A shophouse in Singapore is a blank page oriented to the future

The architectural studio Ministry of Design chooses upcycling and total white as means to overcome the retro atmosphere, opening up to new imaginaries.

Spread throughout Southeast Asia as a hybrid solution between shop and home, shophouses are one of the distinctive features of Singapore's 19th century architectural heritage. Commissioned to convert a shophouse into a shared accommodation for expats and creatives, the Singapore architectural firm Ministry of Design questions the relationship between past and future and identifies the integral upcycling of interiors as a way to overcome the retro imagery that usually conditions the look and feel of these buildings. 

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Using an explicit element of rupture, the studio chooses for this "Canvas House" the scenographic expedient of a radical total white, imposing on all coverings, furnishings and objects a coat of white paint that affirms itself as a metaphor for a new course. However, the traces of the past are not completely erased, and resurface on all four floors in small corners where bricks or original decorations are left in sight, leaving a glimpse of the specific traces of local culture.

Located on the ground floor, the Dream artwork by Ministry of Design offers itself as a compendium of the spirit that animates the renovation project. Made with neon letters, its quote "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past" by Thomas Jefferson inserts the unique breaking color of the whole space, that of pink used for the mantra "dreams of the future".

Ministry of Design
350 sqm

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