In the Atan family’s two-storey maisonette, an impressive nine-metre kitchen island-dining table centrepiece is the heart of the home.
6 February 2018
Text by Yvonne Xu
Photos courtesy of Food and Shelter Co
Ibrahim Atan and Cynthia Teo have been living in this executive maisonette for most of their family life. After decades, their home became an accumulation of household clutter – with an incoherent, jumbled look that resulted from a series of ad hoc renovations done over the years. With their three children now teenagers, the couple decided it was time for an overhaul of the home so that it would accommodate the needs of the family and its individual members. They roped in architectural practice A Solid Plan.
On the starting point of their design for the home, the designers say: “Cynthia and Ibrahim prefer a simple, modern, and minimalist home. They wanted all their storage to be out of sight; a ‘clean’ and spacious looking apartment design.” An additional requirement was that it had to accommodate extended family members who visit regularly on weekends.
The main aim, therefore, was to expand the common spaces to accommodate both the household and their extended family when they get together. Although spacious, the maisonette had a staircase and double-storey voids that the designers found to be restrictive, in that these features divided the apartment into smaller pockets of space. Looking for opportunities in the plan, they found that the central length on the first level carried the potential for a design feature. The designers share: “Our design strategy was to push all the programmatic requirements to the perimeter of the apartment, freeing up the central area to house a nine-metre counter-table. We envisioned this as the social centrepiece of the home – a dining table, a kitchen counter, a breakfast table; all integrated into one design element.”
The family considers this long table to be the most special feature in their new home. It serves beautifully as a gathering point when they have company over — it being a kitchen and dining space is especially important as the couple are great cooks who enjoy getting together with friends and family.
On the day-to-day, this design feature and the surrounding space is quietly stylish. Natural light is invited and filtered into the living space through glass louvred windows and blinds – because it is almost wall-less, the entire living area is brightened as a result. The family shares: “We have breakfast at the side of the island counter near the louvred windows. It gives a full view of the living, dining and kitchen areas, and the natural light that filters through the glass louvres brings a sense of calm amid the activities happening in the areas.”
The designers also took care in integrating details that help to enhance the family’s daily life. These include hiding storage, plumbing and electrical services. They share: “To conceal these services, the carpentry had to be carefully detailed – even how the airflow vents of the air-con are designed plays an important part in the aesthetic detailing of the built-in carpentry.” Another interesting detail is the introduction of arches and curvatures in the table structure that soften and nicely round off the minimalist edge of the overall design.
A Solid Plan
This article first appeared in Lookbox Living magazine issue 54. For this and more stories, grab a copy at your favourite newsstand today!
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