Living Grid House balances nature with functionality
Featuring both function and visual interest, the Living Grid House stands out as an example of green design. L Architects, under the guidance of primary Architect Lim Shing Hui and Architectural Assistant Tse Lee Shing, developed the structure with a focus on the connection between natural space and living space.
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The notable characteristic of the Living Grid House is the “grid-and-planter” skin. It is a way of seamlessly housing copious plants into the structure of the building.
As the architects phrased it in their project release, “The layering of a grid-and-planter skin at the front elevation presents an unusual mien as it questions the fundamental relationship between structure and surface, function and aesthetics, nature and dwelling.”
Located on the waterfront of Sentosa Cove in Singapore, a natural environment surrounds the family home. The passive design elements increase privacy from neighboring houses and passing vehicles. Additionally, the green façade offers shade and pleasant views.
“The frame comprises 800 by 800 cuboids that form a tectonic, cloud-like volume,” said the architects. “Viewed straight on, it appears as a planar lattice. Upon closer approach, its three-dimensionality becomes apparent.”
The innovative exterior not only brings visual appeal, but function as well. Mechanisms for lighting, watering and drainage are incorporated into the exterior framework, providing ongoing support for the living walls.
The vertical greening of the Living Grid House isn’t a new design. Rather, it’s a concept borrowed from commercial buildings and transferred into a residential environment. Specifically appropriate for the tropical climate of the area, the plants and structure that support them offer temperature regulation. The pleasant appeal also adds community engagement and beautification.
“Poetry and science meld in the framework, whose personality alters at different vantage points and times of day — under sunlight, the grid and plants engage in a sculptural duet; come dusk, the grid is highlighted in wireframe mode as the plants recede into shadow,” explained Architect Lim Shing Hui.