In some places, a drafty house is a problem. In others, a few holes are actually a benefit. This house in Singapore shows how a porous facade can dissolve the barriers between indoor and outdoor living while helping control the region’s notoriously balmy climate.
Gwen Tan, a principal architect at the local firm Formwerkz, designed the house for her family with nature in mind. It starts with the facade, where metal louvers allow light and air to filter directly into the house, but keep the rain out. And it continues on the interior, where a tall, spindly tree rises upward towards the atrium’s ceiling.
The airy home sits on a long and narrow plot of land, which gives it the feel of a modern railroad house. Tan stretched its length by designing stairs and platforms that create little spaces for privacy.
On one of the levels, Tan designed a wading pool that flows both indoors and outdoors. A round portal hole lets swimmers look down onto the living room, which is pretty much as cool as it sounds. The pool is a bold design feature, but it has practical use, too. As wind enters the house through the louvered panels, it passes over the water and cools the rest of the house.