Grotto House, Singapore

Designed by: Alan Tay
For client: Ignatius Mark Floor area: 514.60 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: House of the Year

Public Score
7.18 Function
7.00 Innovation
7.05 Creativity
© Fabian Ong

View of the house from the street.

About the Project

Located beside a bustling highway, the house sits on 5000 sq ft of land. Built for an Otolaryngologist and his family of ten that cherishes quietness and privacy, the house is a fortified mass of concrete that cocoons the interior from the bustle of the highway.

The massing is divided into three strips that programmatically delineates the house. The main entrance leads to the main living space in the basement where a sunken courtyard brings light into the double volume space. Ascending the ground floor, the dining overlooks the pool, while a thin strip of glass illuminates the otherwise solid south façade wall, creating the illusion of a floating mass. The living spaces are organised around an atrium that is illuminated by diffused daylight filtering through the planted courtyard in the attic.

Within the house, experience of the outdoors and the different enclosed spaces are layered and framed. With every turn, a new space is discovered. Within the generously connected communal spaces, individual members can find their own private and comfortable enclaves.

A palette of rough, board-formed concrete, marine plywood, galvanised steel and brass permeates the house.

What’s unique about it

The design managed to weave in a tapestry of rich spatial experiences within a compact plan that meets the needs of the Asian multi-generational family. It seeks to embrace communal living while creating private, contemplative moments that is precious to the individuals.

Materiality that contribute to the ambience of the house was determined and crafted to capture the passage of Time. It is a house that seek to embrace life and all its traces as it age. Beauty lies in the stories within. This is significant in the context of rapidly developing Asian cities that often too consumed in the culture of Newness.

© Fabian Ong

In section, the house is divided into three strips that programmatically structures the living space

© Fabian Ong

Main entrance ablution space at the basement.

© Fabian Ong

A sunken courtyard brings light to the double volume main living space in the basement.

© Fabian Ong

Pool on ground level.

© Fabian Ong

In generously connected living spaces, members find their own private and comfortable enclaves.

© Fabian Ong

Attic courtyard and skylight that brings light to the rest of the spaces in the house.

© Fabian Ong

A high degree of detail customisation is observed in the house.

© Fabian Ong

Landscape is extended into the house as an interior palette in the Master Bath.

© Fabian Ong

Materiality that contribute to the ambience is deliberately crafted to capture the passage of time.

Location of project:
Formwerkz Architects

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