The exterior facade of this structure speaks to age and dignity with floral decoration, soft white coloration and classic structural proportions. The remodeled interior could not be more different: stark whites and blues, ultramodern materials and creative contemporary spaces -including an incredible open outdoor courtyard set right the center of the enclosed floor areas to connect the old original street-front building with an all-new modern backyard addition.
Dealing with a long and narrow space is difficult in any architectural design project, but far more complex when the designer needs to deal with buildings on both sides that preclude the possibility of letting in interior light from anywhere but above. The drastic solution found in this case by Ong & Ong was to conceptually carve a space from roof to ground right in the center of the property – outside insofar as it has no ceiling, but inside in terms of visibility and interior circulation.
Kitchen, storage and other support spaces can be accessed only by crossing through a stunning blue-lit courtyard pond with sheer corrugated walls on both sides, a single tree and stepping stones to cross the water – making the trip seem as if it were truly a walk outside and back indoors.
Walls were mostly avoided in favor of glass partitions and divider-free spiral stairs to create a sense of spatial divisions from one room to the next but without blocking the flow of natural light, air and a sense of openness throughout the home. In the main portion of the renovated home, the bedroom floor has an internal sense of privacy but looks out both out on the street on one side and the interior pond on the other. The lower floor is more open from front to back, through and through.