The Y House by ONG&ONG in Singapore nestles into a narrow lot with a two-storey retaining wall at the back. The concrete retaining wall continues into the home as privacy walls that shelter the large expanses of glass on the back of the home. Juxtaposed against the texture of the raw concrete and transparent walls of glass is a gabled roof for a traditional reference to an otherwise minimalist and contemporary residence. The first floor of this residence houses an open concept kitchen, dining, study and service quarters. The 2nd level is where the living space and children’s rooms are and the 3rd level is the Master suite.
The front facade of the home is much more private and conservative in its design aesthetic. Here, a concrete pad leads up to the concrete planter that runs the width of the home on both sides of the entry stairs. The stairs are also concrete . A large overhanging roofline shelters and lights up the yard. up lighting within the greenery offers extra mood lighting.
The entry is a study of complimentary geometric and organic shapes. Linear lines along the patio roof are accentuated by fluorescent tubes, The up lighting in the planters tie the geometry of the roof ceiling to the organic greenery in the planter. The concrete steps repeat the lines of the ceiling and the rectangular window cut out repeats the planter shape. Tall, thin trees line the edge of the property to continue nature’s forms while at the same time offering privacy from the neighbors a few feet away.
The window facing out to the street belongs to the home study. The concrete walls are left exposed as a design feature and the dark wood shelving system compliment the concrete for a warm and inviting atmosphere. A simple cantilevered desk top, contemporary office char and bench are the only furnishings.
Further into the main level of the home, the rich wood tones continue on the bank of floor to ceiling pantry cabinets in the kitchen area as well as the base to the dining table and back of the kitchen island. The dark wood is offset by white kitchen cabinets, counter top and dining table top as well as the soft grey molded plastic Eames style dining chairs. A long contemporary fluorescent light fixture is suspended over the bar and a simple white fan light over the dining table helps with airflow.
The dining and kitchen area open up to the back yard with the help of completely stackable sliding glass panels. The back yard is shallow as it is cut into a hillside and concrete retaining walls create a stepped landscaped platform.
A flight of stairs leads up from the office, dining, kitchen level to the living area on the 2nd floor. The stairwell is narrow so handrails are inset into the wall keeping the complete width of the stairs free and clear. The first flight of stairs is clad in marble and the 2nd flight that leads to the 3rd level are made of sculptural steel.
The change of material from marble to open tread cantilevered steel allows a view line to the living space to be available and keeps the small landing from feeling small and crowded.
The living area is also connected to the outdoors via the use of glass panels. But here, the panels quadrafold out of the way rather then stacking as in the in the lower level. Large sectionals offer cozy places for the family to hang out both inside and on the deck. The concrete retaining wall at the end of the deck is balanced by the same treatment being used on the interior and privacy walls.
The indoor sectional faces a wall of contemporary cabinetry that wraps around the large screen TV. With a combination of open and closed shelving and a bank of drawers along the bottom, there is a place for everything from games to mementos.
The seating arrangement on the deck has an uninterrupted view line to the TV.
The media wall acts as a divider from the living space to the children’s bedrooms
The two bedrooms both have a work and play station with a flight of stairs up to their sleeping lofts.
The stairs are steep to conserve space and below the loft is the closet and washroom areas.
Under the stairs is place to store toys and books.
The stairs that lead up to the Master Suite are also steel. These stairs cantilever out of the wall in pairs for a free floating sculptural effect. The inset handrail adds another layer to the art form and lights inset into the handrail area and into the wall every second step adds an additional layer of safety.
The master suite takes up the complete attic level of the home. Large and spacious a king sized bed still leaves plenty of room for seating and storage. Long runs of fluorescent tubes run the length of the room and a fan helps circulate the air.
The Master Suite contains a large walk in closet complete with a center console. A skylight keeps the room lit by day and inset fluorescent tubing lights up the space at night.
The ensuite vanity is covered in a black marble with intricate white veining and the wide plank flooring keeps to a light greyed tone. The double vessel sinks leave just enough space for a towel between them and the faucets are mounted on opposite ends for a symmetrical appearance. At the end of the room the walk in shower is clad in white marble and has both a ceiling rain shower as well as a hand held shower.
The wall opposite the vanity is incorporates floor to ceiling storage.
The Master Suite comes complete with its own private terrace. The tempered glass panels on the rail system allow for an uninterrupted view of the hillside.
The terrace overlooks the deck off of the living space below.
From this vantage point the steep flight of stairs that leads from the deck to the hillside beyond is visible.
The concrete privacy screens that are an extension of the home keep the Master Suite and the living area private from the neighbors. Especially in the evening when all the lights are on.
The neighbor properties do not extend into the hillside and are therefore completely removed from the backyard site line.
Only from the front of the house are you aware how close you are to your neighbors.