Summer Houses: 7 Tropical Dream Dwellings by Wallflower Architecture & Design

Based in Singapore, Wallflower Architecture + Design creates ultimate tropical dream homes for a steamy rainforest climate, each one laid out for optimal air flow, natural cooling and views of the lush vegetation and blue skies outside. Founded in 1999 by Tan Chai Chong Robin and Cecil Chee, the firm “believes that beauty and cleverness are inseparable in excellent design, the value of which enhances the environment in which we work and live and ultimately, enriches the human experience and spirit.”

This philosophy is evident in every one of their private residential projects, many of which center upon a crystalline water feature. Bold, distinctly Singaporean and undeniably luxurious, these homes are like the summer getaway houses the rest of us can only dream of.

The Secret Garden House, Wallflower’s most recent residential project, exemplifies the firm’s aesthetics and ethos. Set in an affluent bungalow area known as Bukit Timah, the home is located on uneven terrain with narrow street frontage, and it’s surrounded by neighbors on all sides. Wallflower envisioned a ‘secret garden’ to shield the 13,900-square-foot home from prying eyes, hiding most of the structure’s mass within the steep portion of the site. Though it seems to be just two levels from the street, the rest of it spills down the hillside to enjoy the views. One of its coolest features is an oculus gazing from the garage up into a reflecting pool in the yard.

Combining the convenience of urban living with tropical vibes, security and privacy, Forever House was a dream fulfilled for both the clients and the architects. Wallflower was given a ‘no expense to be spared’ mandate along with a wish list of features, like a 6-car garage and a 25-meter pool. The home has a striking angular appearance from the street, and it only gets more gorgeous from there, with a mature tree set into an island in the T-shaped pool and a glut of silver travertine and black basalt stone contrasting with gleaming wood inside.

With ‘Enclosed Open,’ Wallflower gave a family concerned with security a fully fenced ‘compound’ that looks nothing like you’d expect based on that description. Instead of feeling like a fortress, it’s airy and accessible, but spaces that are normally visible to neighbors – like pools and gardens – are shielded within a spacious courtyard.