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How to maximise space in an awkwardly-shaped HDB flat

With smart planning, bold decision making and meticulous detailing, ASOLIDPLAN upgrades the quality of life for the owner of this three-room HDB flat.

Home Type: 3-room HDB flat

Floor Area: 807sqft


Text by Stephanie Peh
Photography by Food and Shelter Company (courtesy of A Solid Plan)


When faced with a small and challenging 3-room HDB unit, ASOLIDPLAN devised a creative response. With diagonal lines, awkward five-sided spaces and an unnecessarily large kitchen, the flat required a drastic transformation to suit the lifestyle of the owner. The designers at ASOLIDPLAN did just that using key elements like meticulous planning, dual-functionality and warm materiality.

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“The client wanted a space that felt big,” says Quck Zhong Yi, a partner at ASOLIDPLAN. Naturally, the bedroom and kitchen walls were pulled down to open up the living space. To fix the problem of a clumsy diagonal front facade, a perpendicular wall was erected to ‘square’ the odd angle. This allowed the designers to carve out a spacious, triangular living area that optimised the interiors of this 807sqft home.

Mirrored sliding screens line the long side wall, reflecting the triangular room to give the illusion of a nine-by-nine-metre square. Apart from carving out storage space, the mirrored screens also conceal the TV, kitchen counter, refrigerator and oven. To enhance spatial flexibility, customised furniture was built. The dining table doubles up as a kitchen counter for food preparation, while the modular and mobile daybed can be used as a sofa for watching TV. It can be nestled into a corner to create an open space, or rearranged into a queen-sized bed for guests.

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The floor of the 30-year-old flat is raised from the corridor level, which posed privacy issues for the owner. Zhong Yi observed that residents in the building often shut their front windows, sacrificing the flow of natural light and ventilation into their homes. To address this issue, ASOLIDPLAN devised a vertical sliding screen in place of regular windows to enhance privacy within the corridor-facing unit. The height-adjustable screen can be partially lowered to ventilate the unit while blocking the line of sight from the corridor. At the same time, the screen doubles up as a window ledge where the owner can enjoy a casual drink with a view of the greenery outside.

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Throughout the home, a controlled material palette comprising natural oak wall cladding and grey engineered wood flooring creates a warm, homely atmosphere. Careful consideration was also given to the smaller, personal spaces at the rear of the flat. Continuing the material language of the living space, the bedroom resembles a cosy modern timber-clad ‘cave’ with a concealed wardrobe. The wall between the two original bathrooms was knocked down to form one large, luxurious bathroom – the owner’s favourite place to unwind.

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Despite the challenging space, ASOLIDPLAN gave new life to a 30-year-old flat, proving that a small space can become a personal oasis, if optimised. “As an architect, I design in response to context,” says Zhong Yi. He adds that sensitivity to the site conditions and clever planning aside, a degree of softness in terms of materiality, and the maximisation of natural light greatly contribute to liveability and personal well-being within modest spaces.

ASOLIDPLAN
www.asolidplan.sg

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