Transformer flat for solo and social life

This small resale flat in Pasir Ris has been custom made with nifty features that can slide out or be moved depending on the occasion.

  • Transformer flat for solo and social life

Home Type: 3-room HDB flat

Floor Area: 732sqft

Text by Janice Seow

The pandemic has gotten many of us to reassess the definition of home, and the kinds of domestic spaces we need as we transit into an endemic way of life. If anything, it has brought about more out of the box ideas, and it’s particularly exciting to see designers and homeowners innovating and pushing the boundaries when it comes to HDB living.

solo and social flat Chalk Architects project

This three-room resale flat in Pasir Ris is a perfect case in point. It’s home to a lady who works as an IT consultant, and who is a self-described introvert. “She enjoys alone time and bingeing on television dramas. Occasionally, she has a few friends over for mahjong sessions, and will have her niece stay with her on weekends,” shares designer Charmaine Wong of Chalk Architects, who was tasked by her client to create a home that would adapt easily to solo and social activities.

The original layout had awkward corners, redundant circulation spaces, and divided and restrictive pockets of space. Needless to say, the owner was not a fan of the flat’s original state. “The directive given was to think out of the box and create a design that would allow her to maximise every inch of her new home,” shares Charmaine. “It had to have flexible layouts and various configurations to suit her solo or social mode. Also required were ample storage for a clutter free home, and elements of surprise as talking points when guests visit.”

At the start, non-structural walls and existing doors were removed to achieve an open plan. With some reconfiguration, the corridor was also converted into a usable entertainment/mahjong space.

solo and social flat Chalk Architect project
solo and social flat Chalk Architects project

Top on the client’s wish list for the living area was to have a large television where she could enjoy her programmes, but the existing layout did not have a wall large enough. Charmaine therefore designed a large sliding feature panel capable of holding a 55-inch television. It also doubles as a door to close up the entertainment/mahjong room just beyond, reducing the sounds of late night play sessions travelling to the neighbour.

For ease, the food pantry and fridge is even housed within a customised cabinet, in close proximity to the dining area and sofa instead of tucked away in the wet kitchen, so the owner won’t have to miss any TV action.

solo and social Chalk Architects project
solo and social Chalk architects project

In a small flat where every bit of space counts, the dining table is a transformable piece of furniture that can be stowed away when not in use, giving the owner more room, especially for intimate social gatherings.

The entertainment/mahjong area not only performs a social function, but is a workspace, guest room and buffer zone between the public and private zones. Here and elsewhere in the flat, sliding and bi-fold partition walls allow segregation and a combination of various programmatic spaces, depending on the owner’s requirements.

mahjong entertainment room Chalk Architects project

In the bedroom, the wardrobe features a carefully concealed door leading into the bathroom en suite. A collapsible paper stool from Paper Market (similar to the one in the living area) serves as a bedside table. This home features fewer fixed and fitted pieces and several collapsible designs, which is all part of the strategy to keep the space flexible and adaptable to changing needs.

bedroom Chalk Architects project

Charmaine says that a conventional home design no longer satisfies the requirements of homeowners. “With the long hours confined within a fixed envelope, we see the need to empower homeowners to have greater control to transform their home to suit the various settings – day and night, weekdays versus weekends. A clear distinction between spaces for rest and work also allows them to maintain a balance.”

three-room flat floor plan Chalk Architects project

Chalk Architects

Photography and videography by 0 Studio

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kitchen Chalk Architects project
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