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  • Design of an Apartment in Singapore

    Project: Interior Design of an Apartment
    Location: Singapore
    Type of Project: Renovation

    Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this thread. I am new to the Forum and this is my first time posting - please excuse any errors.

    The project involves the interior design of an apartment in Singapore. It is done for an Australian / Japanese couple - myself and my wife.

    The base building is less than ten years old and is located in a leafy side road near the central business district.

    The apartment is relatively small - 1000sft - but features floor to ceiling glass windows and a large balcony with a tree and trellis vines. The layout is very functional and efficient. After living in several countries in the last few years, we decided to do some renovation to turn it into a place that we can really call home.

    Floor plans to follow.
    Last edited by DavidG; 08-06-2011, 15:27.

  • #2
    Welcome David G.
    Great to get a new poster straight into a project. Just in case you missed this here's the link; apologies if you have read it.

    I am intrigued by the description of a "very functional and efficient" layout that needs renovation to be able to call it home. What prompts that assessment?
    I realise you're intending interior design only but what is it about 'functional and efficient', that isn't homely.


    • #3
      Apologies for the delay - am in airport lounge, finally figured out how to post a file through their firewall

      Pdf is all I can upload for now .......... will post images when I get back.

      File re-attached as jpeg
      Attached Files
      Last edited by DavidG; 08-06-2011, 15:22.


      • #4
        What is the scope of the makeover? Are you planning to enlarge rooms, knock-off walls

        "..turn into a place that we can call home." - a check on your lifestyles will dictate your homey standard - ....may need to open up (operable walls) to combine rooms ... what's the ceiling height?

        want to share an image from Molteni&co I like ....
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Simon, ArielC,

          Hello and thank you for your replies and suggestions. I am thinking about your questions and will outline my design approach shortly.

          In the meantime, this beautiful piece of calligraphy is by Shiryu Morita ..........

          Attached Files


          • #6
            The Brief

            Before going into the design approach, I thought that I should start by outlining the brief a little more.

            The building is on a small hill near the CBD.

            There is a bit of serious overlooking behind us which is taken care of by locating the access to the apartments on an open corridor to the rear. Except for high level windows to this corridor, the apartments are essentially single aspect.

            The building is set back on the upper levels to form a kind of escarpment.

            The basic layout is very efficient and having lived there for some years previously in its “off the plan” state, we knew it worked well. The apartment is bright, well built, 3 meter ceilings, full height glazing on balcony face – actually not so far off ArielCs’ image.

            Unfortunately it didn’t have enough storage for everything that we brought back with us and was showing signs of wear and tear. We live simply and it was starting to feel very cluttered being surrounded by boxes all the time.

            Our original intention was to do some small repairs and a bit of storage but the design wasn’t delivering to its full potential and so we eventually decided to take the plunge and do a full renovation.

            The brief was very simple;
            • a living area
            • a dining area
            • a kitchen
            • a bedroom
            • a study
            • a guest bathroom
            • a master bathroom
            • some undefined spaces in between

            The intent was to create a space with two senses;
            • a sense of calm
            • a sense of quiet luxury

            The major constraints were;
            • the small size of the apartment (unfortunately not luxurious)
            • budget (unfortunately not luxurious either )
            • no major structural additions / alterations (as the building is occupied and has strict house rules)

            Long post today - no more words for a while – in the next post I am going to start posting up some images to explain the design approach.

            Please let me know if you have any questions ……

            Attached Files
            Last edited by DavidG; 08-06-2011, 15:18.


            • #7
              Can you please put up png's or jpeg's of the pdfs you've posted, and some images soon. Without images and visible floorplans accompanying text, the brief is very difficult to visualise.

              The forum policy is that pdfs are for clarity issue voluntary downloading only, otherwise immediately visible file formats are required for accompanying text.

              If you could edit your previous posts to satisfy the forum rules it'd be good.


              • #8
                Is this what you propose or as existing? If proposed it's pretty efficient!

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  if existing, how far will your alterations be? Im guessing no change to bath and kitchen locations. You may want to move your bedroom closet backwall a bit for more clothe space. Your study entry wall, door might be better in glass. Can share more if you show some dimensions ...


                  • #10
                    This is probably my only suggestion and something I did like from an apartment in Singapore, opening a large slider between the bedroom and living so the whole space can be opened up more.

                    The door could actually be sized to slide back full length of the robeso it doesn't lose the wall space in the bedroom.

                    The other that seems overkill is the inclusion of two bathrooms - if structure allows I'd probably try to capture more robe space as mentioned above with the bathroom having provision for a small laundry cabinet.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Richard; 08-06-2011, 21:18.


                    • #11
                      Again, thank you to everyone for your feedback and suggestions.

                      In answer to your questions;
                      • the plan that I have posted is existing with some hand drawn notes to myself
                      • please note the plumbing stack in the bathroom
                      • I have added some dimensions as per ArielCs' request

                      I will comment about the layout soon. First though, the design approach .................
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by DavidG; 22-06-2011, 13:06.


                      • #12
                        In your design brief you said you wanted to create a space for calm and a space for luxury quiet I believe. If these are to be two distinct spaces I wonder if you might clarify your thinking as to how these two spaces are different? I know personally, I associate quiet with calm and vice versa.

                        Also, thanks for the quick sketchy post of your location within the building and the immediate context. I would like to help with suggestions, but am still trying to get a complete picture of the opportunities we have at our disposal.


                        • #13
                          Allowing a view through the bedroom from the bath would be nice, think about an operable wall...would help with ventilation as well

                          Do you have requirement for the kitchen to be enclosed? I think if the kitchen and study were more open and as Richard suggested the bedroom had a sliding wall you could view the space as a whole, borrowing from the separate functions rather than separating. This would increase the feeling of space significantly...

                          With such a small apartment it becomes critical to prioritise the functional elements, make them work rather than trying to achieve everything and ameliorating all off the elements....


                          • #14

                            Thank you for joining the thread.

                            To restate my brief more clearly - new words in brackets - I want to create a (series of) spaces(s) with two senses;
                            - a sense of calm
                            - a sense of quiet (austere, not ostentatious) luxury

                            Your contribution would be most welcome - let me know what additional information you need and I will see if I can post it up.


                            Thank you too for joining the discussion. I am not sure if "seeing the space as a whole" is the right move for this job (reasoning coming later) but I do agree with you wholeheartedly about the need to be selective about which ideas are pursued.

                            Last edited by DavidG; 05-07-2011, 13:24.


                            • #15
                              Design Approach

                              To me the best projects are the ones where “form follows idea” ie the aesthetic generated is the physical expression of a powerful idea about what that building does or wants to be.

                              For example, Jorn Utzons' experience of cloudscape in Hawaii generates the impulse for Bagsvaerd church to say “thank you for the light”.

                              The reason I have so far avoided all discussion about future plans, what it should look like, feel like etc. is that I am trying to get past the aesthetic short circuits and unearth the central idea.

                              I have been thinking about this project for some time now and have discarded a number of design approaches. The only idea that has stayed with me and fulfills my intention to create a space with a sense of calm and of quiet luxury is a “landscape approach”.

                              Please allow me to explain in the next post.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by DavidG; 25-06-2011, 05:19.