The Greja House is a contemporary house interior that emphasizes the connection of void spaces to bring family together. Rather than define space with walls, the architect uses visual connection to draw you into the house.
A unique environment within the context of its surroundings the home does a great job at focusing your attention on the activities throughout the public spaces of the dwelling while still creating privacy from the surrounding neighborhood.
For project details, images and description as well as our design critique and what you should takeaway for your personal use, continue reading below.
Editor’s Note: Large natural lighting and open concept plan.
Architects: Park + Associates
Location: Singapore, Singapore
Area: 392.0 sqm
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Edward Hendricks
Main Contractor: CTH Builder Pte Ltd
Civil and Structural Engineer: YR2000 Engineering Consultants
M&E Engineer: N.A.
Quantity Surveyor: N.A.
From the Architect – Nicknamed ‘The house out of the floating box’, the house features a wrapped structure out of a convoluted mesh skin that appears as if it is perched atop a seamless glass front to form an inviting spatial gesture as one steps up past the tree canopy from the entrance.
Inside the double-height living spaces, the seamless surfaces bring together the best of its surrounding atmosphere by trickling in shades of light, shadows and reflections of its surrounding landscape to allow a smooth transition into the house yet offering a degree of much needed comfort and privacy to its occupants thru the mirage of the surrounding envelope from external forces.
This seamless fluidity is also extended vertically by connecting all floors with a beautiful central spiral staircase that is carefully positioned above a water feature that further complements the concept of the ‘floating box’, and is carefully designed to become the main focal point for social interaction to all members of the house.
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This home with a contemporary house interior located in Singapore strikes a balance between modern materials and natural warmth. The perforated exterior allows natural light and surroundings views to be welcomed into the living spaces within.
Although the exterior form is simple from the outside, the interior creates spaces that are intertwined with one another. More of an open floor plan designed to emphasize the family unit bond and interaction, the home provides function without walls.
Privacy is always a concern, especially without typical interior and exterior walls.
Voids are created that are well defined by the surrounding materials. The living room which is meant to be an open and public space for family entertaining is surrounded by glass and a green wall. The vegetation is an excellent draw from outside the home which is primarily perforated metal.
Even more effective is the backdrop of the central circulation and kitchen area defined by a warm wood. Visually the transition from outside to inside creates a depth of space that pull you in deeper.
More private spaces like the dining area and cooking facilities are less transparent from the outside. The balance between private and public space for family members and visitors is a comfortable one from what it appears.
Furthermore the bedrooms upstairs on the third floor and master bedroom on the second floor are private in the traditional sense from the outside but left moderately connected to the open space of the living area.
The fundamental role of the home is clearly illustrated in the flow of space, accomplished without dividing partitions. All the while still successfully creating private space for individual family members but fostering interactions.
Outdoor spaces designed to function like interior rooms expand livability.
Another feature that is evident but perhaps not completely effective is the transition between indoor and outdoor living.
The narrow lot makes it slightly difficult to create a flow between interior and exterior space. From the floor plan it appears living areas on the first floor open up through the glass exterior completely to a wooden board walk. A guest bedroom also seems to have direct access to the limited green area in back.
Overall the architect was successful in creating the depth of the space for the home but perhaps in doing so sacrificed a little opportunity for a more spacious exterior area rather than a narrow aisle.
Although given the openness of the interior space and the extent to which the facade can be exposed, the argument could be made that truly exterior space was not needed given how much nature was brought inside the home.
Water elements such as the pond beneath the spiral stairway brings nature to you!
How relaxing is it to hear water tricking a distance into a wading pond? Well with the interconnected interior spaces this relatively faint feeling is designed to be echoed throughout the entire home.
Imagine having the quiet natural elements play within your home when you want it. Then when the family is exchanging activities or hosting visitors the noise of human interaction would take precedent.
The house itself emphasizes the role and function of a home!
Unique to the neighborhood this contemporary home stands out against the background of its community. A large party wall separates one adjacent dwelling while the narrow exterior space which the interior opens into is against the other.
Overall the scale of the home fits well on the street but what makes the home great is its utilization of space. Not much goes to waste or would be unused throughout the lot with the way its oriented.
Once again its the entrance from the street that draws visitors into the home and the materials and use of natural light defines the depth of public vs private space.
The control the architect had in assembling the circulation of spaces without using dividing walls highlights the successes in featuring the role of home as bringing family members together.
Aside from the spiral stairway, a tree and the volume of void space … there could have been a more vertical intertwining of space.
Although the upstairs is meant for private use and therefore not a focus for visitors, a visual connection could have highlighted the family unit from below.
Perhaps much like wall space with hung family portraits, a unique visual queue to the master bedroom and additional bedrooms could have created a more personalized understanding for visitors while developing a vertical depth not meant for circulation beyond that of the stairway.
However the message the home is sending and the concept behind its contemporary house interior is clearly defined and achieved through the construction.
Opinions expressed above are that of author Neil Silva
What to Takeaway
Depth of space is important. This creates not only visual interest for visitors but also helps develop a sense for wayfinding.
“Where can I do to find this? Where should I not go?”
Ever walk into someone’s house and ask where the restroom is only to be instructed that it is down the hall. Once you get there, you are greeted with several different doors and hopefully the one for the bathroom is open.
This can be resolved by creating a depth to a space and defining what public space might look like in comparison to private spaces.
An easy way to achieve this is to put private spaces on another level all together since a majority of visitors would only access the first floor.
However if this was not possible, open space with doors that lead to other publicly accessed space for visitors helps reduce confusion.
If I can see people coming and going from this corner of a room then I might wander over to see what is beyond.
You can encourage visitors to explore this space by giving them a glimpse of the adjacent room.
Sometimes by opening up a doorway a little larger, creating void spaces in the wall, or even by associating materials can help create a language to your home.
Think about if a majority of your living space had wooden floors with light paint colors and the hallway that leads to the bedrooms had a carpet with wainscoting.
This simple change in aesthetics can create different zones to your home to discourage visitors from walking down the hall.
Similar to the Greja House, here are some helpful hints for creating depth:
- Unify your flooring material to define a clear flow of circulation.
- Accent colors or other focal points draws visual attention beyond.
- Control lighting (both natural and artificial) to highlight accessible areas.
If you want to draw interest from visitors, you need to give them reasons to explore (or not to). Painting an accent wall creates attention for one reason or another. Perhaps to draw circulation or attention to art, media, etc.
Not everyone is a fan of large glass facades nor can we all afford it, but using supplemental lighting strategies, lightening wall colors or even changing furniture can make a space feel more welcoming, spacious and inviting.
Take a closer look at the home for inspiration …
Unique Social and Contemporary House Interior Design Ideas; The Greja House
Below are images we collected from the architect and/or photographer.
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