Check Out: Sculpting Spaces in the Tropics: Aamer Architects


Sculpting Spaces in the Tropics is about a collection of houses that represents the journey of an architect in discovering his artistic soul in designing houses in the tropics--houses that sit well on the site and integrate the outdoors, allowing natural flow of air and energy with spaces that are physically comfortable and forms that are inspiring.

Aamer Architects re-invents the tropical house with contemporary forms that are unique and relevant to today's lifestyle expectations. Tropical elements of light and shade, openness to the landscape are revisited with interesting new forms. Merging the tropical language with contemporary lines and structure, the book shows also the earlier works of Aamer which already embrace the green lush outdoor gardens making them part of the indoor living experience. Inspirations are often drawn from the traditional Asian culture like from the Iban Longhouse which resulted in the "Dalvey Long House," bold in form and fluid in function with its typical spatial arrangements and strategy. Other projects derive their challenges from the site, like the "Merlimau House" built on a rather tight triangular land. Apart from cooling the house by having "green roof tops," the effect can be achieved by having the swimming pool elevated - where the best views often are.

The book attempts to show that Aamer Architects views design as finding an ideal solution to the combination of factors that include site, culture and climate, structure and services with an economy of means to arrive at an aesthetic whole. The Archisculpture architecture considers each project as a work of art, conceived through a thorough appreciation of context and brief, and carefully sculptured to congenially fit into the land.


About the Authors:

Aamer Taher. Aamer established Aamer Taher Design Studio (ATDS) in 1994, two years upon his return to Singapore from London, where he trained in the Architectural Association School of Architecture and practiced with several firms including the prestigious Michael Hopkins and Associates. In Singapore, he had spent several years (including his year-out) with firms like SAA Partnership where he spearheaded the design of large projects ranging from institutions and condominiums to city master plans in China, like the area office for the Housing Development Board (HDB) and military academy in Singapore and the national aquarium in Pudong, Shanghai. Mr Aamer Taher was a council member of the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) and former part-time design tutor in the School of Architecture in the National University of Singapore (NUS). His latest project ninety7@siglap won the 11th Singapore Institute of Architects design award 2011.

Jiat Hwee, writer. Dr Chang Jiat Hwee is an architectural historian, theorist and critic. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. Trained as an architect at NUS, he obtained his PhD in architecture history and theory from the University of California at Berkeley. Besides teaching design studio and lecturing on the issues of sustainability in the built environment, Jiat Hwee is also an active researcher and writer. His research on colonial and postcolonial architectural history and theory, and the socio-technical aspects of sustainability in the built environment have been published as refereed chapters in various scholarly books, and as refereed journal articles in international journals such as Journal of Architectural Education, DOCOMOMO International Journal, Explorations and Design and Culture (forthcoming). He also participates actively in the production of regional design discourse and contributes regularly to design magazines such as Singapore Architect, Futurarc and Habitus. He is currently working on two books - one on the genealogy of colonial and postcolonial tropical architecture and the other a co-edited (with William S. W. Lim) volume of essays on the geo-politics of modern architecture tentatively titled Hetero-modernism: Architecture and Modernities Beyond the West (World Scientific Publishing, 2011). He is also the co-editor (with Lilian Chee) of a special issue of Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography on "tropical spatialities" (2011) and the author of a book on design culture and young architects in Singapore - No Boundaries: The Lien Villas Collective (Pesaro, 2010).

Serial rights are available for Sculpting Spaces in the Tropics as are images to accompany feature or review coverage. To arrange, please contact or 415.883.3300. Order direct from ORO editions.



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