Dear Ling Hao,
Thank you for inviting us to your newly completed work in Singapore. The size and scale of this house being larger than your other houses, we think, allowed you to refine your recent ideas to a graceful balance. Although we came at a most unbearable moment with the seasonal haze covering the humid heat over the city like some kitchen wrap, we were delighted to find the insides of your architecture suffused with constant little streams of breezes. The staggered layers of floors and textured cement surfaces made alive by skylights above, and views of those big mango trees, made it feel like one is in a garden or a forest. No, perhaps something more primal than that: like walking around a forest without trees or an European hill town without buildings. You always walked looking here and there, this and that. The house seemed larger, because the experiences were richer, but also more intimate, because things overlooked each other. For a long and narrow terraced house with both side walls shared with neighbours imposing the usual limitations to the sequential placement of spaces, yours was indeed a fresh rich experience. The casual coming together of walls, floors, perforated walkways, staircases, sliding glass doors and their resolutions imperfect, relaxed and natural, was skiful, clued, but also without “trying too hard” (as you know we are wont to be charmed by). It doesn’t have that Global-Lookbook or that Superficial-Luxe affliction that Singapore is most infatuated with. It has come from something deeper.
Once again thank you.
House with Mango Trees by LingHao Architects, Singapore