Lien Residence by Ministry of Design


Singapore studio Ministry of Design have completed a single-storey house that zig-zags across its triangular site in Singapore.

Called Lien Residence, the house twists to avoid an existing tree, creating courtyard spaces that are sheltered from the weather but admit light and breezes to the interior and basement level.

The building is split into three sections: an entertainment zone, a family zone and a private master zone.

The house also features a diagonally-patterned planted roof.

More stories about Ministry of Design on Dezeen:

Face to Face (January 2010)
Leo Burnett Office (October 2009)

Photographs are by Edward Hendricks and Patrick Bingham-Hall.

Here is some more information from Ministry of Design:


Lien Residence by Ministry of Design

Architecture (with PAA) + Interior Architecture 600 sq m Singapore 2009. Built

Returning to the romance of the single-storey bungalow house, this zig-zag house acquires its unique form via a series of formal maneuvers around a mature tree located on its long and triangulated sliver of land.

Tropically acclimated to the region, the building’s twisting form creates “in-between” spaces which provide shelter from nature’s harsh elements and simultaneously allow for cross ventilation and filtered light. Courtyards, captured by the turning of the twisted building form, bring light into the basement service areas.

Internal corridors serve as breezeways between air-conditioned and naturally cooled areas.

Slightly lofted over the ground, each of the building’s three Miesian inspired wings house an entertainment zone, a family zone and a private master zone.

Seen as a seamless singular form, the building reads as both sheltering building as well as abstracted sculpture.

Viewed from the vicinity’s taller structures, the building’s roofscape provides the final design touch – where diagonally arranged planting strips echo the unique twisted form of the House Around a Tree.

Posted on Friday February 12th 2010 at 3:00 pm by Chris Barnes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • I wonder if people can walk up onto the roof with the ‘diagonal planting strips’ or is it just for show or for environmental benefits? If it’s just for show, I don’t see who will be seeing it but if it’s to be inhabited I don’t see how to access it.

    If it is for environmental benefits (absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, lowering urban air temperatures, etc.) what are they exactly and how does it work?

  • kolohe

    i can dig it.

  • bob

    Spacially…. handcuffed. Seems too zonal, (From the perspective of the photographs taken) each area has too many intercrossing (actual foot fall) points of access, either internal or external, to make this a functioning residential space. As a gallery, especially for presenting sculpture, (exquisite oppurtunity for free flowing, condensed natural lighting).

  • scruces

    beauty materialized

  • Myang

    What existing tree? Was it a newly planted tree (guessing from the size of it from the picture)?

  • Narra-like yellow wood is a good selection (was trying to catch whether the stair material is a ‘peel’ from the ground material)

    the internal ceiling had no relation to the roof form. The roof can be completely topological outside, but it was not expressed internally. (probably because of dominance of miesian formalism)

    Would love to see the maneuvering thru the landscape causing a single line diagram of daily agenda. how the maneuvering affects the internal relationships of spaces (dividing and articulating)

    While the gaps between the volumes introduced a reduction of a ‘subjective’ experience of spatial adjacency, it should enhance a good objective point of view for the opposite space (attract me to make me want to progress to the other space of the ‘single line diagram’)

  • fresh … good for ispiration

  • Georgey

    Concept seems a bit contrived and spatial is very boring. The walk does not follow the talk. Nice roof though.

  • That roof gives me the urge to go play minature golf….

  • ads

    Great design, but the glass demarcation at the staircase is conflicting with the overall design. Its reducing the strength of the glass walls. The roof can be a mini golf course [dual purpose].

    Great stuff ministry of design

  • AJ

    The main concept is very suspect…look at the Tree which the concept was anchored upon..”House around a Tree”. Everyone look at the TREE, its a NEWLY PLANTED YOUNG TREE. The original concept probably killed the original tree…where is the tree as depicted in the diagrams. Ah the marvels of photoshop..what we gonna do without that….nice try though

  • kai
  • James

    I’m guessing the builder killed the tree by damaging its roots. As much as designers these days take existing elements as a consideration, proper care on protecting a tree needs to be well planed. It’s not as simple as just ‘building’ around the tree.

  • kotsjack

    mirror of 3….!?! bay system using pattern is good….display some interior or plans…

  • PC

    I like it… So sexy…

  • Tammy

    Arched windows and doorways, cove ceilings and a bay window or two plus rounded rooflines would have made this spectacular, young tree included! As is, it is too harsh and cold.

  • hmmhmm

    Having seen the premises in person and the collective of houses, I must say I am a bit disappointed at the mis-opportunity. The masterplanning by K2LD architects is especially poor. I would say this residence is perhaps one of the more successful ones. Pity about the tree which died that was the anchor of the concept. Words shrouding project…

  • wha

    hmmhmm: I don’t understand the reference to K2LD architects when this project was done by Ministry of Design?