Clementi Ridges, Singapore

113 m2 / 1216 ft2

August 2018

This design concept for this Housing Development Board (HDB) apartment in Singapore comes from what we read as a problem for a very squarish living and dining area: being of equal depth in length and width, a squarish space has the disadvantage of feeling homogeneous and hence lacking a sense of intimacy, a quality that we feel is paramount in residential design. From each of the two deep corners of the living and dining area we see the potential in crafting a ‘space within a space’. 


Gaston Bachelard’s “Poetics of Space”, an important work on intimate space, describes the experiential qualities of a corner:

“An imaginary room rises up around our bodies, which think that they are well hidden when we take refuge in a corner.”


As if the bedroom corridor is lit and diagonal shadows are cast over the two corners, the floor tiles, wall and ceiling are differentiated in light grey tones in relation to the white surfaces on the rest of the living and dining area. A layering of spaces with added nuances is achieved in a vast apartment. These diagonal lines initiated a distinctive spatial language for the project, which skewed the study room wall and created a third corner in the vestibule of the master bedroom. Such tapering of spaces evoked a sense of gradation and richness that isn’t found in the rectilinearity of the original plan.

The diagonal is repeated as drawer pull and wardrobe door handle details, like the variation of a musical motif, manifesting one coherent gesture at various scales throughout the apartment.


Photography by Wee Chai