An Apartment Designed To Encourage Its Inhabitants To Slow Down And Relax


Extending a relaxed homecoming to its occupants, this brand new condominium unit is designed to melt away all stresses of hectic city life. The renovation was helmed by the Goy Architects design team, which comprises Goy Zhenru, Dessy Anggadewi and Kulap Loetman who worked hand-in-hand with the contractors from Towner Construction and the carpenters from Foo Design to realise this urban sanctuary.

Zhenru, director of the company, has this to say about undertaking the project, which is home to a couple and their pet cat, “We were inspired by ‘scenography’ as the design strategy and the team set out to create a variety of engaging scenes for the couple to retreat into,” she says. “By incorporating interesting textures and curating spatial consumption, we re-created home as an immersive sensory experience which encourages the occupants to slow down and feel at home.”

To offer a free-flowing expanse of light and space, the team decided to size up the communal zones through a series of space reconfigurations. They hacked away the boundary walls between the kitchen and one of the bedrooms, which was then turned into an open study. Zhenru remarks about the study, “It gives natural light and ventilation to the newly-constructed kitchen. When we opened up the walls to this space, it lights up the kitchen dramatically which was a welcome change for the apartment.”

The presence of light and space is immediately apparent at the front entrance of the unit. Pebble wash has been used for this part of the flooring and having these nature-inspired textures underfoot makes for a relaxing sensory experience. For the facing walls, two different textural treatments line the narrow walkway. Woodgrained laminates with rustic textures hide clutter and maintain the neat order of the front entrance, while the other side features a two-tone treatment of white clay bricks and solid timber panelling.

In the living area, the whitewashed clay bricks and solid timber panels take over the main TV feature wall. “We wanted to introduce a subtle form of texture for the white wall to juxtapose the smooth marble flooring,” explains Zhenru. “The TV console and shelving are also custom-designed and produced by us. These rustic pieces are made of reclaimed solid teak which adds to the sensory experience.”

Fronting the new open-concept kitchen is a counter complete with a hanging bar rack. As space on the kitchen countertop is limited, this multipurpose counter can double up as a food preparation zone. “This gives the apartment more breathing space without cluttering it with under-utilised furniture,” adds Zhenru. “We also made the decision to raise the countertop so that should the homeowners have company, they can move the study table over and integrate it beneath the counter to create a six-seater.”

Speaking of the study, an entire wall of shelving maximises its storage space. “As part of the design brief, we wanted to create an airy and lofty apartment. These open-plan areas allow the homeowners to work and rest in individual pockets of space while maintaining a visual connection,” Zhenru explains of the communal zone’s open-plan layout.

The second bedroom was designed as a semi-open area that opens up various possibilities of using this space. With a sliding door that demarcates this room from the open study, it can be turned into an extension of the study when the door is open. An open pole wardrobe system has been installed and this serves as additional storage. The room can also be used as a guestroom; should the homeowners receive overnight guests.

With flexible spaces and beguiling textures that encourage downtime, the home is bathed in light and loveliness. Beguiling textures and nature-inspired design accents which are artfully put together by the Goy Architects team heighten its cosy modern appeal, and it’s no doubt the homeowners feel right at home while they work, rest and play.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the February 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Marc Tan from Studio Periphery for Goy Architects