This contemporary semi-detached house features an open, airy feel and seamless indoor-outdoor connections, while being kid-friendly at the same time.
13 October 2017
Home Type: Semi-detached house
Text by Olha Romaniuk
Photography by Ong Eu Ho Fabian
The House with Pianos, designed by RT+Q, was designed for a couple with three young kids, and the family’s four treasured pianos. The idea was to have a comfortable, safe and accommodating home for the growing family, where the children could play freely both indoors and out.
With the couple not wanting too much furniture to clutter the house, materials and volumes of space have instead taken centre stage.
The first storey floor plan became an open, expansive space, maximising the use of the wide site, with the living, dining and dry kitchen areas merging seamlessly into each other, both visually and through the use of fair faced concrete and homogenous tiles.
On the second floor, the design team used fair faced brick cladding to emphasise the double height family room, immediately highlighting the glass bridge, glass lift shaft and walkways connecting the bedrooms above.
Using warmer materials like brick cladding and timber for floor surfaces on the upper levels, while confining the hardier, cooler materials mostly to the first level, the design team created a subtle distinction between the public and private areas, while retaining the visual linkages across the floors and connecting the spaces and the family as one.
“The spaces in the house are generally kid-friendly,” says project lead Virly Martadinata. “On the first floor, big sliding glass doors open up to the pool deck that leads to the front garden, so the children are able to play both indoors and outdoors without going through the main entrance. On the second level, there is a double volume family area, where the parents can look over their kids from the walkway outside of their master bedroom, or check in on them through a one-way mirror in their walk-in wardrobe.”
The semi-detached House with Pianos and its unusually wide plot posed a couple of challenges to the design team, including the task of getting the natural light and ventilation into the internal areas along the party wall. To minimise the dark spaces, the team shifted the building form’s main volumes that were initially stacked one atop the other to allow for vertical and horizontal openings and penetrations within the volumes to bring in light and air.
This design move also allowed for an integration of multiple courtyards and outdoor decks on the upper floors of the house, facilitating ventilation and adding bit of greenery into the living spaces, with additional punctures in the slanted roof bringing washes of light into the rooms below.
More information about RT+Q here.
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