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We designed this bungalow as a double-skinned house: a breathable outer façade of breeze blocks shields the interior from sun and neighbours, with planters and circulation in between to create a comfortable micro-climate of diffused daylight and gentle breeze.

We designed this bungalow as a double-skinned house: a breathable outer façade of breeze blocks shields the interior from sun and neighbours, with planters and circulation in between to create a comfortable microclimate of diffused daylight and gentle breeze.

The Breeze Block House is our exploration of a contemporary design language that responds to the local climate and microclimatic context. We conceived it as a double skin house with an internal hermetic envelope and an external breathable façade.

The long elevations facing northeast and southwest are extended vertically to catch prevailing winds and to direct airflow down to the lower floors, like the wind scoop effect. The ground floor is kept open and porous to encourage cross ventilation.

The outer skin is built up with breeze blocks to encourage airflow and to shield the internal spaces from the harsh sun and curious neighbours. Planters and circulation occupy the interstitial spaces between the two skins and function as thermal and visual buffers.

Beyond its technical performance as a microclimatic device, the breeze block skin is also delightful in the way it catches sunlight and casts animated light and shadow patterns across the day. At night, the reversal of light turns the house into a public lantern with intriguing shadows of movement and light.

The 1st storey unfolds with a huge open space for the living and dining area. The sense of space is enlarged using folding doors opening into the adjacent garden spaces. Matching materials used in the living/dining and the external apron space visually blur the line between the inside and outside. Deep ledges around the house shield the folding doors from the east-west sun.

On the 2nd storey, all transitional spaces are positioned along the west façade.
We designed a cost-effective façade with breeze blocks to filter the western sun and to encourage airflow. Breeze blocks, popular in the pre-air-conditioning days as thermal regulators, are still affordable and readily available today. At the 2nd storey roof terrace above the car porch, we introduced a generous planter to create a lush internal view and to filter daylight.

At the attic, the circulation spaces are similarly sited at the western façade. Two luxurious master suites occupy this floor and are expressed visibly on the side elevations through the use of twin gable end profiles.

2019
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