Beauty Within


The multi-purpose central courtyard serves among others as a visual focal point.

Wide open spaces that allows for ventilation and natural lighting.

The central courtyard is an inter-connector that links other rooms in the house.

A modern-day sanctuary opens up to the world, but can only be truly appreciated from the inside.

Text : Lawrence Julius

72 Sentosa Cove makes Mother Nature’s day by cutting the environmental impact of traditional lodgings. 

This unique 6,032 sq ft masterpiece in Singapore is designed to adapt accordingly to the various climates, factoring in sunlight, wind, rain, and even topography. Simple and sleek from the outside, the home’s true nature can only be truly appreciated from the inside.

It started with a family; a couple with two kids, who wanted a private home with space enough for a service personnel and maybe a guest or two eventually. Maximizing space and privacy became a prime focus because of the site’s close proximity to surrounding neighbors. This in mind, the architects of Ong&Ong turned a typical home inside out.

72 Sentosa Cove was designed as a mass container that faces inwards, towards a courtyard at the center of the home. This multi-purpose centerpiece not only acts as a visual focal point, but also a circulation pivot, a ventilation exhaust and a light well. Lined with glass walls, it also acts as an inter-connector, joining the multiple rooms and levels of the home together. While giving a sense of space, it also secures priceless privacy for the dwellers within.

From the outside, the wide-open North and South façades are seen to purposely differ from the smaller and slimmer East and West. This is done in order to accommodate natural lighting, provide thermal circulation and wind ventilation. Crossed ventilation techniques are applied to ensure proper air circulation is achieved to cool the interiors. Vertical timber louvers and sliding timber panels can be seen lining the main glazed façade, done to control the entrance of natural light and wind current flow. A timber layer wraps the front and rear façades to avoid direct solar radiation on the glazed elevations. At the end of the day, this combination of natural lighting and ventilation methods indirectly decreases energy consumption, a welcome thought when it’s time to pay the bills.

Four levels make up this one-of-a-kind home. It consists of the underground basement, the ground level with aluminum cladding, the second level with stone and timber and the roof terrace. At the top, pitch roofs and light openings showcase a design of repeating slopes that flow luminance into the principal spaces below.

The social areas are on the ground floor where the main access, foyer, kitchen, dining area, living area and guest bedroom are located. Outside, a lap pool, Jacuzzi and the central courtyard cater to the family’s active lifestyle. The second level however, branches to more private areas like the bedrooms, home office, television room and reading room. The basement houses the laundry area, pantry, service bedrooms and even a bomb shelter  –  just in case.  Last but not least, the rooftop settles as a second entertainment deck for sun bathing and barbeques, looking over an ocean view.

Living up to its green purpose, environmentally friendly materials were used in constructing the building. For instance, timber floorings are 100% natural teak wood with no additives or harmful compounds. The thickness of the façade is also increased with natural stone cladding that promotes the delay of thermal changeability and heat transference. The addition of mature native plants surrounding the compound not only complements the luxurious appearance of the house, but plays a more important part as well. They assist to ensure the soil’s steadiness, considering that the existence of a basement generates a major balance offset to the terrain. Topping it all off is a dense foliage to induce solitude and harmony.

72 Sentosa Cove
Architect – Ong&Ong Pte ltd
Client – Optima Capital Pte Ltd
Built-up – 6,032 sq ft
Land area – 7,599 sq ft
Location – 72 Sentosa Cove, Singapore
Completion date – 2009
Awards – MIPIM Asia 2010 Award, Residential Development

This architectural gem with a noble environmental cause has truly been an eye-opener and possibly a benchmark for future homes. No doubt this model home attracted global attention after it grabbed a win at the MIPIM Asia Award 2010, under the Residential Developments category. For its ingenious concepts and beauty on the inside as well as out, 72 Sentosa Cove may well be perfect role model for today’s concept of the modern home.