Category: A7 Alterations & Additions to Residential Housing
Architect: Formwerkz Architects
Client: Seah Chee Seng
Building of the Year / Design Award
The excitement in the distinctive play and harmony between the old and new is fully experienced in this appealing project. As the name suggests, the extension between these two mutually exclusive parts of the dwelling is the most powerful aspect of the architecture and purposeful for the owners.
The retention of the old built with the implementation of a new dwelling wing aligns well with the narrative of the contemporary sustainable aspirations. Two key colours and materials (board formed concrete versus rough black rendered plaster) are chosen to represent the old and new, as exact opposites yet complement each other in a beautiful, quiet harmony. Through various spatial and formal techniques, these distinct elements are bridged strategically to give convenience and character to the interior spaces of the house. The level of control and attention paid to the detailing of the building are commendable, where material and texture are skilfully combined.
Spaces were also thoughtfully created and crafted, with intimate courtyard spaces, and architectural elements like the atrium and link bridges, employed to connect the old and new physically and spatially. The architectural element of the stair bridge to negotiate the level differences between the existing house and the new extension is also a beautiful and meaningful intervention.
This project has set a quality benchmark of how the marriage of old and new can be tastefully executed. The jury also applauds to the client’s decision to take a sustainable approach of retaining and working with existing building structures instead of another tabula rasa. The architects’ sensitivity that has allowed the narrative of this house to be powerfully told and proficiently expressed is also praise-worthy.