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Water, light and natural ventilation offset humidity and give this kitchen a feeling of serenity

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A water feature will always help create a soothing meditative atmosphere in a home. Where the house is located on a small plot of land, in a dense urban landscape, the water feature can bring an element of nature into the house.

It was for these reasons that architect Han Loke Kwang, partner in Hyla Architects, introduced a water feature into the kitchen of this house.

"Singapore is a warm, humid country. I find that the sight and sound of water has calming psychological benefits. The skylight above is near the centre of the house, and it allows an abundance of natural light and ventilation," he says.

The natural look of the area is accentuated by the use of two types of timber, says Han.

"Balau, a native timber, is the darker red-coloured timber by the goldfish pond. In the kitchen, the use of oak veneer brings a lighter feeling to the house."

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The kitchen area is separated in two by a glass partition, which slides into a wall recess behind the rectangular island bench when not in use. Beyond the partition, towards the rear of the house, is the wet kitchen, an area which can be naturally ventilated by opening the doors at the far end.

In the dry kitchen, in front of the glass screen, is a large island bench with a cantilevered countertop. Both wet and dry kitchens feature hobs. Stainless steel sheets form a splashback that runs the length of the work area.

"The island is the central focus of the room," says Han. "It provides a multi-use space that can be used by the owner, who enjoys cooking, as a preparation area, yet she can still communicate with other people in the room."

The island countertop is made from granite. Light grey, homogenous ceramic tiles on the floor maintain the cool atmosphere, says Han.

First published date: 16 August 2005

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Credit List

Architect Han Loke Kwang, HYLA Architects BAS, SIA, (Singapore)
Sink Oliveri DuoForm bowl
Hood Elica Daniela
Hobs Elica
Dry kitchen hobs Elba Ceramic hobs
Fridge Hitachi Cool Jet Wrap
Flooring Victoria tiles from Builders Shop
Wall Plaster and paint by Praxis Contractors
Cabinets and stainless steel panelling Thung Interior Contractors