Gradient Space, Singapore

Nothing was removed by the design team in the creation of this apartment in Bukit Panjang, Singapore. Instead, architect Woon Chung Yen from METRE Architects opted to add several custom elements — the most prominent new piece being a single-sloped gradient containing a bed, a sofa, and a working/ dining table. The space and function of the gradient adapt as one moves up or down the slope.

This is a unique, bold, and stunning design, reminding us of one of our previous favourite episodes, where a large custom feature piece of furniture has been added to the existing floorplan and serves multiple and adaptable purposes.

The various elements have been fused together as an assemblage of horizontal planes, at different heights to form a sculpted landscape that rises from the ground, simultaneously creating storage volumes underneath in a variety of dimensions.

Woon Chung Yen raised the sides and back of the bed in diagonals, creating two corners that shield and protect the area, giving it a sense of intimacy, and demarcating the bedroom space without the need for further segregation. The mattress has also been selected and designed to recess gently into the frame, so that visually, it almost looks like it is floating.

And it does float (well, sort of). The entire bed frame is on pistons, allowing it to lift to access the generous storage underneath the bed.

Half steps have been incorporated and lead to the bed. These half steps provide further elevated storage cabinets of various sizes and can also become additional seating when friends come by for a visit.

The table and bench have been custom-made with the same material and diagonal geometry, and the bench can be tucked into the table, allowing for easy shifting and configuration.  

An additional custom feature opposite the larger gradient is the TV wall with the console cabinet (and further storage) below. The TV wall stretches almost the entire length of the apartment, from the balcony to the entrance.

All the carpentry is made from plywood core and finished in the same laminate, creating an effect as if all furniture has been crafted from the same piece of wood.

The kitchen has been built with existing cabinets from the original (2018) build and sits on the other side of a floor-to-ceiling glass wall with sliding glass doors, (allowing natural light from the balcony to reach the kitchen). A new piece of custom furniture has been placed at the end of the kitchen for additional storage but is cleverly tapered off toward the bathroom on the other side of the glass wall to allow for ease of movement and soften the room.

This area of Singapore,Bukit Panjang is known as a place where the city meets nature, andWoon Chung Yen has introduced this confluence into his unique design.

In this project, we fused all the requirements into a single gradient, which is an approximation of naturally sloping terrain, inviting its inhabitants to feel as if they are reclining on an open but intimate landscape.

Woon Chung Yen

Images by Studio Periphery