38 Holland ParkResidential
2008 / Singapore / Vitrone Holdings
A clearing in the forest. An assembly of floating boxes, in dialogue with one another. Between them runs a network of passages – indoors, elevated and sunken, sunny and shadowy – from which to enjoy the ever-changing dialogue of the forms. A conference, a tête-à-tête, a drinking party.
Commissioned as one of the six villas in what is the first experimental housing enclave locally, 38 Holland Park questions the concept of the house, traditionally constructed as a monolithic edifice. Seen as an animated grouping of smaller, discrete forms, rooms are no longer simply rooms, but instead manifested as miniature houses with spatial qualities unique to each individual – houses within a house. These are arranged around a central courtyard, which acts as a breathing space amidst the multiple layers of the house.
The public realm, consisting of living, dining and communal guest spaces on the ground floor is kept transparent, to form a vista from the entrance, through the courtyard, and out onto the green shared by the six houses. The private realm is elevated above the ground plane and deliberately separated from the public areas by various circulatory ordering devices: a staircase wrapping around one of the bedrooms, a ramp dividing the master bedroom and the living room roof deck.
As one progress through the house, one’s sense of what is exterior and what is interior is constantly blurred as one passes through rooms, spaces and corridors of varying degrees of shelter and enclosure.