Architects: ONG & ONG
Project: Faber House
Directors: Diego Molina & Maria Arango
Architecture Associate: Camilo Peláez & Tomas Jarmillo Valencia
Team Members: Julius Caramat Daguio & Lim Yan Qing
Photography: Derek Swalwell
Reclining within an exclusive node in western Singapore, Faber house looks perfectly suited to its lavish milieu – at home amongst the quaint bungalows in this cozy enclave. This bespoke residence was designed to fulfill the specific needs of the client, where their two foremost considerations were family and friends.
Working with a sizeable plot of land, the design team opted to realign the new house to one side of the site. This decision optimized space usage, with the new layout allowing the inclusion of a garden and a lap pool. The architects approached this project with an underlying design ethos that was subtle yet distinctive, where clean flowing lines and thoughtful material selection culminates in an elegant design with undeniably bold touches.
Faber house features two rectangular volumes stacked atop one another, forming the core of the residence. A sand-coloured wood panel façade lines the entrance foyer, separating the stone-lined driveway from the lap pool and outdoor deck just behind. Made from zircon wood, the façade at the entrance foyer first introduces the timber motif that manifests throughout Faber house.
The entrance hall recedes to reveal the dramatic living area. Endeavouring to erase the limit between interior and exterior spaces, the architects devised a system of retractable glass windows that could slide and fold with great ease, providing versatility to the space. The living area easily switches from open-air to glass enclosed, as the interior cascades effortlessly towards the exterior giving Faber house supreme visual flow. The fecund garden spaces that bound the outer edges of the Faber house compound bleed into the cool blue-tiled lap pool and alluring timber decks, creating a striking juxtaposition of colours and textures.
The familiar timber motif from the entrance is repeated, framing a panel concealing tasteful artwork – demarcating the breathlessly spacious living area from the adjoining kitchen area. Unfolding these panels reveals a true chef’s dream. Sleek, dark finishes of stone and tile work to embolden the space, where a striking single kitchen island commands the room. Top of the line kitchen facilities are stylishly arranged, as the space was conceived as a culinary laboratory where the resident chef in the family can turn all manner of gastronomic fantasy into appetizing reality.
A spectacular sculptural staircase occupies the double volume space, connecting the different levels of Faber house. Fabricated from folded black sheet metal, the staircase serves to segregate basement and ground floor common areas from the private quarters on the top floor. As guests are led to the cavernous basement entertainment area, leaving the upper floor strictly for family.
The foot of the black, geometric staircase lands in the Faber house basement, where sheet metal, textured concrete, timber strips, and rough gravel provide much character to the subterranean space. An artful Zen-inspired rock garden punctuates the landing area, accentuated by the natural light that trickles in from the intricate fenestration that lines the stairwell above.
The basement comes fully loaded with a state of the art entertainment system. Containing a professional-grade wine cellar, as well as a 3.6m2 bomb shelter reinforced by 300mm-thick concrete, the underground lair exudes a stately sense of edgy, contemporary cool. A neon pink sign adorns the dark stone central wall, with the sage inscription reminding all that, “Happiness is Expensive”.
Traversing to the upper floor, the upstairs bedrooms are best described as luxurious and spacious. Both junior suites have en-suite bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe, while the master bedroom was designed to evoke a sense of openness. Large floor-to-ceiling windows are a prominent feature within the master bedroom offering panoramic view surrounding neighbourhood.
Abundant natural light and cross-ventilation pervades the space, as carefully placed skylights in the master bathroom and walk-in wardrobe, inject the master bedroom spaces with a bright, airy feel. Green planter spaces in the master bathroom’s shower and commode not only provide an organic touch, but also serve as natural air wells assuaging internal circulation.
The final, and perhaps most striking, feature found at the Faber house is the perforated metal mesh screen that encases the second storey. Lending the property an elevated sense of privacy, the aluminum screen obscuring the home from neighbouring houses nearby. Emblazoned with the unmistakable silhouette of a lush, tree-lined forest, the screen not only acts as a shield from the sun’s heat and glare, but also introduces a tantalizing interplay of light and shadow throughout the day.