Residential landscapes are often dotted with houses that look similar to each other, almost as if they were produced from a single template with slight variations. Picture yourself taking a stroll down a street in a suburban neighbourhood; clear blue skies overhead and birds chirping in the distance, cookie-cutter houses all in a row. That is, until you come across this particular house in a Singaporean suburb. Featuring a staggered layered structure, it is almost as if the house is silently challenging the very idea of what is considered normal. OUT OF THE ORDINARY Breaking away from the lack of diversity, Box House is like a breath of fresh air in a closed room with its outstanding yet understated appearance. The rich brown hue of the wooden gate pops beautifully against the crisp white walls of the perimeter fencing. Its unique façade makes it looks like a cluster of irregularly stacked white boxes, which will definitely cause some heads to turn, as it is just downright unconventional. Featuring a predominantly white palette, wood is one of the thematic constants that is established right at the entry and weaves its way all the way throughout the rest of the house. Starting right at the porch, the wood element begins with the solid wood main door, extending all the way to the ceiling of the porch and easing surreptitiously to the side in the form of a slatted chengal wood screen that covers the full-length glass windows. As handsome as it is functional, this screen that is applied to quite a number of glass doors and windows provides privacy for the occupants without sacrificing light and views. Thinking out of the box, some of the windows and doors with no screens are instead framed by a steel canopy box with the same Chengal timber cladding – shading the rooms from the glaring sun. Fabricated from the same type of wood as the screens, this option flows much better with the theme of the house and is definitely more aesthetically pleasing compared to traditional awnings. Less truly is more. This is clearly seen in the clean and simple layout which maximises the light that infuses the entire house. With ample windows and glass doors throughout, a sense of openness is created, as the rooms are flooded with plenty of natural light. Paired with the generous use of white, the house appears large and airy with minimal effort. Streamlined and neat, the open kitchen also utilises long lines to create depth, making the space appear more extensive. A sleek white island in the heart of the space provides additional storage, workspace as well as a welcome break from the dark woods of the cabinetry. This darker tone is a variation to the warm brown hues from the chengal featured in the exterior, a move perhaps to differentiate the two as we see this trend extended to the cabinetry in the master bathroom, wardrobe and even the feature wall, albeit in a slightly different hue. Leading into the family room, which opens out into the pool, timber wood decks the floor, adding a touch of warmth to the communal space. Here, the room is connected to two other rooms and the spaces can be separated simply by closing the sliding doors between them. IN AND OUT Adhering to the brief given by the client who is a floriculture enthusiast, the house does a great job of combining quality living spaces with ample outdoor areas and there is a strong relationship between the indoors and outdoors. Nature is everywhere in this house as gardens and terraces are peppered throughout the house on every level; from a small patch of green at the entrance on the ground floor and the tree on the first floor balcony right up to the garden on the roof, these pockets of lush greenery intertwine with the living spaces. Ascending up the main staircase, which features a railing that matches the woodwork of the steps, we are greeted by an impressive glass wall spanning floor to ceiling. A series of boxes in various sizes make up a unique geometric design while a mix of frosted and plain glass strikes a balance between views and privacy. All the way up on the highest floor, a sliding glass door opens out into a generously sized roof terrace garden covered in lush greenery, providing the homeowners with a private little green enclave with stunning views of the neighbourhood. Simple but interesting, Box House encompasses a careful balance of openness and enclosure as well as the indoors and outdoors. Throughout the project, the interiors are sparse but impeccably thought through and the thematic elements that tie everything together are incorporated so brilliantly that it almost seems effortless. BOX HOUSE SINGAPORE 735 M2 675 M2 2017 MING ARCHITECTS TAN CHER MING ERICA CHAN TAN CHER MING, ERICA CHAN VTECH CONSTRUCTION PTE LTD JS TAN CONSULTANTS PTE LTD CST SURVEYORSHIP PTE LTD STEEL CANOPIES IN CHENGAL TIMBER CLADDING, TIMBER TRELLIS SCREENS, BRICK WALL IN PLASTER AND PAINT, MOSAIC POOL TILES FROM MOSIACO.SG HOMOGENOUS FLOOR AND WALL TILES FROM RICE FIELDS, BURMESE TEAK STRIP FLOORING, PLASTER WALLS