The Hillside House at Olive Road

DesignerLim Cheng Kooi
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The house sits on the hilly part of Caldecott Hill, a private housing estate located along Thomson Road in the central region of Singapore. Designed for a three-generation family, one of the requirements was for a 25-meter lap pool that would go with the active lifestyles of the family. The house consists of 2 parallel massing that runs from west to east that is unified by the common living and dining spaces on the first storey. The arrival sequence begins at the second storey through the broad entryway foyer. The continuous folding roof gently guides one in. This roof sits on a fixed glass that wraps around the perimeter of the 2nd storey. Full height operable metal screens with laser cut motifs acts as a sun shading device filtering sunlight and bringing in the calming monsoon winds Descending through the cantilever glass bridge extending from the travertine wall, one is greeted with a courtyard in calm water pond. A sculptural oxidized metal stair spiraling out from the water, connecting the rooftop garden for a stunning view of the city. The living space, which has pivoting doors on all sides, is a base from which the upper volumes are cantilevered. Upon walking towards the lap pool, one is drawn to the spaciousness of the open spaces around it. A 3m wide timber deck runs parallel to the pool anchoring the floating volumes. A large family entertainment room beneath the living room has the full view of this infinity pool. With multiple visual connections to the poolside at both 1st storey and the basement, the initial challenge of the steep drop has been turned into a design element unique to the site.

About Designer

Founded in 2006, AR43 Architects Pte Ltd is an award winning design firm which has completed a wide range of works ranging commercial, hospitality, institutional, custom-designed residences to interior architecture projects around Asia. The firm is lead by founder Lim Cheng Kooi who has more than 20 years of experience in the field and many of his past works received awards especially recognition through publications in top architectural journals. Well-featured projects include a bungalow project at 21 Jervois Hill for which AR43 received an Honorary Mentioned Design Awards at the 10th SIA Architectural Design Awards 2010. The hallmarks of AR43 design work lies in it acknowledging a responsibility to the built environment, understanding both the physical and emotional reconstructive potential of architecture. The firm’s works reflect simplicity in its use of basic compositional and geometric elements, specifically without any pretence or fixed style. Each design evolves around a synthesis of site and program, experimenting with a variety of architectural interpretations and ultimately builds within client’s ordinary budgets in extraordinary ways.