For his own home, Cheung Yu Ting of Local Architecture Research + Design has used colour as a tool to craft a living experience that’s one of a kind.
26 October 2022
Home Type: 5-room HDB flat
Floor Area: 1,184sqft
Text by Janice Seow
Colour shapes the journey through this five-room flat, influencing the eye and evoking specific emotions. The owner/designer is Cheung Yu Ting, principal architect and co-founder of Local Architecture Research + Design (LAR+D). He resides here with his wife, two kids and two cats, and has made each space hyper-responsive to how his family lives, and how they are predicted to do so in the future.
“Although the house is predominantly white, colours are used to shape, demarcate, and brighten the space,” says Yu Ting, who worked on this project with fellow LAR+D co-founder Clifford See. He points to how the foyer has been intentionally designed as a dark ‘compressed portal’ to enhance the spatial experience as one moves past this space and into the vibrantly coloured and cheery dining room beyond.
While the conventional practice would be to close off the kitchen from the common areas or do the opposite and make it an open one, the kitchen and dining area have instead been designed as a single large ‘unit’. This unit can be separated from the living area by large sliding doors, which can also be kept open to maintain a breezy, free-flowing plan.
Yu Ting says that he wanted to explore “the idea of a specific space for specific purpose and merging spaces with related purpose”.
As he explains, primary colours as well as materials serve to “contain and separate the space without sacrificing the visual connection and movement of an open plan”, thus zoning the home.
The living area has a rather unusual triangular corner, and it’s been wrapped from floor to ceiling in a deep, inky blue. This colour contrast not only highlights the flat’s unique shape, but also squares off the living room visually.
One of the most significant rearrangement of space can be found at the ‘back of house’ where the master bedroom has been moved to the furthest end of the unit, and the various rooms adjusted to cater to how the family desires to live.
“The location of the master bedroom was not the best as it had the smallest window and the service window for the aircon condenser unit faced the kitchen. Thus it had to be closed most of the time as cooking fumes from neighbours below would get into the room,” Yu Ting recalls.
Besides repositioning the master suite, this space has been made bigger by subsuming what was once the room’s narrow corridor, as well as taking over a portion of the adjacent room (former master bedroom) that’s now the study.
“The existing bedroom had a long corridor which was not the best use of space,” Yu Ting explains. “Going with the philosophy that the family shares the spaces, we also decided not to have an en-suite bathroom [for the master bedroom],” he continues. The home now has two common bathrooms that all family members have easy access to.
The study was originally planned as a space for the kids to do their school work a few years down the road, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant that it could serendipitously be turned into a home office when remote working was required. A glass block wall ‘borrows’ light from the study, giving better illumination to the walk-through wardrobe next door.
Oversized yellow circles also adorn the walls in the rooms to inspire a cheerful start to the day. They continue the playful colour language and, together with the clever spatial strategies, make this home one of a kind.
Photography by Studio Periphery
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