Chord House is situated in a small estate in central Singapore. The house sits on a sloping road which has a public bus route running along it, with a bus-stop located two houses away. Due to the heavy traffic, privacy from vehicle and pedestrian traffic was an important factor in our design for the house. The form of the house was derived from this context of highly built-up suburban districts. As a semi-detached house, the party wall provided an opportunity to create an inward-facing courtyard for privacy, in place of the typical fenestration which faces out externally to the surroundings. The courtyard was conceptualised as a means to create inward-facing views and introduce natural light and ventilation deep into the building without sacrificing privacy.
In Chord House, we employed a curved building form on the external facade to emphasize the concept of the courtyard being seen as carved out from the building mass. A seven metre high Caesalpinia tree was sourced from overseas so that its foliage would be clearly visible from the master bedrooms on the second storey and when traversing the staircase between all three floors. The courtyard is designed to pull in nature deep into the building plan. On the first storey, natural ventilation and light floods the living and dining spaces when the glass doors are opened. The garden feels like a part of the living, preserving the connectivity between the courtyard and building interior. The morning sun casts shifting shadows of the tree branches onto the staircase wall, which is clad in light-toned granite stone continuing from the exterior seamlessly into the house.