Which Architectural Style is Right for Your Singapore Landed Property?

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Choosing the right architectural style for your Singapore landed property is a journey that marries form with function, blending personal taste with practical considerations. It’s about creating a space that feels like home, reflects who you are, and stands as a testament to your style. Yet, it’s also about adhering to regulations and ensuring your home is a comfortable, sustainable sanctuary in Singapore’s tropical climate. In this journey, the perspectives of both the property owner and the architect play crucial roles.

Understanding Your Needs and Preferences

Before diving into architectural styles, it’s essential to reflect on what you want and need from your home. Are you inclined towards a modern and sleek look, or does the charm of traditional styles appeal more? Think about your lifestyle—do you entertain often, need privacy, or envision a garden oasis? Your home should support your way of life, facilitating activities and hobbies that bring you joy. Furthermore, consider future requirements, such as family expansion or adaptability for aging in place, ensuring your home evolves with you.

Popular Architectural Styles for Singapore Landed Properties

Modern and Contemporary

Modern architecture, characterized by clean lines, large windows, and open floor plans, offers simplicity and a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. It’s a style that resonates with many in Singapore, offering a sense of calm and order amidst the bustling city life.

Colonial Style

The colonial style harks back to Singapore’s historical past, featuring pitched roofs, tall columns, and verandas that cater to tropical living by promoting air circulation. This style is for those who appreciate the charm and character of historical design elements.

Tropical Modernism

A unique blend of modernist principles with adaptations for the tropics, this style emphasizes sustainability, natural ventilation, and integration with the surrounding environment. It’s ideal for homeowners looking to create a harmonious balance with nature.


For those unafraid to mix and match, an eclectic style allows for personal expression through a combination of elements from various architectural styles. It’s a creative process that results in a distinctive and personalized home.


In a city that never sleeps, a minimalist home offers a tranquil retreat. This style focuses on simplicity, clean lines, and a monochromatic palette, promoting a lifestyle unencumbered by excessive belongings.

Factors to Consider from a Singaporean Architect’s Perspective

Legal and Regulatory Constraints

Understanding the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) guidelines is paramount. These regulations cover aspects like plot ratio, building height, and setback requirements, ensuring your dream home is also a legal one.

Contextual and Environmental Considerations

The site’s context—its orientation, neighboring properties, and natural features—significantly influences the architectural style. An architect considers these factors to enhance comfort and aesthetics, ensuring your home responds well to its environment.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Designing with Singapore’s climate in mind is not just beneficial but necessary. Strategies like natural ventilation, sun shading, and the use of sustainable materials can significantly affect your home’s comfort and environmental impact.

Material Selection

The choice of materials impacts both the look and upkeep of your home. An architect can guide you through selecting materials that not only achieve the desired aesthetic but are also durable and suitable for Singapore’s climate.

The Process of Selecting the Right Architectural Style with Your Architect

Your architect’s role is to weave your vision into a feasible, captivating design. This partnership begins with open communication about your aspirations, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences. Through preliminary sketches and feasibility studies, your architect will help you explore possibilities and understand the implications of each choice.

This collaborative process ensures that the chosen architectural style resonates with you personally while meeting practical requirements. It’s a delicate balance between dreams and reality, guided by professional expertise and creative exploration.

Case Studies

Sentosa House

The Sentosa house was a major reconstruction to an existing home for the Owner who lives in Singapore and Indonesia. Located in the prestigious enclave of Cove Drive, the house enjoyed the coveted frontage of the waterside.

The house was designed with the spacious living and dining areas facing the swimming pool, which looked at the water side beyond. Typical of all houses around Cove Drive in Sentosa cove, most of these houses had the luxury of a personal slice of the water at their doorstep.

The concept was to create a house that reflected the marine theme of its unique location and context. At the same time, the Owner wanted a house that was iconic and distinctive – one that would stand out from the rest of the prestigious homes along Cove Drive.

Our design proposal was to bring a colonial theme for the house, but to express it in a modern and contemporary way. A distinctive pitched roof for the second level with the white washed walls completed the new look for the house. The façade was visually enhanced with night lighting that illuminated the features of the façade, pool and surrounding landscaping. The final ambience of the house was styled with a touch of elegance, luxury and pure comfort.

Read more about the Sentosa house here.

Layer House

Layer house was a concept that was borne from our client’s needs as a three-generation family living under one roof. The family consisted of grandmother, a couple and three young children. We wanted to create a home that would simultaneously allow everyone to gather comfortably for meals and family times, and retreat to privacy during work or rest times.

Efficient planning results in a well-distributed layout with four bedrooms at the second level. The two children’s rooms share a generous common bath that is naturally ventilated and opens to greenery. The master bedroom is located at the rear with a proportionately designed bathroom with double basins and a standing bathtub.

The best views would be seen from the attic level. A lounge space with a balcony occupies the front and allows the house another uniting space for the family. A feature bathroom located at this level redefines the shower planting brought indoors and visually-lit by a skylight above. There are two bedrooms at the rear of the attic and both opens to a open terrace.

Architecturally, the layered elevations of the house hide the internal functions with intricate style. Preserving the privacy of the home whilst still allowing sufficient light and ventilation, all the bedrooms have been designed with sufficient openings whilst being shielded by vertical screening.

Read more about how we conceptualized Layer House as a layering of spaces suited for multi-generational living.

Stack House

Shaping Stack House was an ambitious endeavour to fit four levels of living space into the typical two storey envelope control typology in Singapore. Designed to be a house for generations, the occupants were a young couple with a daughter. The owner’s desire to create an iconic modern home suited to the tropical climate presented challenges as well as opportunities for us.

The idea of the stacking volumes came about intuitively due to the desire to create more livable space. With the introduction of the envelope control regulation for houses in Singapore, there was an opportunity to explore increasing the internal spaces within the volumetric control of the house. This had to be thoughtfully done without compromising on the acceptable ceiling heights of rooms.

Stack house comprises of horizontal spaces stacked upon each other and cantilevered slightly to create playful depth and expression. These stacked volumes are ‘balanced’ on a glass box that elevated the spaces at the second and attic levels. The second level space is distinctive in white paint finish while the cantilevered attic level catches the eye with its contrasting black paint finish.

In planning the program within the house, the first and mezzanine levels are mainly for the public areas. The second level housed the private programs of master and children’s bedrooms. The attic level is the multi-functional family area.

This project of ours won the best architecture single residence Singapore at the 2023-2024: Asia Pacific Property Awards. Read more about how we made Stack House into a brilliant habitable space here.


Selecting the right architectural style for your landed property in Singapore is a decision that influences not just the look of your home, but how well it aligns with your lifestyle and the surrounding environment. Whether your heart leans towards the sleek lines of modern architecture or the historical allure of colonial styles, the key is to integrate personal tastes with the practical realities of building in this vibrant city.

Embarking on this creative journey with a professional architect opens up a world of possibilities, ensuring that the final design is not only beautiful but functional, sustainable, and legal. At ADX Architects, we cherish the opportunity to explore, dream, and materialize the perfect home with you. If you’re contemplating what architectural style fits your Singapore landed property best, let’s have a quick discussion. Together, we can craft a space that truly feels like home.

Contact ADX Architects today, and let’s start the conversation about your future dream home.

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