Dalkeith Road RESIDENCE

Size:      approx. 4,500 sqft
Status: In progress

Our clients purchased this existing 2 storey plus attic detached house and requested for us to doing localized changes. The existing house has a small central "water courtyard" that divides the house into the front and back sections, connected by a bridge. The problem the resulting segmented spaces feel small and closed-up for such a big detached house. The house is already long and thin and there is already sufficient light coming in from the sides, without the need for a "courtyard" to provide light and ventilation.  Our intervention seeks to absorb the "lost" courtyard spaces back into the interiors and to merge the front and back segments to create a large open spaces. On the ground floor, the living and dining rooms become a large space. On the 2nd storey, the master bedroom becomes bigger. On the attic floor, the concrete roof area becomes an extension of the attic room.

Another design intention is to break down the boundaries between interiors and exteriors. This is achieved by extending the landscape elements into the house and by allowing the building glazing to slide away. On the ground floor, full height glass doors pack away so that an indoor seating area feels like an outdoor verandah. In the master bedroom, we added a private courtyard overlooking the pool, and a semi-outdoor bathtub area. We introduced a balcony on the western façade, which is sheltered by a layer of screens, to shield the master bedroom from the hot western sun. We tore down all the dividing walls between the bedroom and the bathroom, and extended the bathroom and wardrobe space to create a singular bedroom/study/bathroom/walk-in-wardrobe space and making the bedroom feel much more open, luxurious and spacious. Full-height glass doors provide the necessary divisions required. The attic area is also converted into an entertainment room and the concrete roof area outside the attic space is lawned over to create an outdoor breakout space. The lawn conceptually "extends" into the entertainment room as a carpeted floor. Large steps lead up to a new roof pavilion providing a comfortable social space which has great views, especially since the site is on high ground and overlooks its neighbours. Even the outdoor sky conceptually "extends" into the attic room, with ablack ceiling infused with fibre-optic lights, akin to a starry sky.

This house has an identical neighbor, having been developed together as a pair. Our clients intentionally wanted to differentiate themselves from the neighboring house. Our changes to the building façade, while serving this request, are also highly functional. The introduction of a balcony which is screened by brass-coloured metal louvres serves to shade the master bedroom and create a heat buffer semi-outdoor space. The existing car porch roof is also enlarged and this creates more shelter for the client's4 cars. The underside of the car porch is covered with brass sheets perforated with holes that would illuminate by night, creating a dazzling starlight effect.

The interior furniture and fit-out reflects the character of our clients. We position their quirky and colourful objects with a more classic backdrop of stone, wood, metal and glass finishes. Light-coloured finishes are used to allow the interior space to feel light and airy.




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