Stark House by Park + Associates

  • Stark House by Park Associates

    Located in a Singaporean housing estate, the Stark House by Park + Associates asserts its deviation from the status quo – to the satisfaction of its owners – and even its neighbours. 

    The Stark House lies in a 1980s estate, surrounded by residential developments, the Changi Prison Complex, Changi Airport and a mix of industrial and commercial structures. The area proved an unusual context for Park + Associates to design a cantilevering concrete home, that wasn’t to replicate another ‘square box’.

    Together Park + Associates and the homeowners chose to go against the grain. But choosing not to blend in with the close neighbours couldn’t have been better received, who’ve praised the refreshing addition to their architectural vernacular. With all of its angular concrete forms, glass and greenery and without any of the typical embellishments, the Stark House speaks completely for itself. 

    Stark House by Park Associates

    The Singapore-based design team spent time deliberating what context is, noting that for a new home to be introduced in the area, they needed to holistically consider every contributing layer alongside their clients’ motivations.

    Lifting cues from the confluence of zones and building types, the home champions the mature trees at the rear, folding them into the architecture. Every level of the home is orientated towards the trees and away from the neighbouring homes, to create a private sanctuary. Internally, this surfaces through the frameless glass and a vertical atrium that is the first thing people see when they enter. 

    Park + Associates Senior Designer Adrian Gesmundo explains that with careful planning and layout, the home fosters interaction. “By being careful not to overdo the palette through mindful analysis of colours and textures, there is enough warmth in the house that prevents it from being too cold or bare,” he says. This is best seen on the basement level, where family activities take place and unfold out onto the 23-metre long outdoor swimming pool. 

    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates

    Materials define the Stark House, predominantly composed of off-form concrete finish with timber imprints, intermitted with Kebony timber that will develop a grey patina over time. “Off-form concrete offers beauty and character to the structure,” Adrian says. “We used the method of form-work backed with real timber strips to soften the heavy ‘shell’ the house has.” The house works off cool tones through a predominantly grey palette, using concrete effects for internal wall finishes and cement terrazzo flooring. 

    Moments of darkness inside were a request of the client. They asserted a no clutter policy, choosing only high-calibre furniture to feature in the Stark House. The Eames Wire Chair, the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, the Aura Chair by Mikko Laakkonen for Inno and the 271 Mex Cube Sofa by Piero Lissoni for Cassina were all given a valued place in the home. 

    “We feel that the house’s strong geometric massing coupled with stark finishing doesn’t easily fall into ‘contemporary house’ classification,” Adrian affirms. But it is for this exact reason neighbours have acknowledged a sense of rejuvenation it has brought to their housing pocket. Playing on appearance and to its natural surrounds, Park + Associates have proven that sometimes, there is little need for architecture to blend and imitate its neighbourhood character. 

    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates
    Stark House by Park Associates

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