Behind every well-designed space is a meaningful story—this belief shapes the design ethos of TA.LE Architects, as the firm’s name might suggest. “We give form to the intangible narratives of our clients,” says Tay Yanling, founder and principal architect of the firm.
The architect holds this philosophy close to her heart for every project, including this family home. The homeowners are a couple in their sixties, who had returned to Singapore after living abroad for many years; they approached TA.LE Architects to design their dream retirement home. Their brief to Tay was for a contemporary house that responds well to the tropical climate in Singapore. The couple also wanted a visual connection with the surrounding greenery, without compromising on privacy.
To address these requirements, Tay looked to traditional wisdom. “Traditional kampung houses and the heritage black-and-white bungalows are examples of how our predecessors tackled the hot and humid climate,” says the architect. “For this project, we applied these sensitivities as part of an environmental response.”
Traditional kampung houses and the heritage black-and-white bungalows are examples of how our predecessors tackled the hot and humid climate. For this project, we applied these sensitivities as part of an environmental response.
While the design of the house may have been guided by principles of vernacular architecture, it is anything but traditional. Its pure geometric form has a contemporary appearance despite its pitched roof form.
The most striking external feature is the ubiquitous pitched roof. As the front of the house is west-facing, it was essential that the front elevation be designed to screen the rooms from the afternoon sun. With a pitched roof as a starting point, Tay continued the eaves vertically downwards as a form of sun-shading over the front and rear facades. Where the folded roof meets the second storey floor slab, it wraps inwards to become the overhang that provides shade to the first storey. This continues towards the centre of the house where it rises over the double volume dining space, completing the loop like a ribbon.