A Peripheral Garden

L Architects conceives of a beautiful dwelling that invites meaningful connections to the outdoors and among its residents.

  • A Peripheral Garden

Home Type: 3-bedroom apartment

Floor Area: 1,396sqft (approx)

Text by Airis Abdullah

A couple with two grown children approached Lim Shing Hui, principal architect of L Architects in 2021 to design a three-bedroom apartment they had purchased for the family. It was during the pandemic and a unique point in time, where global circumstances were stirring collective as well as personal value shifts and the rethink of desired living conditions at home.

L Architects apartment project

“The clients had a plant collection that they hoped to bring into their new home. One of their concerns, too, was that everyone would be isolated in their own rooms; it was the couple’s preference that there could be more connections between family members even when they moved to this apartment,” shares Shing Hui, who worked on this project with architectural assistant Tse Lee Shing.

Shing Hui noted that the apartment’s original layout was generally a sensible one. The only thing it lacked was a balcony to invite more fresh air and natural elements into the space. This ‘missing piece’ thus became the driving force of the design proposal, and its protagonist.

“The Peripheral Garden” was thus born. Set on a platform, this garden space essentially serves as a balcony, and runs across the edge of the living and dining areas to conclude where the wall divides the communal from the private (bedroom one).

L Architects apartment floor plan
Proposed floor plan

The unit’s odd-shaped layout adds an interesting spatial dynamic to this elevated space, offering up wide as well as more cosy seating nooks that are inviting and intimate in equal measure. The raised platform also helps the plants get more sunlight and fresh air, and brings the apartment’s residents closer to the tall windows that span the entire length for the enjoyment of the view, breeze, and the dappled light that cast through the leafy plants.

Furthermore, this platform features a discreet, integrated drawer system underneath, which was important as the family desired lots of storage.

The angled walls in the living/dining area proved to be a bit of a challenge as it made it harder to tackle furniture placement, but the judicious decision to go with a custom odd-shaped dining table resolved the issue. “It changes up the dynamics of the space. Once this table fits within the space the rest of the walls start to make spatial sense,” notes Shing Hui.

Two bedrooms in this apartment house study areas. One room is a standard enclosed design, while the other opens out to the dining and living area via a window opening. “This was part of the brief because in general, the clients would prefer a study that is opened to [the common spaces] to facilitate more interaction and ensure less isolation. But if they need to take a conference call, then the enclosed room would be able to offer the privacy they need,” explains Shing Hui.

The aforementioned window looks out to the balcony space, enabling moments of meaningful interaction with those in the common areas, and offering the opportunity to delight in a serene garden view while working at the desk.

L Architects apartment project

A second balcony was carved out in the master bedroom, affording the clients more opportunities to be close to nature. Sliding doors here and bifold ones in the living/dining area make the spaces adaptive in nature while helping the home be more energy efficient.

“We realised that considered planning provides better adaptability for different modes of living. Also, we found that when they turn on the air conditioner, the rooms cool down a lot faster as they have more flexibility to contract and expand according to the family’s needs,” notes Shing Hui.

L Architects apartment project

The architect says that she is thankful the client allowed them to create the two balcony spaces. “They can now enjoy the different garden aspects that this apartment is able to provide. At the very heart of this design, we wanted to prioritise our clients’ well-being and we know it will serve their family far into the future.”

L Architects

Shop the Look
Living room sofa from King Living
Empress green customised tabletop by Polybuilding
Kitchen sink from Reginox
Kitchen countertop and backsplash, Dekton by Cosentino
Master bathroom fixtures from Duravit

Photography by Jovian Lim

We think you may also like Windows for connection and togetherness

L Architects apartment project
L Architects apartment project
L Architects apartment project


Like what you just read? Similar articles below