Lofty dreams fulfilled in a family penthouse

Making more room with a spectacular mezzanine, akiHAUS Design Studio stretched both the floor space and visual expanse of this modern luxury penthouse to good effect.

  • Lofty dreams fulfilled in a family penthouse

Home Type: Penthouse condo

Floor Area: 1,200sqft

Text by Disa Tan

This penthouse unit spans 1,200 square feet, which is a good size by today’s home standards. However, the homeowners had a desire for a more spacious home. The bedrooms, in particular, felt somewhat confining and lacked the necessary space to comfortably accommodate their family of four. Consequently, they tasked Lawrence Puah, the Design Director of akiHAUS Design Studio, with the mission of not only creating additional space within the apartment, but also with crafting an interior that harmonised with their modern classic style preferences.


The penthouse boasts double-volume ceilings, a feature that Lawrence skilfully leveraged. He introduced a mezzanine level above the television wall, thereby generating additional floor space and establishing an exceptional focal point that beautifully frames the entire living area.


The construction of the mezzanine was a meticulously coordinated effort between Lawrence and a structural engineer. Their joint objective was to avoid any obstructive pillars on the lower floor, while also ensuring that the mezzanine could bear the necessary structural load without them. Their collaborative efforts has resulted in a free-flowing open space that enables the homeowners to relax, dine, and entertain with ease.


The design of the staircase leading to the mezzanine floor presented another intricate challenge. Lawrence aimed to ensure that it didn’t resemble a mere ladder but rather harmonised with the modern luxury theme of the home, inspired by the respective cultural heritage of the homeowners.

Drawing from the male homeowner’s Italian heritage, he incorporated sleek vertical steel balustrades for a contemporary touch. Simultaneously, the inclusion of wood finishes for the handrails and steps paid homage to the tropical Southeast Asian aesthetic – a nod to the female homeowner’s local roots. This thoughtful fusion beautifully encapsulated the homeowners’ diverse backgrounds within the home’s design.


The next step involved the use of glass sliding doors, adorned with vertical timber screens, which were skilfully applied to the storage consoles on both the lower and mezzanine levels. This cohesive design seamlessly complemented the staircase, creating a unified visual language throughout the space. Recessed lighting was meticulously installed within the built-in shelving on both floors.

When all the sliding doors are closed, the backlit structure resembles a stunning lantern.

The sliding doors open to reveal either the television console or the display showcases, offering a versatile solution for the homeowners. This adaptability allows them to discreetly conceal the television when hosting guests, minimising distractions. Furthermore, the frameless glass doors serve a dual purpose by effectively safeguarding the display niches from dust accumulation.

The mezzanine level overlooks the balcony and an outstanding view outside the 12th-floor penthouse unit. Noting the existing wooden ceiling in the balcony, Lawrence decided to extend the same aesthetic by installing timber panels on the mezzanine’s ceiling, creating a seamless and harmonious style that resonated throughout the space.

Now used as a study nook and a storage showcase for books and objets d’art, the mezzanine is decked in marble-inspired vinyl flooring instead of actual marble to lighten the load on the structure.  Chosen for its striking monochromatic details, the vinyl flooring complements the existing marble flooring in the living area.

On the lower level, the act of opening the balcony doors extends the open-plan design, creating an ideal canvas for showcasing a monochromatic colour palette accented by modern classic details.

An integral component of the enduring black-and-white aesthetic is the inclusion of dark fluted panels that run elegantly across the lower portion of the walls. These wainscoting accents pay homage to the male homeowner’s European heritage while offering a sophisticated, contemporary interpretation of classical design.


Behind the dining zone’s striking full-height feature wall lie the concealed entrances to the master bedroom and wet kitchen.

In the dry kitchen, full-height cabinets and drawers are cleverly camouflaged behind chic monochromatic elements, contributing to a sleek and seamless appearance.

Within the private quarters, the master bedroom exudes the same modern classic grandeur, thanks to its double-volume ceiling. Bathed in natural daylight streaming in through full-height windows, the room’s high ceiling is further accentuated by an elegant black glass headboard.

The two children’s bedrooms also have generous headroom and have been creatively designed with space-saving loft systems inspired by treehouses. The top bunks are designated for sleeping, thus freeing up valuable floor space for amenities such as wardrobes and study desks. To optimise storage, drawers and open shelves have been thoughtfully integrated into the stairs leading to the top bunk.

All in all, Lawrence has masterfully implemented ingenious spatial strategies to ensure the utmost satisfaction and comfort of all four residents residing in this penthouse.

akiHAUS Design Studio

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