DESIGN LAB: BRIDGE HOUSE
Two houses sit on the same plot of land. A bridge connects the two, taking the residents across the swimming pool that flows between the two houses.
The two houses appear as solid volumes, both with rectangular massing topped with sloping roofs, sharp and in order. From the outside, these volumes appear to float above the landscape beneath: the house in front cantilevers above water bodies, whilst the house behind sits on top of a garden. This jacket of solidity peels away and opens up both houses to the centre, where the pool, deck and foliage takes over, and where the bridge straddles across an internalised landscape. Both house volumes dematerialises downwards into a labyrinth of structure and walls that stretch out like fingers into the landscape of water and garden, drawing them into the interiors of the spaces beneath.
Guests and business matters are received in the house at the front, connecting straight from the main entrance. The working study which functions as a home-office is located here, surrounded by shallow bodies of water and rock gardens. The pool deck serves as if a gentlemen’s club or waiting and reception area. A whiskey party could happen here, but not when the study is in use! Guests on official businesses or large extended family gatherings can be served at the formal living and dining rooms on the next floor, having full view of the entrance and frontage of the site.
The house at the back is where the service areas and informal programs are located. Here, family lounges and karaoke sessions happen; the lady of the house keeps her hobby garden just the way she wants it; an informal breakfast of scrambled eggs and baked beans can be whipped up at the kitchen bar; a nap is taken next to the pool, the children and grandchildren run about and study; and the maids hustle and bustle about their daily chores.