Westlake House

3600 sqft    |    Bukit Timah, Singapore

A professional couple deciding to move back home to Singapore had discovered this house for sale, viewed it over Google Maps and bought it soon after. The size was deemed sufficient so there was no intention to add more space to the existing house.


The 40 year-old house in question was dated, tired and had dark, tight interiors. This resulted in it being gutted and relooked at, but the built-up area or footprint would not be enlarged. External brick walls on the first floor were demolished and sliding glass doors were installed all around. Indoor and outdoor spaces became seamless and the 1st storey now enjoyed enlarged usable and perceptive space. The further bonus was that the entire 1st storey was awash with new-found natural light.


Unnecessary partition walls on the first floor were knocked down, leaving the space fairly simple. The dining area blends seamlessly with the dry kitchen area and its island counter. The counter serves as the family’s breakfast area, and also comes in handy when they do their weekly baking and roasting. When the family entertains twice a month, the island counter doubles as the buffet table.


To balance the new-found natural light from the front and side gardens, a skylight was added at the top of the stairs and its dispersion down the inner party wall to the first storey is aided by clear, frameless glass panels. At the same time it reduces ambient noise from traveling to the second storey.


In keeping with their wish for a naturally illuminated home, large windows line the children’s rooms. Vertical fins help keep out direct sunlight and also provide privacy.


The couple’s bedroom is simply done up, but enjoys unblocked views of MacRitchie Reservoir Park.


In terms of furnishing the home, the family has kept it simple too. Some pieces, such as their dining table, constructed using a door from a Rajasthan palace, have travelled with the family from Singapore to Sydney and back again. The children have gamely added their own paintings, bringing their own colours to this renewed tropical home.

Singapore design architect for tropical modern landed houses and residential projects