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In a long narrow plot, we designed a house with a labyrinthic network of staircases and flying bridges all awash in filtered daylight.

In a typical intermediate terrace plot – sandwiched between two party walls, with limited frontage for windows, and often lacking in daylight – we countered expectations and created a house awash with daylight. We strategically placed the 4-level vertical circulation at the core of the house under a generous skylight to filter and catch precious daylight. We designed the circulation as a labyrinthic network of staircases and flying bridges.

Like a vertical promenade, the staircase ascends around the centre void, punctuated at every floor with landings that extend into flying bridges, crossing the void to serve the other side. The promenade terminates lightly as a sunlit skybridge leading to a roof terrace. At the topmost level, a rhythmic alternance of light and shadow cast by perforated panels under the skylight evoke a shaded treetop walk, a prelude to the view of lush greenery awaiting at the roof terrace. The light and shadows cast deep down the 4-storey lightwell change dramatically throughout the day and shift across the year. Despite being sandwiched by neighbouring walls, the house is strongly connected to the natural elements through the presence of daylight.

The front façade is serrated, both at the macro level and at the detail of the window screens, to create depth and visual interest as the western sun casts shadows over the elevation. The window screens echo the perforation pattern of the skylight, enveloping the bedrooms in the same filtered daylight as the labyrinth lightwell.

December 2018
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