The Diamond House, a unique family residence shaped like a diamond, makes the most of the small site on which it is located and increases the space available for its owners’ garden.
Designed by Formwerkz Architects and located on a 557 square metre site along Cove Drive in Sentosa, Singapore, the house itself takes up 465 squares metres and stretches over four levels. The architects’ main challenge was to design a family home that preserved the owners’ privacy while making the most of the site.
The project’s unusual geometry came about as a result of the planning parameters and restrictions imposed on the neighbourhood and from the desire to simplify the building form.
“The front and side facades are pared down with openings strategically position to allow optimal day lighting with minimum compromise in privacy. The sloping walls at the corners allow for a smaller footprint while expanding the spatial volume at upper levels”, the architects said.
The building’s facades are mostly clad in wood to ensure privacy, but they feature carefully placed apertures that allow light to flow into the interiors. Natural, long-lasting materials such as iron wood, oak and travertine marble, were the primary materials used in construction.
The wooden front facade is interrupted by a tinted glazing triangle-shaped plane that, during the day, reflects the surrounding landscape. At night, it emanates a warm glow from inside and allows sparse glimpses of the interior. In addition, a glazed front entrance divides the building in two halves, separating the main living and dining areas on each side.
At the rear, the house is open due to large windows and terraces that face a sunken garden, a lap pool surrounded by trees and a man-made lake.
Inside the house, a central twisting staircase connects the basement and the three upper levels. The stairs have an oak-clad handrail on one side to limit the views from the street while glass was used on the side of the staircase that faces the interior of the home.
The house has a large basement that accommodates a guest room, an entertainment area with a home theatre and the garage. This underground level is largely illuminated and ventilated through the open sunken patio.
On the ground floor, the main entrance leads to the centre of the house, where the living room and dining area – with a kitchen that can be incorporated through the use of sliding panels – are located on either side.
Going up the stairs leads to a level that is split in the middle into two areas that house the master and child’s bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms, while an attic level hosts a small studio/office space and a living area that opens out to a large decked terrace.
The multi-faceted structure allows plenty of natural light and ventilation through a central breezeway opening, while its angled ironwood exterior meshes harmoniously with the surrounding landscape, allowing the house to fit very well within the residential high density neighbourhood.