A Long And Narrow Shop



Certainly the most stunning 1-bedroom place I’ve come across; the residence at 55 Blair Road in Singapore is a beautiful solution to the design challenges of a long and narrow space.


The most eye-catching and unique feature of this residence is the private outdoor pool that separates the kitchen, powder room, maids’ area and rooftop terrace from the rest of the main residence. With dramatic aluminum walls that span the height of the building, natural light (which reflects well off the aluminum) and ventilation fill the household.


The main staircase that leads to the second floor and attic is a beautiful wide spiral design that saves a tremendous amount of space. Most spiral staircases I’ve seen are far too narrow and impractical, but this particular design in the middle of the living room works very nicely. The spiral design is employed again at the back of the property to go from the main floor kitchen to rooftop terrace.


On the second floor we find the master bedroom with en-suite that has an exquisite bathtub overlooking the pool. On the other side, there is also a large void that not only allows a view onto the first-floor, but separates the bedroom area from the connecting study/lounge area. Rich walnut planks run throughout the second and third floor.


Architects:Ong & Ong Pte Ltd
Location: 55 Blair Road, Singapore
Design Team: Diego Molina and Maria Arango. Camilo Pelaez.
Project Team: Diego Molina and Maria Arango. Camilo Pelaez. Ryan Manuel, Linda Qing
Interior design: YPS
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Derek Swalwell


55 Blair road was a renovation/restoration to a traditional art deco style shop house. Originally, the house was renovated 10 years ago but the new owner believed it was too dark and wanted more natural light in the living spaces. The width of the space was certainly a restraint measuring about 5 meters or 16.5 feet across.


Overall I think this is a beautiful and unique design. The layout is not suitable for a large family as there is only one master bedroom and a small guest bed in the attic. I wonder about the inconvenience of the outdoor pool separating you from the kitchen during heavy rainstorms but I suppose that’s what the maid/help is for? The interior design is not really my taste but that can be altered easily. I love a clean, simple look but it’s a little too white and sterile for me. I would be overridden with guilt should I dirty anything or move an object from its place, but again, I guess that’s what the maid/help is for? I do love the pool concept and the gnarled tree is a perfect compliment. There is a definite tranquility about the place that is very appealing. Oh, and no loud music or excessive noise is permitted here, I think the house would get very upset with you.



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