Practically 20 years after getting a shophouse in a historic Singapore neighbourhood, nearby architect Maria Warner Wong and her crew have converted the creating into a new venue for art and layout .
Warner Wong purchased the house in 1996, seven years just before her and enterprise parter Wong Chiu Guy established their architectural studio WOW Architects. At the time she thought she could replace the developing with a new live/function room for herself.
The architect faced a handful of hurdles – the greatest becoming that the developing was heritage listed in 2003, limiting the choices for redevelopment. In the finish, she determined to restore and extend the building to create a new cultural room for the city.
“After the constructing was gazetted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, we could no longer realise the plan to rebuild,” she advised Dezeen.
“We had to preserve the existing developing, but it did have a tiny volume of land at the back that we were permitted to use for an extension.”
“In the end it took us 19 years to total, because in the years between we have been nurturing a practice and a loved ones, plus a couple of international financial obstacles came along,” she extra. “In between, we had been focused on obtaining the building accepted.”
Named Niven Road Studio, the developing is positioned in a residential neighbourhood in the centre of the city, between the active Middle Road entertainment district and the quiet Mount Emily park local community.
It was originally constructed as a shophouse – a historic constructing typology in Southeast Asia that normally contains a shop at ground level and a residence on one or two floors over.
As many of Singapore’s old shophouses have now been demolished, those that continue to be are often granted heritage listings – prompting imaginative refurbishments. Current examples consist of a residence with a swimming pool in the centre and a cafe that specialises in eggs.
“This shophouse had been used in the past as a residential house and as worker housing,” explained Warner Wong. “But we started to realise that the area could be employed in many other methods, as a catalyst for creative collaboration.”
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WOW Architects restored the building’s unique interior, leaving surfaces unfinished to reveal rugged brickwork and the undersides of terracotta roof tiles. It then added a taller extension at the rear, making use of bare concrete and glass.
The aim, mentioned Warner Wong, was to supply a noticeable contrast amongst the new and previous sections of the developing.
“Past the old and new exterior, the architecture presents a wealthy duality of spatial experiences formed by the architectonics of the load-bearing off-form concrete walls towards the existing dual-tone red brick walls and the ventilated terracotta roof tiles.”
The undertaking was completed earlier this month. WOW Architects will run the space, underneath the banner title WOWHAUS. One of its first events will be a party that will coincides with the Planet Architecture Festival, which requires location in Singapore from four to 6 November 2015.