Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore Heritage Shophouse, Southeast Asian Building Interior Images
Canvas House Blair Road, Singapore
13 Mar 2020
Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore Heritage Shophouse
Design: Ministry of Design Architects (MOD)
Location: Blair Road, Singapore, Southeast Asia
Canvas House on Blair Road – Singapore Heritage Shophouse Renewal
MOD has newly completed an all-white Canvas House for co-living, set in a heritage shophouse in Singapore along Blair Road.
Historic dwellings like conservation shophouses are repositories of memories, with previous lives and a past of their own. Colin and his team at Ministry of Design conceptualised the “Canvas House”, exploring our relationship with the past, present and future through the concept of layers, time and up-cycling.
a. Blurring the boundaries between space and object, MOD conceptually blanketed Canvas House with a layer of white that provides a canvas for the future, and focuses historical preservation in concentrated areas.
b. Colin elaborates, “When it comes to adaptive reuse projects, the question is always the same, how do we tread the line between the past and the present? If one opts for the project to be just about preservation, it’s as good as time standing still… which could be paralysing and inhibiting”.
“But at the same time, neither do we want to disregard history completely by creating something too foreign or novel. Our response was to layer over the existing history with a proverbial blank canvas whilst leaving choreographed glimpses into the past, blanketing both space and the furniture in it – allowing us to blur the inherent boundaries between past and present, object and space.”
c. The house rhythmically reveals parts of its past, with Shadows of old timber as well as Layers of revealed brick and intricate details of pre-owned furniture. Majority of the tables, chairs, chests, mirrors, screens and vanity desks, were re-purposed and given a new lease of life.
To pay homage to the past, yet give it character for the future, Ministry of Design painted these up-cycled pieces all-white but carved out “playful peek-a-boo reveals” of vignettes on the decorative vases, ceramic plates and corner legs of wooden screens, vanity dressers and chairs. Historic details are preserved in a similarly conceptual fashion, where brick walls are revealed in concentrated circles.
d. At the same time, Ministry of Design invites visitors to imagine a future with Dream, a text-based neon piece that the studio created, with a quote by Thomas Jefferson that encapsulates MOD’s approach to Canvas House.
The quote “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past” summarizes the attitude of the house; Colin explains, “it is a neutral white canvas for the future to be dreamt upon, rather than a wholesale homage to the past.
Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore Heritage Shophouse, Southeast Asia images / information received 120320 from Ministry of Design (MOD)
Location: Blair Road, Singapore
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