Project names: Shizukokoro / Heng House
Project locations: Bukit Batok / Mattar, Singapore
Project type: Interior / Residential
Team members: Dessy Anggadewi, Sam Loet, Goy Zhenru
Structural Engineer / Consultant: Nil
Constructors: Towner Construction Pte Ltd ( Heng House) / Roman Builders Pte Ltd (Shizukokoro)
Year of completion: 2019
Software used: ARCHICAD, Teamwork, BIMcloud, BIMx
Goy Architects always present their clients with wholistic design solutions — regardless of the project — from architecture to interior design and furnishings. It’s important to visually update their clients during the design process for feedback. This way, the architects are able to sync or fully achieve the client’s design goals and requirements.
Goy Architects’ usual challenge is to realize their design concepts within the given budget and timeline. The furniture is also custom made and sourced regionally, which adds another logistical complexity to their projects. They work with colleagues in Singapore, Chiangmai and Bali on local and regional projects.
GOY Architects win Lookbox Design Awards in Several Categories with their projects Shizukokoro and The Heng HousePhotographer: Fabian Ong
Project name: Shizukokoro
‘Shizukokoro’, which means a ‘calm mind’ in Japanese, was the inspiration for this five-room flat. Referencing traditional ryokans, the designers have curated the journey of the flat with pockets of vistas and spatial delights. This involved either obscuring or framing spaces within the home. To ensure the owners and guests feel comfortable even when enjoying a cup of tea on the floor, the designers created an intimate landscape frame for the living room, keeping the proportion grounded to the floor.
Pale white oak surfaces evoke an air of calm, and most furnishings were custom made to fit the exact dimensions of the space. To filter the harsh external light, frosted windows were used in the living room to create a soft, ambient glow.
Project Shizukokoro won three prizes in the Lookbox Design Awards. The jury citation reads:
"This apartment shows a balance between great design and functionality. The styles and materials are appropriate and well considered. Structural challenges have been cleverly overcome, resulting in a well- designed and thought- out space."
Project name: The Heng House
The owner, who occupies this double-story terrace house with her parents, wanted a studio space for the pro bono Pilates classes she conducts for people with mobility issues. The home also had to be spacious enough to hold both intimate and large gatherings, including the community meetings hosted by her father, who is involved with the yellow ribbon project (a rehabilitation project for ex-offenders).
The inspiration for this project was the tropical kampong house, where the goal was to create a home with an easy-going spirit, with different pockets of spaces to rest, play and converse. The designers have blurred the lines between exterior and interior spaces through the use of skylights and air wells. The client was interested in the concept of up-cycling materials and has an appreciation for antique Javanese timber doors and windows. As such, the designers restored battered timber windows and doors to be used on the house’s facade and as internal partitions.
The architects consider these two projects successful ones, since both of the projects won the prestigious Lookbox Design Awards in several categories. Lookbox Design Awards (LBDA) honor the projects and people who are setting new benchmarks for residential interior design in Singapore.
Jury citations for the winning projects:
Outstanding HDB* Flat: Shizukokoro
“This apartment shows a balance between great design and functionality. The styles and materials are appropriate and well considered. Structural challenges have been cleverly overcome, resulting in a well-designed and thought-out space.”*HDB flat – refers to public housing in Singapore. More than 80% of Singapore's population live in HDB flats.
Best Space for Retreat: Shizukokoro
"This project very successfully achieved the transformation of an HDB flat with a series of simple interventions that achieved the client’s brief for a Japanese-inspired interior. We were particularly impressed by the customized furniture items that were produced for the project.”
Home of the Year 2019: Shizukokoro
"This project displays an astonishing level of transformation of an interior. The materials are well chosen and provide comfort; the forms well- articulated and provide defined yet flowing spaces; and the detailing sophisticated and sensitive – a most well-deserving winner."
Overall comment from the jury:
"In a changing world, nothing is more important than adaptability and innovation. Goy Architects is set up so ingeniously; the three women that run this company should be so proud of their achievements. Their approach to design has a conscience and shows a greater skill at play. Their designs are well on their way to becoming extraordinary!"
I needed a software that could allow me to work smarter and more flexibly... The traditional workflow was impossible for me when I started out as a one-person firm. Goy Zhenru
They look for projects that allow them to express a regional identity and craft, while allowing them to tap into the regional craftsmen and culture.
Goy Architects have been working with ARCHICAD since 2016. Goy Zhenru explains her selection of ARCHICAD as her main design platform: “I needed a software that could allow me to work smarter and more flexibly. It must also be light as I travel a lot and I need to access projects on my laptop. The traditional workflow was impossible for me when I started out as a one-person firm.“
She believes ARCHICAD has strategically impacted their practice, as it allows them to manage their projects efficiently, and they enjoy using the software very much.
GRAPHISOFT’s BIMCloud solution allows Goy Architects to work simultaneously and collaboratively together within their team. The updated model is then presented in the BIMx format, where their clients can fully immerse themselves in the final design space, while relaying constructive feedback for the design solution.
The schedules function in ARCHICAD allows the architects to order materials more accurately (especially when they are sourcing regionally) and offers a quantity check for the estimated project cost. This allows for better control of the budget and a better control of the design.
Goy Architects uses Teamwork, BIMcloud and OPEN BIM workflows, as well. They can work more flexibly and communicate more interactively even though they are based in three different countries. This also allows them the possibility of getting regional assignments, since they have colleagues based in different countries.
Goy Architects believe that using GRAPHISOFT software solutions and delivering on time and on budget adds credibility to their team. It also gives them the advantage of producing relevant drawings for discussion without excessive man-hours. The clients are delighted by the final design outcome and are pleased that the perspectives are grammatically correct and accurate to the final on-site construction.
And finally, BIMx gives them better control of the design outcome when the builders can access the BIM model on the construction site.
About Goy Architects
Goy Zhenru was educated as an architect at the National University of Singapore and at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zürich. After working in both Switzerland and Singapore, she opened her own office, Goy Architects, in Singapore in 2015.
As an architect, Goy has created educational facilities (public and private), farm-stay resorts, residential and industrial buildings. As a designer, she has a keen interest in producing custom furniture and decorative objects that complement the interior and architectural designs.
Together with her colleagues based in Bali and Changmai, they established a regional team that facilitate cross-pollinations of ideas that may be influenced by their cultural and built environment.
Goy Architects is recently identified by Indesign Media Asia Pacific editorial team as the industry's up-and-coming 'wunderkinds', who think forward and set their own directions. They are selected for "The Prodigy" category of the INDE Awards 2020.