Singapore-based design firm A Solid Plan created The Envelope House as an experiment in biophilic design and microclimates. The result? A landscaped “double-skin” design that explores new ways to create tropical architecture in a dense urban environment.
The Envelope House was designed to provide multiple generations a light and airy space to live in a densely populated location. To this end, the house has an outer envelope enclosing a layer of greenery and an indoor courtyard garden. Designers explained, “The double skin and its vegetation shield the house from the harsh western sun and blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors, creating a language for tropical architecture.”
Different sized skylights in the ceiling, windows placed along walkways, and balconies on multiple floors let in abundant natural light and form unique but flexible living spaces inside and outside the house. For the interior, green plantings, including trees, contribute to the home’s biophilic design and help create varying microclimates inside and outside the home. The effect is stunning.
An indoor water garden wraps around a staircase that passes through foliage and leads to a “skybridge” that runs through the tree canopy. This “brings nature indoors and into the residents’ everyday life,” the designers said. The space is even flexible enough to provide options as the family’s needs change in the future.
A garden surrounds the home, and a green roof with grass and planters top the building. With trees also planted on the balconies, the home achieves a one-of-a-kind look, with treetops peeking out from every level of the tall yet compact building.
All three partners from A Solid Plan have been awarded the 2021 inaugural 20 Under 45 Designers award from the Society of Interior Designers, Singapore’s highest honor recognizing interior designers at the age of 45 and under for their exemplary achievements.
Images via A Solid Plan