Centennial Tree House / Wallflower Architecture + Design

Centennial tree house / wallflower architecture + design
© Albert Lim

Project Details:
Location: East Coast, Singapore
Type: ResidentialHouses
Site Area: 781 m2
GFA: 796 m2
Architects: Wallflower Architecture + Design
Design Team: Robin Tan, Cecil Chee, Sean Zheng, Shirley Tan & Eileen Kok & Roslindah
Photographs: Albert Lim

The owner wanted external blank walls. Then talk continued to fixed screens. Centre courtyard for light and air. These summed up for them, the tangible facets of an ideal home, a protective enclosure of solitude.

Centennial tree house / wallflower architecture + design
© Albert Lim

Introversion has a negative connotation in a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else. But what is withdrawal to some is energizing for those who thrive on self-reflection and contemplation; life is found within.

Centennial tree house / wallflower architecture + design
© Albert Lim

That fortitude and strength is visually given expression by a hundred year old frangipani tree literally found within, centred in a large grassed courtyard surrounded with water. The tree was given a new lease of life having been rescued from a Holland Road site slated for new development.

Centennial tree house / wallflower architecture + design
© Albert Lim

True to the owners’ requirements, the facade is entirely sealed off in most areas, and veiled by fixed timber screening in others. The purity of intention to internalise results in a purity of architectural elevation on three sides; there is no yard, opening, back of house, but a pebbled path between a rhythmic timber screen and a lush wall of polyalthias.

Centennial tree house / wallflower architecture + design
© Albert Lim

Visually, the aesthetics exclude both physically and psychologically, but the timber screens along the periphery of the 1st storey allow breezes to comb through, refreshing the sheltered corridors and living spaces. The central court encourages this, acting as both a light and air well. Throughout the day as the environment changes, the breezes shift, the house breathes. The only area where the timber screens can be opened is between the second storey master bedroom and the court. Motors silently fold the screens away, linking the court to the bedroom.

Centennial tree house / wallflower architecture + design
© Albert Lim

The central air and light well is key to the experience and enjoyment of the house through the day as the light shifts, different walls, passages, are literally seen in a different light, or shade or shadow. The centennial tree awakes, basks, and rests; and the surrounding spaces share that experience. The aesthetic encounter is intensified perhaps because there are no distractions from the world outside; Even the world outside is acquired as the sky above is framed by the court and forms part of the spatial composition. The elemental reduction of sky above, water surrounding an island of grass below, all axially centred by the stolid tree distils for the owners what life can and should be; a re-focus on the basics being pure, simple, and celebrated.

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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