Merryn Road 42
Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) Architectural Design Award 2004.
Consisting of a pair of detached houses of similar design, this development sits on what was previously an old bungalow plot. The clients, a young couple with two boys, wanted to subdivide the plot to develop two detached houses, one to live in and the other for rent. As the boys love to swim and the couple entertains frequently, they requested for a house design with gardens and, if possible, a swimming pool.
Aamer noted that “the challenge was to provide every room with an adjacent garden or outdoor space. Since the land is rather small and long, the solution was to create extra “land” by stacking the gardens or outdoor spaces vertically.” In the parti sketch, Aamer devised the design strategy of dividing the plot lengthwise into two parallel zones – a house zone and a garden zone.
Bounded on one side by a stone-cladded wall with strategically punctuated openings, the garden zone consists of a pool, two courtyards, two roof gardens, a timber deck terrace, a “garden bathroom” and a few planter boxes. These spaces correspond directly to the rooms in the house zone, such that the each room either opens or looks into a green space in the garden zone.
This development won a SIA Design Award in 2004. John Ting, the SIA president then, singled out this house design for praise. He noted:
“Though the planning and architectural language is very modern, the approach for the house design is rigorously tropical. The author has taken one step beyond stylistic ‘dressing up’ or employing environmental filters such as sunshade and louvers that is fast becoming a vernacular or perhaps cliché of our times.”
This is a pioneering project for Aamer Architects in Singapore, in that it marks the first in a series of an innovative architecture and design approach at the parti sketch level of integrating lush landscaping and luxuriant nature into a house in a fairly densely built-up environment.