By the Sea

Soothing colours, subtle details and dexterous spatial manoeuvres make this apartment by the sea an inviting and relaxing holiday home


It is quite common for homes located near the sea to have water-inspired themes. Some lean toward the literal, which can, after some time, dull into kitsch. This project by Singapore-based 0932 Designs is a subtler alternative that offers timeless appeal.  

The duplex apartment in the Daniel Libeskind-designed Corals at Keppel Bay already had a good structure: a six-metre-high living and dining space fronts a panoramic sea view and the verdant island of Sentosa beyond, edged by utility spaces and five bedrooms. A staircase leads up to a family room and open terrace.

As a holiday home for the client, the space needed to encourage relaxation. To achieve this, 0932 conceived thoughtful spatial adjustments and features: for instance, the orientation of the bed in the master bedroom was changed to face the sea rather than a neighbour’s unit; pocket sliding doors in the second-storey family room minimise disturbances from activity on the lower floor, and vice versa whenever necessary.

Focal points are established as a visual guide through the vast space. ‘The ceiling is only 2.3 metres high, and the low ceiling make the space appear stretched horizontally, with the help of a tinted mirror at one end,’ notes 0932 Design’s co-founder and director CK Low. The juxtaposition with the lofty main living area is dramatic, and is accentuated by a pair of Michael Anastassiades graphic and minimal Tube chandeliers that hang above the dining table.

Sheer curtains flood the interior with a gentle light. To meet the client’s desire for a more spacious lift lobby and natural lighting in the entrance, the designers replaced a swing door and trellis with tinted Valeria sliding doors from Rimadesio that allow light to segue through. Come evening, this space becomes a light-filled portal.

‘The main objective was to keep the spaces airy and breathable,’ says Low. Beige, white, dark chocolate and charcoal tones in the furnishings, fittings and surfaces provide a visually comfortable foil for modern furniture from brands like Walter Knoll and Flexform. 

Practicality and aesthetic delight meld seamlessly throughout. ‘We used more timber and fabric rather than metal, which would oxidise over time being so near the sea,’ explains Low. Curves — commonly used in nautical design — are found in elements like the half-rounded, solid oak strips wrapping the dry kitchen counter sides and master bedroom headboard, as well as in furniture forms.

Meanwhile, the original glass staircase with stainless steel handrails was replaced with an opaque oak timber railing, offering more tactility and comfort to the touch. Along the living room is a wall of white fins that mimics the movements of a boat’s sail in abstraction, and injects three dimensionality to the space. Made of high-quality nanotech laminate, the anti-fingerprint, water-repellent and mould-resistant material considers long-term maintenance.

As Low describes, 0932 Design is a collective ‘driven by an admiration for delicately complex craftsmanship behind what usually seems deceptively simple.’ This apartment clearly reflects this ethos, expressed in every element from the large gestures to the smallest detail.

Text / Jingmei Luo
Images / Tai Heng