A house that tests the border between privacy and exposure; a tile and stone showroom that dissolves conventions; a conversation about accreditation for landscape architects; a public garden that embraces cultural dichotomies; the ‘learn-by-doing’ approach of LOOK Architects; and much more in our latest issue.
16 December, 2015
When we visited the Greja House by Park + Associates (our cover feature) during the preparation of Cubes Indesign 77, we were amazed by the extremely open approach taken by the resident family. A skin of white-painted expanded metal mesh veils the upper levels of the house (including the ensuite bathroom), creating something of an optical filter that puts the residents on show as much as the neighbourhood.
Similarly, we found conventions thoroughly shattered at the showroom of tile and stone specialist Rice Fields. Referred to as a laboratory rather than a showroom, riceLAB is an intricate and meticulously detailed realm for spatial immersion. Customer experience is at the core of the design by Studiogoto, which presents a journey through a variety of settings demonstrating the versatility of the material.
The field of landscape architecture is highlighted in two of our features this issue. Our ‘In Conversation’ feature puts the spotlight on a substantial change that has recently been implemented in Singapore’s landscape architecture industry: a new accreditation programme for landscape architects here. We paired up two practitioners – Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects council member and Associate at Tierra Design Srilalitha Gopalakrishnan, and Senior Associate at Grant Associates Singapore Mike Wood – to discuss why accreditation was needed and why there’s now a push for a ‘qualified professional’ status for landscape architects in Singapore.
A case study on a landscape project by Lekker Architects highlights the studio’s desire the balance Eastern and Western landscape design traditions for a Singaporean client in China. The creation of a public garden around a family burial ground outside Nanjing was an opportunity for Lekker (as explained by Director Ong Ker-Shing, a Singapore-accredited architect and landscape architect) to balance the public and the private, the living and the memorialised, and the local and the foreign.
This issue’s Portfolio feature delves into the process-driven work of LOOK Architects. Established in 1993 by the husband-and-wife team of Look Boon Gee and Ng Sor Hiang, LOOK Architects place equal importance on the technology of building as the ideas embedded in their work. “Some may expound theories over many pages in books, but we believe we learn from actually doing something,” says Look. We survey their work through a cross section of projects, many of which (such as Bishan Public Library, Alexandra Arch, the Forest Walk and Punggol Promenade) are situated in the public domain.
Members of the LOOK Architects team, from left to right, Chua Liang Ping (Associate), Ng Sor Hiang (Founder and Group Director), Chow Khoon Toong (Senior Architectural Associate), Look Boon Gee (Founder and Managing Director), and Lee Liting (Associate). Photo by Justin Loh
Other features in issue 77 look at Lanzavecchia + Wai’s new furniture collection for Journey East, which addresses the question of what furniture for South-East Asia might be; an old-and-new extension to a colonial building in Penang by Ministry of Design; a sculptural ply-scape designed by MAKK Architects for a watch showroom and service centre at Aljunied Road; and an office by Bean Buro for Leo Burnett in Hong Kong that references the urban tendencies of Kowloon. I hope you enjoy the issue!
Note by Editor Narelle Yabuka.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
CDA International weigh in on the need for agile and versatile offices and classrooms. They delve into suitable fit-outs that can cater to the changing and varied requirements of users within both these contexts.
Industry thought leaders attending the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) 26th Southeast Asia and Greater China Convention have outlined the role of wood in securing a sustainable future. Here’s what you need to know.
Located on the outskirts of Hong Kong, Landmark South designed by Bean Buro matches environmental focus with a design that is intended to foster communication, collaboration, and employee wellbeing.