[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]his tropical home dubbed “Jalan Merlimau” in Singapore offers a distinctive solution to a constrained site that is practical, efficient, and fairly simple. Designed by Aamer architects, the 3 bedroom home makes good use of passive solar design principles with large fenestration, deep overhangs, a green roof and even a rooftop swimming pool, all of which are planned around a central courtyard.
[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]ne of the main design challenges for this house was the rather tight triangular site. The entrance and façade from the street was very narrow, giving the house little presence. The layout, orientation and even the form and massing of the house attempt to negate these site constraints. This formulates the overall design direction.
The L-configuration of the plans lends itself to the best possible engagement to site conditions, climate and vistas. The house opens up at the eastern façade, fronted by a central garden and landscape pond. Main spaces are orientated around this garden. The landscape pond extends from this garden to an intimate courtyard across to the other side of the double-volume living space. This courtyard demarcates the semi-private domain of the house. The west elevation assumes the rear of the house.
Punctuating spaces with lush greenery even at the rooftop becomes an intuitive design strategy that enhances the tropicality of the house, providing a ‘green frame’ to the vistas, screening the unpleasant and reducing the tightness of site.
The lap pool is strategically placed at the rooftop, where the best views are. This not only frees up the ground floor for more garden space but also provides passive cooling and insulation for the spaces below.
Perhaps the most prominent feature of the house is the dramatic front roof that slants from the attic to the car porch, giving the house the presence it needs from the narrow entrance and street.