A young newlywed couple gave the designers at ASOLIDPLAN the unusual task of designing their home based on a piece of music called Rivers Wide.
17 October 2023
Home Type: Walk-up apartment
Floor Area: 1,550sqft
Text by Janice Seow
The first discussion between a designer and homeowner usually revolves around the desired look of the home and the functions required. This particular project, however, had an entirely unexpected genesis.
The owners of this walk-up apartment in the east are a young married couple who had tasked ASOLIDPLAN to design their home based on a piano-driven music piece titled Rivers Wide by Maria Paloma. “After listening to it, we asked ourselves how we could respond to its melancholic vibe. We decided to create negative cocoon-like spaces to give the user a sense of embrace within the cocoons,” say the designers.
They chose a soothing neutral palette as the base, and dark engineered timber flooring to give the interiors a sense of weightiness and warmth. Rounded columns, ceilings and carpentry were also used throughout the home to soften the space further.
The formerly dated walk-up unit had three bedrooms and an enclosed kitchen and yard. The layout was completed reconfigured with all non-structural walls demolished to create an open-plan common area, and discreetly located bedrooms, study, and yard well-camouflaged behind concealed doors.
In the living area, a custom-made curvilinear sofa nestles comfortably into a concaved wall, where the warm and textured limewash paint adds to the cocooning and cavern-like lounging experience. The complexities may not be readily apparent to a casual observer, but the designers spent much time experimenting to achieve a level of consistency and symmetry in the design of the recessed niche, eventually turning to 3D printing for the first time to achieve the desired form.
The designers note: “You can actually feel the echo from the three-dimensional curves bouncing back at you during conversations within this cocoon.”
Natural materials and touches of the organic resonate with the naturalistic and cocoon-like interior. Daylight floods in from the balcony when the timber folding doors are pulled back, and one can appreciate the retro elements such as the ventilation blocks and black and white bamboo blinds as reminders of the decades-old apartment’s origins.
A long and dramatic Calacatta Viola marble dining/bar table anchors the open space, and includes thoughtful features like a built-in ice bin to chill bottled drinks. The couple regularly hosts social gatherings for family and friends, and this area serves as the perfect entertaining heart of the home where they can bond with loved ones over food and wine, and engage with their guests even while preparing food in the open kitchen just across.
The bedroom follows the same design language where whites, creams and browns bestow a calming quality on a space solely dedicated to rest. The bathroom is the definition of quiet luxury with a marbled custom basin and microcement cladded walls and floors.
This home is a physical embodiment of the feeling one experiences when listening to the music piece Rivers Wide. It’s the intangible captured in form. Step inside, and gentle waves of calm and serenity wash over you, which is what the homeowners had desired from the start.
Photography by Khoo Guo Jie
Shop the Look
Limewash paint and microcement from Waldec
Coffee table from Kar Studio
Dining chairs from Gamar Furniture
Kitchen countertop from Caesarstone
Kitchen laminates from EDL
Bedroom lamps from Just Anthony
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