Hubert Burda Media

When design puts family first

Novel architecture complemented by stylish interiors help promote family conviviality.

For a family, it can be hard to quantify domiciliary bliss — the intangible satisfaction from settling down and finding the right home that’s carefully coordinated through an architect and interior designer. But in the hands of trusted design professionals and a homeowner who encouraged creativity, this expansive seven-bedroom abode coalesces diverse ideas to create harmonious living for its occupants.

Sited on 26,000 sqft of land in a leafy district along Thomson Road, it is the locale’s elevation — it is the highest plot here — that inspired Red Bean Architects. It helped too, that the man of the house gave the team carte blanche to create something unique for his family of nine. Rising to the challenge, the firm came up with a novel approach that immediately turns glances into stares: Rather than erecting a typical rectangular building, the structure is more akin to stacking offset boxes atop one another. Two different “ground levels” were further created. The first, at the same level as the entrance, offers enviable, breathtaking views of the locale’s sylvan environs, making one feel as though he is in a faraway place. The second, just the floor below, promotes warmth in open, outdoor areas that are designed for family members to congregate and relax.

“We were blown away by the architectural and spatial differences but there is still a sense of cohesion when the family mingles and uses the spaces. The first plane gives us privacy and seclusion to take in the scenic views while the second helps us to bond and mingle with one another through beautifully, manicured outdoor zones,” enthuses the homeowner.

Construction took 20 months to complete as challenges relating to the topography of the site had to be managed and observed. The challenge to give every bedroom the best view possible, while addressing the western sun, was another key consideration. All the hard work and time paid off, because not only did the architect hand over the keys to a pleased client, they also snagged an honourable mention at the 16th SIA Architectural Design Awards, as well as a BCA Green Mark Gold Plus Award.

Principal architect Teo Yee Chin of Red Bean Architects says: “We were definitely thrilled with the award and mention but more importantly, the journey with the owner was so rewarding and pleasant. He liked what we proposed and since then the focus was on seeing it to completion. It’s very edifying when you can see your work materialise.”

With the homeowner’s affinity with natural materials and nature-inspired textures, the bedrooms, living areas and kitchen had to encompass this brief. Indubitably, he also requested a home theatre kitted with audiovisual fixtures, as well as a fully-equipped gym.

“Our favourite spot at home is the dining area because of the view of the lush landscape in the outdoors,” explains the homeowner. “It is a lovely area to chill out and relax over a meal or just enjoy wine.”

The satisfaction of the owner is palpable, with him also lauding the work of interior styling consultant Jestine Chin, owner and founder of Pure Interior, whose beguiling mix of Eastern and Western pieces ensured the interiors appear relevant and well-appointed. Among them were several ornate wood carvings of mountain scenes sourced from China by a good friend of the homeowner, as well as modern furniture bought from all over Europe.

“The project was an adventure for us to savour and cherish because it was exciting and challenging at the same time. How do we combine old and new, Eastern and European, and ensure it blended with the architecture? The final result is a home that is chic, functional, and brings everyone in the family together” says Chin.