The interior courtyard centers the space with its mossy garden surrounded by a sea of gray.

For 3 Siblings in Singapore, This Siheyuan-Style Build on the Site of Their Childhood Home Offers Room to Grow

2022 Best of Year Winner for City House Architecture

Three siblings were attached to their childhood home in Singapore, a colonial-style bungalow ringed by lush vegetation. They loved its deep eaves, pitched roof, and mix of Malay and Victorian details. But as adults, they had outgrown the shared space. The trio asked Neri&Hu to build a new, larger house on the same site that evoked the original design, balanced private and communal spaces, and included a small memorial garden to honor their late mother.

The design team met these requests by re­interpreting the traditional Chinese home, or siheyuan, a typology that accommodates multiple generations under the same roof. The 12,800-square-foot, two-story structure is centered on a courtyard and remembrance garden, with communal spaces on the ground floor and private ones upstairs. The concept frames the Zenlike garden as the sacred heart of the home. The main corridor forms a circle around it, and open-air light wells and austere concrete interiors create a meditative environment. But expansive glass walls and sliding doors also connect living areas to the surrounding greenery and a swimming pool.

On the second floor, four bedrooms and balconies are housed within the steep gables of the zinc roof. Three double-height spaces allow family members to look down from the private to public zones, ensuring their daily lives are always intertwined.

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A pitched roof opens to reveal a courtyard with lush greenery and rocks
Subtle shades of gray create a calming interior with curves walls and indoor-outdoor space
The homes geometries enable sunlight to stream down into the space
Greenery surrounds the tile-lined pool in the Siheyuan build
The exterior of the new build features a slanted gray roof and concrete walls.
The interior courtyard centers the space with its mossy garden surrounded by a sea of gray.
project team
neri&hu design and research office: lyndon neri; rossana hu; christine chang; sela lim; bella lin; kevin chim; alexander goh; haiou xin; july huang.

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