formwerkz architects: armadillo house
formwerkz architects: armadillo house formwerkz architects: armadillo house
aug 22, 2012

formwerkz architects: armadillo house

‘armadillo house’ by formwerkz architects, the republic of singapore image © jeremy san all images courtesy of formwerkz architects

singapore-based formwerkz architects have recently completed the ‘armadillo house’ to respond to two major environmental factors on its particular corner site: the noise pollution from the adjacent highway and the hard western sun beating down along the broad side of the dwelling. the solution is, as the name implies, four stepped bent plates that quite literally block out the external elements and protects the intimate interior while allowing full height glazing to open the space and still maintain privacy within its vertical typology. below the outer shell, a sunken garden provides a vegetative habitat for the primary living space in the naturally shaded basement. the overhang of the upper floors and overlapping of the shielding components admit indirect light to illuminate the common functions while controlling solar gain. mechanical fans in the attic create a stack effect, pulling cool air from the bottom of the residence to the private bedrooms above.   

‘the armadillo house’ has been shortlisted in the ‘house’ category of the 2012 world architecture festival. see the complete list of this year’s nominated projects here.

(left) overlapping exterior plates shade glazing (right) ‘exposed’ entrance to the house images © jeremy san

‘armadillo house’ by formwerkz architects, singapore

image © jeremy san

sunken garden connecting to basement

image © jeremy san

main living space surrounded by the garden

image © jeremy san

basement level and first floor

image © jeremy san

central staircase connects and ventilates the interior spaces

image © jeremy san

attic space and terrace behind protective plate

image © jeremy san

floor plan / level -1

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level 1

floor plan / attic




noise pollution diagram

solar study

  • nicely done

    especially like the outdoor seating unit

    dbkii says:
  • Why didn\’t they use the huge surface of the protective plate to install solar panel ???!!!!!!

    Ag says:
  • @Ag
    i see what you mean, but it would have been an enormous 4 million dollar wall, and along with all that energy production you need an equally adequate source for storage, which is actually more expensive and people dont usually think about that part. otherwise a large percentage of the power you produce is being thrown out, unless you sell it back to the grid, but that\’s based on individual local circumstance.

    plus… imagine all of that surface area covered in solar panels, facing a highway. would you want that at your house?

    Otat says:
  • Incredible amount of money spent to live next to a highway?!

    Do you wear earmuffs when using that outdoor seating unit?

    Pretty but clearly Nutz! (must have got the land for free..)

    Jim C. says:
  • Land is scarce in singapore, and the location is in a pretty prime district.

    Awesome how they managed to design around the limitations of the site

    Nigel says:
  • The idea of the project is entirely logical, even if its execution leaves one with a feeling of embattlement…almost bunker-like. Almost all the interiors depend upon the absence of those “skin” elements to succeed, bringing to question the effectiveness of the execution.
    IMO, smaller scaled deflective (rather than confrontational) elements, in more user friendly materials would have greatly helped the personality of this building.

    Chaszr says:

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