House with a ‘flying wall’ gives a family much needed privacy
House with a ‘flying wall’ gives a family much needed privacy. Architecture firm Park + Associates conceives a clever solution to block out unwanted views for the family of this detached house.
Ng Bee Bee Bee and Chong Tze Siong lived in a condominium flat as newlyweds. Later, they relocated to a semi-detached home. They made the decision to construct their own home after having three children—two sons and a daughter. For many years, Ng said, “I attempted to persuade my husband that with the resources we had accumulated over the years, we should build a home rather than split them into several investment units where we are unable to enjoy the rewards of our labor.”
The area where the land was chosen was serene and friendly. It was spacious, lacking direct sunlight, but bright and airy, according to Ng. Still, there were issues. The residence sat on a corner, near to other residential lots, and fronted a school with eight obnoxious exhausts. When Ng contacted the school, they concurred that the HVAC system needed to be updated. Much to Ng’s relief, they put the exhausts back in place and turned them inside. But at first, we weren’t certain the school would agree. We raised this issue with the architecture team. We don’t want to see the unsightly exhausts as we enter the compound,” added Ng.
This is how the “flying wall” idea came to be. It is a wall that extends from the square-shaped house’s second floor and is tilted in design against the entrance. The wall carefully combines transparency and opaqueness to exclude views of the road in front and the school’s unattractive facilities into the interiors.
“The design responded by exploring an intervention that would drastically modify the perception of the strangely shaped plot and its negative spaces, balancing between the client’s need to maximize site coverage and the necessity to retain privacy from the school. According to Christina Thean, director at Park + Associates, this led to the introduction of a single, straightforward gesture where the interior spaces are [skewed] as an attempt to alter the relationship of the house, its spaces, and its surroundings both spatially and visually.
The juxtaposition of the flying wall and the skewed box creates a dialogue between the inside and the outside. The upward perspective frames the sky, while the descending perspective from the higher levels frames balconies on the second and first floors, a pool, and a garden. Thanks to the wall, the family may work out or unwind on the balcony outdoors in peace and quiet.
The design was based on feng shui spatial planning principles and a nine-square grid. The nine sectors that make up this grid each have subsectors with distinct specifications for the kinds of rooms and architectural characteristics. Living areas were structured according to these “sectors,” resulting in a serene environment where interior spaces, water, and landscape seamlessly transition.
There are several places where you may relax and take in the scenery. Even the arrival sequence praises the landscaping. The architecture team imagined a protected route bordered by vegetation that would go from the parking porch to the entrance. The pleasant trajectory also mitigates site levels in a more elegant way than the construction laws’ requirement to raise the first floor in the event of flooding.
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