Architectural firm A-D Lab designed the 6997sqft Andrew Road house – built on a sloping landscape – as a place of refuge for the homeowner and his parents. Located in the Caldecott region of central Singapore, where the land undulates with street levels one floor higher then the homes, Andrew House has taken advantage of this “sunken” scheme by not only presenting the first floor plan, one level down, but also the private courtyard and its pool. Creating the home with two 3-storey sections at either end and topping the social zone with a green roof, the home appears more moderate in size to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Each home along the street is entered via the second storey and Andrew Road House is no exception. The driveway leads up to the front entry with covered parking on one side and a covered walkway on the other. The covered sections create a dynamic geometric display with their white surrounds and dark wood undersides broken by the long linear lights in the carport section, and round pots in the walkway section. A vertical grate below the covered walkway offers a peak to the courtyard below.
The covered walkway is even more dramatic from the garden side as it is from the driveway. Covered in a green roof, the vertical section presents a saturated green turf on its angled vertical section and a series of low growing shrubs on the horizontal incline. The two angles present an image of folding the earth up that plays with the other angles used throughout the architectural layers of the building.
Continuing along the garden – or green roof – a flight of stairs leads down to the social zone below. Low shrubs define the drop off to the courtyard below and a tempered glass rail system provides safety from falling while at the same time acts as a sculptural feature to the landscaping.
From a distance, the landscaping appears to continue on through the void created by the courtyard below while the raised section of turf minimizes the height of the 3rd storey. A secondary entrance opens to a stairwell that leads down to the social volume below.
While access to the social volume can be reached through the entry on the far side of the building, as well as through the green roof stairwell, the main entry is off of the carport. A pair of solid French doors opens to a vista of white with views through glazings to the both the garden and the pool below. Stairs on either side lead to the first floor while an angled wall continues the upward slope, playing with the home’s geometry. Adding to the geometry is the rectangular cube protruding from the angle, offering a place to sit.
The stairs lead down to a light, bright, contemporary social zone that boasts a geometric format punctuated with bold moments within the large scaled globular light pendants, the vista out to the lifted green roof and the multitude of angles presented within the glazings and walls.
Its hard to believe this level is below grade. Natural light floods into the space via the 2nd floor glazings and the walls of glass surrounding the large central courtyard. While locating the social zone on a sunken level offers privacy and intimacy from the neighbouring houses, it also shields the homeowner from the noise of a nearby highway.
The effect of the sunken first floor is one of seclusion, and while the garden may be one level up, the distant trees and the spilling of the shrubbery over the courtyard perimeter brings the lush surroundings close at hand. The choice of the architect to also bring statement trees into the courtyard via built in planters adds a layer of perspective to the greenery that has a resort feel to it.
A-D Lab also chose to bring in a vertical green wall to play up the geometry of the landscaping and the effect is quite stunning next to the brilliant blues of the mosaics within the pool.
Located to take advantage of the poolside views, the dining room opens wide to the courtyard. Positioned below the green roof and next to the green roof stairwell, it can be accessed from every direction.
The dining area is kept clean and simple, allowing the architecture and the pool to take centre stage. The marble slabs on the walls create a sand rippled backdrop to the saturated tones of the blue mosaics in the pool.
Behind the dining area is the kitchen. Wrapped in either the large slabs of marble, or black glass and boasting a jet black slab on the counter with brass lights above, the kitchen is a little more glam then the rest of the home but wow, the jet black and brass moments are stunning.
The stairwell from the roof garden leads down just past the dining area into a family room. Here, large day beds create a comfortable place to relax and unwind while enjoying the views of the courtyard.
As luxurious as the social zones are, the private zones are just as spectacular. Here in the ensuite a pair of pedestal sinks are more sculpture then fixture, and this holds true for the faucets. While one faucet curves over from the pedestal to a vessel sink, the other pedestal is the sink and the faucet is suspended from the ceiling. Even the mirror is suspended from the ceiling in an artistic statement.
The collection of white porcelain shapes highlighted by the chrome faucets and suspensions plays with spatial perception while at the same time creating the same sense of verticality previously seen in the roof garden and foyer. A-D Lab are true artists when it comes to a buildings geometry.
Corridors and stairs wrap around the home, focusing the view from all the rooms, – with the exception of the media room, the bedrooms and bathrooms – towards the central courtyard, presenting a private and serene oasis. The pool cools the courtyard while at the same time the large void floods the lower level with natural light.
The garden level features a large void to the courtyard below, the owners office on one end and the “parents” bedroom on the far end. Since the homeowner’s parents live in the home, a network of hidden and detached corridors creates flexibility of movement, while the location of the Master Suite above, keeps the homeowner close at hand while offering complete privacy at the same time.
The third level is the location of the Master Suite and features a large walk in closet, the stunning ensuite and gorgeous views of the nation’s most popular nature reserve, MacRitchie Reservoir in the distance.
Photography by Derek Swalwell