Location:
The Gazania, Singapore

Area:
41 m2 / 441 ft2

Completion:
February 2024

The owners for this brand-new condominium apartment are a young professional couple, and their design brief was very straight-forward: to add a loft to the 4.7m-high living space. Since the apartment already came with floor finishes and fully furnished kitchen and bathroom, all of these were retained for financial and sustainability considerations. The design challenge lies therefore in elevating the design sense of the entire apartment with a singular loft structure.

We achieve this by ensuring that this new loft deck is perceivable from every corner of the apartment. Upon entry, a linear kitchen runs along the left side of the 2.7m-high corridor, and one sees immediately the underside of the loft at the end of this corridor, and anticipates this structure. At 2.4m high, the soffit of the loft is deliberately lower than the ceiling of the kitchen and gives a better spatial delineation, while making the entry experience to this small apartment more layered.

At the end of the kitchen, is the living room. It sits under the new loft which has a series of rib-like joinery that repeats across its soffit. Each section is lined with LED strip lighting which enhances the ambience of the space with a warm glow. Seating in the living room is provided by two floor recliners instead of a conventional sofa, to lower the seated profile thereby increasing the sense of height in this space. They also allow for easy movement around the apartment, especially between the living space and the bedroom when opened. The owners commented that the space actually felt bigger after the addition of this ceiling structure.

The original wall and door separating the bedroom from the living room is replaced with sliding fluted-glass panels, which allow light to pass through while also providing privacy when needed. When these sliding doors are open it allows the living room and the bedroom to be combined as a single space. The floor recliners can be pushed back easily, and the space can accommodate more people or perform tasks that require a larger area.

The loft sits above the living room. The staircase is designed as a series of alternating half-steps which saves space by being steeper than a conventional staircase. It took a bit of getting used to by one of the owners, but soon after it is a breeze going up and down this stair. A storage wall was added beneath the staircase, with push-to-open mechanisms to avoid the use of door-pulls, and to achieve a flushed look for the doors when they are closed. These provide the much-needed additional volumes for the owners to store various household items. The loft functions as an office for the couple, and whenever they need to take a break from work, they can turn around to the ledge along the parapet of the loft and enjoy a drink, or catch a view of the lush greenery beyond the garden patio.

An additional structure that is perceivable from every corner of the apartment, the new loft deck is put together not unlike the construction of a boat. The soffit of this vessel becomes the centrepiece of the apartment with its rib-like joinery that projects a soft, warm glow. While it supports the owners through their current phase of life, it may well become the ship for future owners to enjoy.

 

Photography by Shiya Creative Studio