Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore Heritage Shophouse, South East 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, South East Asia

facade ; entrance:
Canvas House Blair Road Singapore Heritage Shophouse facade Canvas House Blair Road Singapore Heritage Shophouse entrance

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.

Singapore shophouse Alabaster Suite:
Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore Heritage Shophouse Alabaster Suite

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.

Canvas House Blair Road Singapore living room

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.

Canvas House Blair Road Singapore living room

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”.

Singapore shophouse Alpine Suite:
Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore shophouse Alpine Suite

“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.”

Canvas House Blair Road Singapore living room

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.

Alabaster Suite:
Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore shophouse Alabaster Suite

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.

Canvas House Blair Road Singapore living room

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.

Canvas House Blair Road Singapore living room

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.

plan layout:
Canvas House Singapore shophouse plan layout

Canvas House Blair Road: Singapore Heritage Shophouse, South East Asia images / information received 120320 from Ministry of Design (MOD)

Location: Blair Road, Singapore

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