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Outstanding HDB Flat: the LBDA 2019 Shortlist revealed

Here are the eight inspiring flats in Singapore that are in the running for the title of Outstanding HDB Flat at LBDA 2019.

We’re thrilled to present the eight HDB flats that are in the running to be named “Outstanding HDB Flat” at Lookbox Design Awards (LBDA) 2019.

These are the projects that our esteemed panel of regional judges have picked as some of Singapore’s most inspiring flats.

Find out which will take home the top honours at the LBDA Gala Night on Thursday 5 December. Book your tickets here!

#1 Project name: A Soft Gentle Glow
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 5-room HDB flat

The owners wanted their home to feel spacious, and to exude the tranquil atmosphere of a resort. To highlight the only curved side of the unit, which frames a million-dollar view of the CBD, the designers have created a sculptural table that not only anchors the now enlarged living area, but also mirrors the unique curved perimeter. This social table allows different degrees of interaction due to its shape, and holds the position of a ‘command centre’ for the whole flat. Brass details are meant to acquire a patina with age that will recall the owners’ time spent in resort villas. The diffused lighting from the sheer curtains and ribbed glass doors are meant to mimic the break of dawn in a seafront villa, when sunlight diffuses through the rippling ocean waters.

#2 Project name: Everton Park
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 3-room HDB flat

The owner wanted a retro-inspired home, and the designers have sought to preserve as many existing elements of the 38-year-old flat as possible, including the terrazzo, the main gate, and the louvred windows, along with new interior constructions rendered in concrete, plywood, stainless steel and wired glass. As the flat is only 969sqft, the designers have created free-flowing, open-plan spaces that segue into one another, transitioning only subtly as the flooring changes from terrazzo (living room) to concrete (dining and kitchen area). The combined dining table and cooking unit stands anchor as a central island. Pheripheral spaces are maxmised, with the kitchen unit and bookcase sharing a long wall. Only one bedroom has been retained and wired glass (paired with blinds) allows it to be enclosed while still letting light in.
See full home feature here

#3 Project name: Gerhana
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 4-room HDB flat
Firm: Goy Architects

The design process began with the concepts of “softness” and “comfort”, and further discussions had both the designer and clients intrigued with the softness of a curve plane. The biggest (yet subtle) design gesture was to insert curved ceilings into the main living space, followed by smaller arch thoroughfares in the kitchen and rooms. Wall mounted light fixtures were then used to illuminate the curved ceilings, resulting in layers of light and shadows that bring added visual dimension to the space. The natural light coming into the flat was also softened using sheer curtains and built-in timber display shelves along the window openings. Textured materials were chosen for finishes and furnishings to bring the relaxed character of tropical living and the influences of South East Asia into the home.

#4 Project name: Shizukokoro
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 5-room HDB flat
Firm: Goy Architects

‘Shizukokoro’, which means a ‘calm mind’, was the inspiration for this abode. Referencing traditional ryokans, the designers have curated the journey of the flat with pockets of vista and spatial delight. This involved either obscuring or framing spaces within the home. To ensure the owners and guests feel comfortable even when enjoying a cup of tea on the floor, the designers have created an intimate landscape frame for the living room, keeping the proportion grounded to the floor. Pale white oak surfaces evoke an air of calm, and most furnishings were custom made to fit the exact dimensions of the space. To filter the harsh external light, frosted windows were used in the living room to create a soft, ambient glow.

#5 Project name: The Commons Apartment
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 5-room resale HDB flat

This 40-year-old flat was in its original state when a family of three bought it over. It had three bedrooms, an enclosed kitchen and an awkwardly planned public space. The family’s first instinct was to tear down all the walls and reimagine new ways of inhabiting its spaces. Key design moves included adjustments (expansion and reduction) of each room’s footprint, and the introduction of sliding walls that allow the rooms to be opened or closed off in various configurations, depending on need. The hallway (deemed an inefficient space) was removed and converted into the “Commons” – a void space located at the heart of the apartment’s footprint, and serving as a shared communal space that functions as a physical and visual extension of the “rooms” and pockets of spaces surrounding it. Different levels of privacy can also be achieved via layers of curtains and frosted wire-glass sliding doors.

#6 Project name: The Holey Moley
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 4-room HDB BTO flat

A couple with two very young kids and two cats wanted their home to surprise and delight. The designers have removed all non-structural walls and divided the flat into two ‘realms’ – a public zone, consisting of the living and kitchen space for entertaining, and a ‘private’ zone, consisting of the master bedroom, helper and kids’ room. In so doing, the oft neglected corridor space was also activated.  Recessed shelves have been designed for display and storage; they also serve as a play area for the cats. Sliding windows were designed for each aperture along the corridor to improve cross ventilation, enable the private and public realms to connect visually, and to ensure the parents have a clear line of sight to their kids when going about their chores. Terrazzo is used liberally to bring fun and colour to the house.

#7 Project name: Tropica
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 4-bedroom HDB BTO flat
Firm: wee studio

The owner, a chef, needed an open kitchen and an area to entertain guests. A “homely feel” was also important as the flat was meant for a young family. To make the dining area the key design feature of the house, priority has been given to ensuring that the space is airy, clutter-free and affords good visibility. Surrounding elements had to complement this space as well. The designers have created a louver feature that provides demarcation while still affording visual connection between spaces. Taking advantage of the lengthened entrance walkway, the dining table and kitchen cabinet have also been enlarged, Overall, the home is bright and spacious with a light colour palette, a minimalist aesthetic and spaces that encourage easy human interaction.

#8 Project name: Where Raw Meets Refined
Outstanding HDB Flat

Project type: 5-room HDB flat
Firm: Neu Konceptz

The owners wanted a cosy and homely sanctuary that was both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. With this project, the designers have combined the original dining area and master bedroom to create an even larger master suite. Another bedroom was knocked down to make room for a new and more spacious looking dining area. This also served to lengthen the living area, thus making it appear much bigger. One of the most unique features of this flat are the bedroom doors, which appear ‘hidden’ thanks to a wall cladding camouflage that makes the resting quarters more private. Overall, woody elements instil lots of warmth into the home.

See the other LBDA 2019 Shortlist

Outstanding Private Apartment
Outstanding Landed Home
Best Space for Entertaining
Best Space for Retreat
Best Small Space Living
Best Open-Plan Concept
Most Dramatic Transformation

Lookbox Design Awards


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