Sometimes more can, ironically, result in too little. In the case of this 65 square metre apartment in Singapore, the high quantity of rooms offered unfortunately led to an apartment of tight and inconvenient movements. Taking on the classic adage ‘less is more’, Open Studio culled the partitions and introduced flexible spaces, unveiling a sense of luxury that was once hidden by the many walls.
Located in Bidadari — a housing estate in the central region of Singapore — the apartment formerly consisted of a small cubicle-room-like layout that ranged between 3 to 16 square metres hindering good air quality and natural light access. The client couple requested the outcome of the design to match their ‘lifestyle of joie de vivre’ (enjoyment of life). This lead the architects to amalgamate the spaces, allowing for a freer flowing and flexible plan within.
A selection of the partitions were removed to make these spaces possible. Towards the west, two rooms were removed to merge with the original living area in becoming an open living, dining, and kitchen zone. A stainless-steel kitchen with a red stone benchtop stretches across the back wall while the space in front is transformed into a cinematic lounge. The newly established living area is partially separated by a thin green marble wall that shields the European laundry and small herb garden behind. The newly formed utilities area, now completely opened, allows for the afternoon sun to filter into the corridor, adding a welcoming atmosphere when one returns home.
Small changes have been made to the bedroom and ensuite also. For the bathroom to be shared with the public, the bedroom is enclosed in a new partition with a sliding door, creating a new corridor. The movement also reorientates the bathroom’s entrance with a pivot door that is accessible from the original entry into the bedroom. The overall reconfiguration encourages the architects to see potentials in the existing bones, for certain structural walls have been stripped back to become storage amenities for the bedroom and kitchen simultaneously.
Furthering the illusion of a spacious feel, the interior is a simple timber floor and cabinetry against white walls offset by warm lighting. A hint of futurism and luxury hums from the marble walls and the stainless-steel kitchen that contains a curious fold at the top corner, allowing for ventilation and natural light to peak through. The bathroom — with its yellow glow against the timber and stainless-steel panel — features a ceiling sprout calls for a mischievous flair.
Though a life lived in just 65 square metres may sound a little bit daunting at first, Open Studio demonstrates that careful planning can make that number punch well above its weight.
[Images courtesy of Open Studio. Photography by Khoo Guo Jie.]