Waterfall in house project a winner

FROM pebbles to a pond to a waterfall — one could be forgiven for thinking that one has strayed into a mini-forest smack in the bustling Orchard area.

Except that these natural elements are part of the interior landscape of a three-storey terrace house near Mt Elizabeth Hospital.

The house eco-friendly design by Chang Architects, which cost $390,000, so impressed a panel of judges that it took home the inaugural Best Project Below $1 million Construction Cost at the 9th Architectural Design Award presentation last night. Chang also bagged the Design Award for residential projects at the bi-annual event organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA).

According to Mr Chang Yong Ter, the brains behind the design, he and three other architects had only 230 sq m to work with for the project. In line with the owners’ wishes, 40 per cent of the house — from the living room to the bedroom — is made up of landscape elements such as pebbles, plants and a waterfall. And like a rainforest, the temperature in the house is cooler than outside, said Mr Chang, 38.

Another winner, RSP Architects Planners and Engineers, also drew inspiration from Mother Nature. Director Pok Siew Fatt, 53, hoped that the design of the LaSalle College of the Arts building could inspire art and create more interaction between the students and the public.

“Like larva from a volcano, which will sculpt and shape the surroundings over time, there are a lot of event spaces, event bridges as well as a ground floor where students can hold many activities that are open to the public,” said Mr Pok.

The transparent panels of the college building will also enable outsiders to look in on students while they are engaged in creative work — thus bringing the process of art-making to the public.

The $76-million LaSalle project won the Building of the Year award as well as the Design Award for institutional projects.

The SIA yesterday also announced the launch of three new “Green” awards to recognise excellence in sustainable architectural design and to promote green thinking in the design of buildings.

The institute will also be bidding for the International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress 2014, the largest architectural congress in the world.

For more information on the green awards, visit www.sia.org.sg.

Source : Today – 22 May 2008

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