Creating Order

In this ClementiWoods apartment, JOW Architects has organised planes, material and form into a cosy composition


Singapore’s small apartments often leave little room for creativity, but inventive minds can create poetry from limitations. In the case of the Clementiwoods apartment, JOW Architects has carved out an inviting, clutter-free haven from what used to be a standard layout with banal finishes.  

Timber tones characterise the new space and infuse it with warmth, while the existing teak parquet flooring in the bedroom, stained a dark walnut, generates an introspective ambience. In the common areas, white oak flooring is mirrored on the wall as timber panelling.

This gesture is intended to create visual order and reduce distraction, explains JOW Architects’ director Joseph Wong. The wall panelling lends texture to the space and subtly separates the private and public zones. Slide-and-fold doors open to reveal the corridor to the bedrooms and an open study that was created by removing a wall between the dining room and adjacent bedroom. Elegant construction means that when all doors are closed, a seamless, rhythmic backdrop is created.

‘The project is an attempt to refine the apartment spatially. The original function of each area is retained but we’ve further defined the individual spaces,’ Wong says. The timber panelling, for example, envelopes the space that the family defines as the heart of the home. At the entrance, the lowered ceiling creates a hierarchy between the foyer and living area, but the timber finish overhead integrates it into the overall design.

Soft illumination weaves the elements together, accentuating joinery or – as exemplified by the ‘floating’ dry kitchen counter with base lighting – creates points of interest. A singular Louis Poulsen PH5 lamp above the dining table is a graphic touch within the minimal foil. 

The meticulous way architectural components are composed in relation to one another and expressed with hardworking details is this apartment’s strength. There’s barely a need for further decoration when delight is found in such simple spatial gestures.

Text / Jingmei Luo
Photography / Marc Tan/Studio Periphery