Home Architechture wallflower wraps house in singapore in a bamboo veil of operable screens

wallflower wraps house in singapore in a bamboo veil of operable screens

by Walter I. Pate

the bamboo veil house by wallflower architecture + design is a semi-detached residence in bukit timah, singapore, wrapped in a single continuous bamboo screen that flows around the rounded edges of its façade. responding to the surrounding dense urban environment and tropical climate, the semi-detached house is clad in a double skin façade, with an operable vertically-laid bamboo screen as the outer skin that serves both privacy and solar protection functions. at the same time, the inner skin comprises a series of aluminum-framed glass windows, which allow for natural ventilation in an all-weather condition or can be closed for air-conditioning on hot and humid days.

upon the client’s request, wallflower architecture + design has designed the residence as a minimalist tropical house with a wide social space on the ground floor for family and friends to gather. arranged in the odd-shaped triangular plot, the nuclear family’s spatial requirements have been divided into three floors, with the ground floor kept for dining and entertaining, the second floor dedicated to bedrooms, and a study and family room located on the attic level.

the building is wrapped in a single continuous bamboo ‘cloth’, which acts as a unifying element, creating a soft and organic layer sandwiched between the defined white eaves.‘during a family vacation to tokyo, the owner visited nezu museum by kengo kuma, and was enchanted by the bamboo cladded façade,’ explains wallflower. ‘love at first sight, the texture and color of bamboo left a deep impression and he was determined to clad his new house in bamboo.’ responding to the site with both form and function, the bamboo veil flows around the rounded edges of the exterior, which in turn respond to the street bend, such that when one approaches from the bend, one is greeted by a bamboo veil that acts as both a breathing façade and a privacy screen. the natural color of the bamboo against the white backdrop further accentuates the dominance of the veil.

material-wise, the bamboo is locally sourced, sustainable and eco-friendly, aligning with the owner’s concern for the environment as the screen is an opportunity to cool the house passively and reduce reliance on energy intensive air-conditioning. operable bamboo screens and windows located throughout the second level encourage natural ventilation while framing views to the external landscape. at nighttime, the house emits light, glowing like a delicate bamboo lantern along the street. closely spaced, the screen offers privacy in both day and night, as it can be closed in daytime to filter sunlight or opened for an unobstructed view. at night, the screens are closed for a sense of privacy and intimacy.

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