Villa Lambda

CompanyMercurio Design Lab Srl
ClientMassimo Mercurio
DesignerMassimo Mercurio
Prize3rd Place in Architecture Categories / New Residential Building
Project LinkView
Entry Description

The client requested a villa which broke with typical Singaporean suburban formulas, whether modern or classical pastiche. The brief also required optimisation of a tight site and parking for nine cars. The final form of the house suggests a never-ending story which reflects its actual genesis. At the initial design discussion a scale model of the new Lamborghini ‘Gallardo’ suggested just the right kind of radical solution. This inspiration led to the formal idea of two inverted triangles, slightly offset from one another. This idea was further refined as a geometric form became transformed into a house. At the rear, the point of one triangle was champfered and rounded, providing shading to the bedroom underneath. Conversely, the other triangle was extended to form a dramatic car porch canopy cantilevering out by twenty metres and supporting two supplementary canopies providing additional protection for the cars parked underneath. With these canopies, like winged stabilisers, the house resembles a spaceship more than a car. Now the building begins to reflect its name, lambda, the Greek letter used to signify the notion of a wavelength, a triangulated formal composition of apparent opposites held in dynamic tension. This is emphasised by the habitable attic solution, providing an extra storey, but needing to conform to local regulations requiring a pitched roof for attic spaces. The solution satisfies planning guidelines without compromising the overall formal character of the building. The aluminium clad roof with the extruded flaps at the rear of the third storey terrace was intentionally designed to extend the spaceship metaphor, while the doghouse containing the lift over run was made to look like the air intake of an engine room. In turn, these gestures support an overriding strategy of generous eaves and canopies to provide privacy and sun protection. The result is a house which is simultaneously bold but mysterious.