, and our research on this subject led us to discover that repetition, rhythm, and variation is a common trait in activities that promoted calmness,” Idris explains.
He continues: “We translated this into the visual-spatial realm by employing a consistent design language of using vertical strips that varies in rhythm and proportion throughout the various spaces in the house.”
The team conveyed a sense of modern elegance by using a pared-down material palette that consisted of wood, brass accents, and mirrored surfaces. American white oakwood line the walls throughout the interiors of the apartment, adding a sense of warmth to the existing white volakas marble flooring. Bronze-tinted mirrors and brass plates elevate the atmosphere with a touch of luxury.
The cabinetry and joinery of the home also play an important role. “Consistent with the concept to achieve calm in the apartment, we took to various ways to reduce visual clutter,” says Idris. “For example, the television console can be hidden behind a timber sliding panel that can be slid over across the tinted-mirror wall panel in the dining area. Even the corridor to the rooms is clad with panels to conceal the doors of the rooms and give visual consistency to the entire space.”
This tranquil ambience extends to the two bedrooms of the home. Drawing stylish cues from Japanese influences with warm tones and natural textures, the team adhered to their “consistent design language of using vertical strips” in the master bedroom as well. Thoughtfully-designed ambient lighting casts a soft glow to the welcoming space.
“The materials used for the rooms are the same as those used for the rest of the house, in order to keep consistent with the concept to seek calm and reduce visual clutter,” says the architect. “The headboard for the master bedroom features a solid American white oak that is CNC-cut to give a gradating pattern that emulates the waves of the sea.”
Completed swiftly in the span of three months, the sophisticated timber-clad home is a tranquil escape that makes a grand case for city living; the owners are as delighted with the final result.
“The clients like the spaciousness of the living room best and spend most of their time there,” Idris reveals. And while the design team had to put in extra effort in order to “achieve an uncluttered and understated elegance without making the design appear too plain”, they relished in ultimately crafting a personalised abode that truly speaks to the homeowners. As Idris puts it: “Curiosity and the desire to explore various spatial aspects relevant to each project is key for us.”
- PhotographyFabian Ong