Lucky Shophouse offers a unique, delightful experience that contributes to a sense of place and history while meeting the needs of a modern lifestyle.
In the refurbishment of the shophouse from a book shop to a private residence, traces of the original shop were retained to reveal and preserve the existing structure, finishes and detailing. Simple insertions reinvent the shophouse typology, in which services are clustered in the middle for basic residential needs. Skylights in the bathroom bring warmth and daylight to darkened interiors.
In the long, narrow and vacated land behind the shophouse, a surprising new annexe – consisting of a series of boxes – containing a study and additional living spaces complements the main residence, creating a seamless flow of space between the exterior gardens. The healthy respect between the creative designer and enlightened client created an exceptional piece of work.
The Jury commends the imaginative design, as well as the sensitivity and finesse demonstrated in the integration and preservation of the old and new. What results is a rich and beautiful re- interpretation of shophouse living.
WEE CHING IAN
VIVAKI EXCHANGE CHINA
A truly restorative project that stripped a conservation shophouse along Joo Chiat Place, built in the 1920s, of any decorative cosmetics. The focus was on revealing all authentic detailings, in celebration of its original heritage and seamless integration with today’s modern lifestyle.
A small garden connects the original two- storey shophouse situated at the front, to a contemporary single-storey structure erected at the rear.
Reconstruction and new material were avoided as much as possible, whilst a lot more effort was spent on preserving the original structure, material, paint and other unique features of this shophouse. This space has been simplified to become essentially a one bedroom house, to cater for our changing needs and lifestyles. On the ground level, there is a linear progression of communal spaces comprising the living, kitchen and dining spaces, and extends to include the central garden space.
Beyond the garden, is the single-storey extension that is contemporary, that compliments and pays tribute to the front old shophouse. The decision to go low dense allows the existing greenery that spills over from the neighbour to be kept, and offers a new but cordial setting with the shophouse and the surrounding neighbourhood. this is a significant and pleasing transformation from what it was: an empty concrete land.
This house extension, being one-room wide and interestingly staggered between rooms, enjoys the optimal benefits in terms of day lighting, natural ventilation, access to the greenery and flexi-space usage. It is a delightful experience staying in these rooms. Living with nature, we wake up to the calls of birds and the fragrance of the morning dew, and retire to the sounds of crickets and beaming moonlight.