In this project, we encountered an HDB apartment that was built in the classic era of terrazzo flooring and kitchen walls tiled up to eye-level in stacked white squares. The client had a very limited budget for the renovation, but we wanted to avoid throwing our hands up and doing a regular run-of-the-mill design. Every house has its own story to tell – we thought about the ‘one thing’ that can be accentuated, one thing that can remain from its history – and honed in on the distinctive line which marks the top of the white tiles. Like a line that reaches from the past into the present, it continues a thread of existence, a poetry of belonging, in a world that changes.
In the new design, we respected the client’s desire to remove the white tiles which they felt were too dated, but we gave birth to a new look by keeping the spirit of the tile level, which now marks the end of the dark lower wall paint and the beginning of the light upper wall paint – everything in the kitchen follows that line, including the line of the upper cabinets.
The project is still under construction, the picture shows the original tiles being plastered over to prepare for the new paint:
Update — photographs of the finished project showing the simple and powerful effect of an elegant design move, and the artistic contrast of a carefully balanced proportion of warm wood and industrial grey: