Before the perils of students assessment begin over the next two days, I thought I’d quickly show you a treat of an architectural slice (thanks to Hovercraftdoggy, Dwell and Peter Dixie and photographs by Richard Powers). This is definitely another place where I’d like to escape to…and escape to today please. I found out yesterday, I was unsuccessful with one of the bids I put in for final year PhD funding…needless to say I’m a little disappointed. So that, along with a couple of other things that have happened here in Shanghai and back in the UK over the past 5 days, mean I would like to take a bit of time out to gain that much needed perspective I spoke about in the previous blog post so I can feel like Rachel again. I think it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster Spring for me…completely unpredictable and emotional, but these things never stop me…they merely fuel my fires to work harder, dream bigger, and make things happen. This world can be a pretty great place and surprise you every day. Thankfully, I’m getting on a plane on Saturday morning for some China and Hong Kong travels for a week…reviewing the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, escaping to Lamma Island, VIP cruise of the Hong Kong Art Fair, a well-needed catch up staying with good friends and tropical sunshine filled weather. Perfect. Then it’s time for (30-1) 29 celebrations…must remember to get Pimm’s at the airport.
So back to the architectural slice…behind this 19th-century facade in Singapore’s Joo Chiat neighborhood is a renovated shophouse by Ching Ian and Yang Yeo. ‘It venerates tradition while looking squarely to the future.’ Ian and Yeo bought the house in 2002 and at that time, it was uninhabitable. The house is narrow and long, 16 by 68 feet, designed to create a huge open-air space to light the interior naturally where two retractable motor-driven canvas canopies shelter the space during Singapore’s frequent rains. Once inside, visitors are greeted by three ten-foot-tall hand-carved antique panel doors. I’m in love with this use of space…where every single ounce of it has been considered…from the spiral staircase that connects the public and private spaces…to the oversized kitchen cabinets made by a local carpenter due to its unconventional scale…to the dining table made from a single piece of teak, over 13 feet long, custom-built for the space. I’d cook in that kitchen like there was no tomorrow and throw the best (dinner) parties if I lived there…and don’t you know it…which reminds me, I must organise a party for the time I’m back in the UK in June…noting this down now on the ever-growing UK to-do list. I can’t wait to be back in my kitchen to bake and cook lemon drizzle/coffee and walnut/carrot walnut and banana cakes, ginger biscuits, feta and pesto muffins, wholemeal pesto and mozzarella pizzas, baked raspberry cheesecake…the list goes on…I think some new recipes should come out. I can’t wait to eventually build my own house…all in my head at the moment but it will happen.