Seeing the Forest Through the Living Room

February 23, 2010 by

Green walls enclose living area of Elot House

The owner of this urban garden house expressed his dream about living in a “forest” setting amidst the urbanized city of Singapore and his architect, Chang Yong Ter of Chang Architects,  interpreted the dream. In lieu of adding the landscaping after completion of the house, this one was conceived as a three-dimensional landscape installation, whereby the spaces were then placed into the landscape.

Decent exposure? The kitchen looks out onto the street

One moves through a series of interchangeable rooms that fit into a terrace plot with a 2-storey high retaining wall at the rear that becomes a pebbled waterfall opening up to the sky. Below, a rainwater-collecting pond envelops the living area.

The kitchen with its grove of trees pushing up through the floor

Within and throughout the house, a rich variety of unique urban garden scenarios have been implemented: a kitchen entrance that is a grove of trees and a 2-storey internal enclosure of vertical living walls of fern that extend into the living spaces with moss and pebble entrances to bedrooms.

Inside-out: The green wall behind the bed compliments the exterior one through the window

The design has a living, organic quality, where plants grow and mature, and the scent of wet earth fills the air. The layout and utilization of plant and water elements maintain a cool microclimate within the house, reducing the need for air-conditioning and artificial lighting.

The living walls extend up to the rooftop terrace

In sync with nature, the client’s dream has evolved into a living house where the boundaries of indoor and out blend together to form a green haven, a verdant urban oasis.


  • Matti

    I would happily volunteer for a gardening position in order to keep quarters there. Stunning. Is it in Singapore? Matti

  • Megan

    OMG!!!! I’m on board with Matti. As long as we can bring Max the Border Collie with us.

  • Victoria

    Luscious, lush, love it!

  • rebecca sweet

    Love it! Though I’m not sure my mow-and-blow guy could manage this garden without completely destroying my whole house! 😉

  • Robert Webber

    Boarding a plane to fly over and take possession of this house and garden as I type!

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  • Rothschild Orchid

    Wow! Love it!

  • noemi bayawa

    i live in a forest area. your house is truly amazing, and i like it. one question though, how do you maintain it, free from pests and diseases.
    am trying to make a tiny mini forest in my small rooftop.

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