Selected architects integrate the best of both worlds—every shophouse has a similar, carefully-conserved façade, but each door opens up into an intriguingly different spatial experience, with each shophouse having their own uniquely designed stand-out features. Considerable design freedom was accorded to the invited local architects, allowing them to explore the potential of each shophouse, breaking away from the standard design duplication present in most residential developments, refreshing notions of shophouse-living. The curatorial approach taken to the development project allows tenants and residents to have their cake and eat it too. Enjoying both the harmonious beauty of the collective exteriors. As well as the individualistic characterizations of interior worlds they can be proud to call home. Let’s discover the shophouses features in Singapore.
1.Shophouses Features: ATRIA ARCHITECTS
This shophouse is a relaxing, bohemian respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. The preserved façade features original, coloured window panes. Stepping in, the ground floor has a wide wall expanse to accommodate the hanging of artwork. With a sheltered terrace in the rear for al fresco dining and some peace and quiet.
A small pond tucked under the stairs, whilst a skylight lets in daylight in abundance. Both onto the central staircase shaft and into surrounding rooms with rustic, exposed brick walls and old timber floors. A quiet terrace in the master bedroom faces a greenfield. It is ideal for reading your papers leisurely on a Sunday morning. Or, enjoying the sunset with an evening drink in hand.
2.LIU & WO ARCHITECTS
Shophouses Features: A play on lightness/transparency and a motif of connectedness permeate this shophouse. The historically-rich façade has been carefully preserved, as have been the old timber floorboards. Supplemented where necessary with beautiful, authentic timber from kelongs.
The ground floor of the house centred around a pond. In conjunction with a reintroduced central air well which allows natural airflow. And, it connects occupants with the environment as it ‘rains in the living room’. Care is taking to ensure that the rainwater contained within the pool, with the rest of the space remaining dry. Surrounding wooden decking invites alfresco dining and pool parties, within the comfort of one’s own living space.
The main staircase—hung on steel rods, made of perforated metal—preserves lightness. As one is able to see through it down to the pool. A small terrace links the front and rear of the house on the second level. Ensuring flexibility and privacy for both shared tenancy or an entire family. This airy verandah overlooks the pool, and adjacent planters maximized to introduce lush foliage into the void. The one where natural rainfall passes through into the pool below.
3.Shophouses Features: HYLA ARCHITECTS
This shophouse is a Zen-Esque oasis where clean lines meet a muted palette of whites and greys. Care has been taken to preserve the old timber floorboards, joists, and peephole. Centred around a 4-storey light well overlaid by a glass and steel trellis. This shophouse enjoys much natural light and ventilation. Occupants are able to look up at a large piece of the sky, whilst fully-sheltered and protected from the elements.
A large pond, which spans almost the full width of the shophouse, also reflects the sky as seen through the glass trellis overhead. With the benefit of full sunlight. There is much potential here to create a lush floating landscape with aquatic plants such as water lilies. An island kitchen divides the living room and dining room. The latter sited next to the pond, where diners can enjoy contemplative views of the water. Making for an ideal entertainment space.
An elegant study in juxtaposition also presented: a suspended, angular steel spiral staircase hovers over the kitchen. Contrasting with the heavy, sensual curves of the red dragon-esque steel spiral staircase above the pond. In the void of the light well. A large, open roof terrace lies in wait at the top of the sculptural spiral stairs. The perfect setting for residents to install a luxurious, standalone jacuzzi. Or simply, to take in the surrounding rooftop views awash in the sunset.
Shophouses Features: This shophouse is an exercise in careful sculpting of space from massing, where modern sophistication meets the preservation of tradition. Old timber boards, joists, and the peephole have been preserved. The conservation front portion housing the living room swiftly opens up into the dining room. A massive, double-height volume space with an angled feature ceiling. Conceived as a ‘living gallery’, the wide walls of the dining room are suitable for large art pieces. Whilst the tall heights accommodate grand installation pieces. This creates the intimate sensation of dining in an art gallery. The one place in which food and drink have always been strictly forbidden.
The feature stairwell is canyon-like, irregularly shaped, sculptural. Created by large slanted walls, with windows allowing surrounding rooms to look in. It is lit naturally via a large skylight at the top. The entire rear block above the dining space twisted at an angle, and the rooms above hover over this void. Most bedrooms designed with double-height ceilings; all have adequate natural light to feel bright and airy. The introduction of pocket garden spaces throughout the house. It also ensures most rooms have a view of or a peek at some greenery.
A bathroom shower opens up into an unbarred, yet private garden space. As well as a roof terrace with surrounding views all the way to Marina Bay Sands. The simplicity of white finishings abound in this unit, with stylish contemporary details keeping things interesting. Laser-cut patterned screens for the rear windows. Geometrically-patterned dark granite paving for the dining room/gallery.
5.Shophouses Features: THE POOL SHOPHOUSE BY KD ARCHITECTS WITH FARM
This shophouse is an honest, spacious reinvention of the shophouse form, injected with spatial fluidity and airy brightness, which run contrary to the notion of the narrow darkness of the traditional shophouse. The archetypal length on the shophouse visually accentuated by the long, heated lap pool on the ground floor. Replete with deck chairs. Take a morning dip, or do evening laps, in the indulgence of the interior of your own home. A gradual ascent up platform stairs takes one into the dining room. With an emphasis made on the open fluidity of the space, with the pool below.
The dining room-cum-entertainment area and open plan kitchen receive full daylight. And, fresh air from a full wall of windows at the rear. Creating an atmospheric, expansive experience perfect for both leisurely weekend brunches and quick weekday meals. The proximity of the pool and the visual linkage between the living and dining spaces. Allow full-swing poolside parties right in the comfort of one’s own home.
A large skylight in the middle of the unit continues this fixation of light and space. Allowing light down into nooks and crannies. All bedrooms designed to receive adequate natural daylight and ventilation. A series of stairs loop the length of the shophouse on various levels. Facilitating the dialogue between old and new.
Elegant finishings and features abound in this home. A luxurious double-height master bathroom reaches all the way to the jack roof. Allowing light to filter down to the tub. The classy roof terrace is large, with much potential for various interpretations—a lush rooftop garden? Sheltered daybeds? The spacious terrace affords great views. And, it is perfect for barbecue group parties or evening drinks for two under the stars.