In Singapore, a lush veil of tropical plants has enveloped a sustainable home for a family of five. The house, aptly named “Fade to Green,” is the work of Singaporean design studio HYLA Architects, who was tapped to create a semi-detached home that was green in both design and spirit. In addition to its thriving tropical foliage, the house is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system and rooftop solar panels to reduce the building’s environmental footprint.
Located on a long and narrow lot, the Fade to Green house makes the most of its rectangular footprint by building upward and leaving space for a generous L-shaped garden that wraps around the front and side of the home. In contrast to its more traditional neighbors, the contemporary house is wrapped in a timber screen made from strips of Kebony — a treated timber product from Norway — selected for its ability to develop a natural gray patina over time. The spacing of the slats in the timber screen vary in size to either provide privacy or enough sunlight for plants to thrive.
“Sited within the tropical heritage surrounding of the botanic gardens, the house was designed with the narrative of nature and its relationship with architecture,” the architects explained. “Building around the inhabitant’s experience, the house blurs spatial boundaries to orchestrate light and environment into daily life. Contrary to resisting the elements of nature, the house pursues this idea of when the building stops, nature takes over.”
Dense tropical foliage surrounds the building and provides privacy and a cooling microclimate. Nature is continuously referenced throughout the home, from the ground floor where the open-plan living and dining area seamlessly connects to the garden through sliding glass doors to the predominant use of timber and stone in the minimalist materials palette. The bedrooms — three on the second floor and the master suite on the top floor — are also set back to provide space for a continuous layer of landscaping that grows along the wraparound garden terrace.
Images via Derek Swalwell via HYLA Architects