1,604 sqft ︱Walk-up Duplex Apartment
Set in a walk-up duplex apartment located in the East, Sculpted Tranquility reflects a thoughtful take on minimalism, achieving a nuanced balance of richness and warmth. Through a mediation between intuitive and intentional planning, the home organically absorbed the distinctive qualities of its ornamentation and styling. The deliberate interplay of texture, scale, and forms within the neutral canvas generates a captivating friction, offering an alluring sensory experience that harmonizes with a pervasive sense of calm.
Q: Who are the clients, their lifestyle, and the brief they shared?
Cher: Our clients are a pair of young professionals seamlessly blending work and leisure within their living space. The couple finds joy in celebrating major holidays with cooking, baking, and redecorating, often hosting large gatherings. Their passion for travel extends to collecting personal treasures for their home from various destinations.
Q: What was the design proposition?
Cher: Inspired by our previous project, Clarice in Paris, the clients were drawn to the allure of the striking Calacatta marble and the warmth of herringbone oak flooring. Initially inclined towards a cooler palette, they embraced a warmer colour scheme, entrusting us with complete creative authority over the intricate details for a harmonious and personalized interior. In response to the homeowners' lifestyle and brief, the interior palette features neutral tones with quiet warmth, clean lines juxtaposing well-defined textures, patterns, and sculptural silhouettes, including collected artworks and objects with subtly referencing nature through colour and form.
Q: Were there massive changes to the original layout?
Cher: The interior design underwent a substantial transformation, particularly on the first level, where a thoughtfully integrated supplementary open kitchen has emerged. This culinary haven boasts a fully functional sink, hob, and oven, augmenting the existing facilities in the enclosed kitchen. The seamless fusion of this secondary kitchen with an island and dining area caters specifically to the needs of homeowners who revel in frequent baking and hosting, striking a harmonious balance between practicality and aesthetic appeal.
Ascending to the second level, the transformation continued as two bedrooms underwent a strategic reconfiguration to birth a unified private space with well-defined zones. One area is artfully designated for restful repose, while the other has been transformed into an expansively proportioned study room. The once-overlooked space at the original second-level stair landing has been ingeniously repurposed, contributing to the enhanced overall efficiency of the entire space.In pursuit of a sleek and modern aesthetic, the entrance to this private haven has been refined to a single access point. A minimalist flush fitting door, seamlessly incorporated into the design, adds a touch of contemporary elegance.
Q: What are some of the key materials selected for the space?
Cher: Relying on smooth plastered walls in a solid paint colour instead of textured finishes, the space accentuates the richness and warmth of materials, including heavily-veined Calcatta Viola marble, dark walnut joinery, and warm oak flooring. This 'blank' canvas seamlessly integrates diverse decor and artistic elements, fostering a captivating interplay of textures and forms, aligning effortlessly with an overarching sense of tranquillity.
Q: What are feature highlights you are particularly proud of?
Cher: The standout design element is experienced during the ascent from level one to two. Opting for an economical solution, we refrained from replacing the staircase railing. Instead, we enveloped the original steel rails in hand-moulded concrete. This process introduces sculptural curves, addressing practical concerns and contributing a distinctive visual dimension to the design. The Tense pendant light by New Works, resembling a floating cloud, was carefully chosen for its ability to create a soft and ethereal atmosphere in this double-volume space.
The second-level stair landing was downsized to enable more space within the private room. Now it functions as both a practical passageway and an artful display area reminiscent of a quiet museum with unexpected corners.
Within this curated space, a minimalistic pedestal takes centre stage, showcasing a patina-rich clay vase. An abstract painting in saturated browns hangs above, expertly contrasting and harmonizing with the vase in a lighter shade of greyish-brown. This intentional arrangement demonstrates a nuanced understanding of composition, contributing to the overall aesthetic harmony of the interior.
In other countries, stunning staircases and passageways in spacious homes are common. In contrast to apartments in Singapore, with their compact dimensions, might be perceived as overlooked. Embracing this constraint, our goal was to elevate the utilitarian journey from level one to two into a more experiential venture, irrespective of space limitations.
Towards the final stages of the renovation, I was driven by intuition to add a clear glass panel that allows glimpses of the staircase from the private room and vice versa. While reviewing a photo I had taken during the initial stages, capturing the staircase before the wall at level two was constructed, I realized that not everyone present during the work-in-progress would have the opportunity to witness such a unique and beautiful perspective. Hence, I was eager to share this rare viewpoint with the homeowners.