RIBBON TECTONICS

Programme: Residential
Project size: 400 sq.m
Location: Singapore
Status: Completed 2013

Design Architect: Teh Kan Wee Wagen, AIA
Design Team: Portia Wijatno

Collaborators: Wong Kok Yan
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Innovation does not always involve inventing something new from scratch and can sometimes be achieved through simple means of combining old ideas to make new ones. The design of this house for a young family, who aspires for a design that is differentiated from their neighbors without resorting to expensive means and materials, adopts a similar strategy.

Inspired by the ribbon windows of Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier, the design looks at current palette of commonly available building glass material and technology for ideas to develop a new fenestration design language. Various glass systems such as curtain wall, punch window, glass sliding door, skylight, clerestory and glass barrier railing are combined in new permutations to create a more free flowing and serpentine ribbon fenestration design that weaves around the building façade.

Simply combining these common building glass systems in new ways resulted in a building tectonic that is dramatically different from neighboring houses that use similar glass material palette. It also offers the family a variety of unique apertures and visual framing experiences of the surrounding neighborhood from each space within the house.