Even when we had our house in Miami, with its very small yard, I enjoyed "puttering" around in the garden. Okay, maybe I enjoyed saying "puttering" around more than the actual puttering, but I did work in the garden.
And when we bought this house, we bought a much, much much larger yard. And puttering became a chore; now, it's a chore I enjoy, because I like seeing the yard neat and clean and trimmed and tidy....
Or is that my men? I digress.
But, if people live in an urban environment, and like to putter in a garden, what do they do?
Make the house the garden.
And that's what the architect did for this house in Singapore. While the client was mostly concerned with having a space where they could keep an eye on their kids without the need to be in the same space, the architect was also keen on creating a garden house in a very tight semi-detached site where most of the land is occupied by the building footprint.
To that end, they created a vertical wall planting set within a niche along the front boundary wall and added a shrubbery garden atop the carport roof.
Enclosing part of the home's façade on the upper floor is a layer of planting system that was devised to behave more like a curtain wall. Its primary function is to perform as a privacy screen and to keep the rain out. It resembles an open rack, like a shuttered, louvered window, and the planting shelves are designed to accommodate small potted plants that are easily replaceable from any nursery to ensure ease of upkeep. The planting is irrigated from a single pipe on the top shelf, with the run off feeding the pots on the lower tiers.
It keeps the green outside, and brings some garden into the home.
The sloping roof terrace is derived from the staggered section of the house and retained a continuous flow from the indoor. A setting for outdoor dining and barbeque is created in sunken portion of the deck where the mosaic-clad top becomes simultaneously a tabletop, barbeque pit and bench.
The architects liked the idea of "climbing" to the roof terrace as though climbing a small hill. Plus, the inclined plane is also the perfect spot to catch some sun or take a long nap in the afternoon.
Like I said, I like puttering in the garden, but the idea of watering the walls and the roof seems kinda cool, too.