Private commission


Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore


205 sqm


Pet Café / Boarding Hotel


Chow Cute


06/2019 – 06/2020


Just Build Pte Ltd


Yann Follain, Dan Chan

Photographer’s Credit

Kieran Koh

A playful twist on forms, textures, colours and views

The use of earthy green tones and subtle shades of red, visible from the exterior, distinguishes Chow Cute Café from the cluster of black and white colonial bungalows that sits within a natural landscape.

Rather than shading the advantageous light the house receives, qualities of the lush greenery outside are invited through the form of intriguing silhouettes. This not only decorates the boxy layout with ever-changing patterns as the sun moves across the skies but also, sustainably lights the café during the busiest hours of the day.

A contrast of ordered motifs and textures greets patrons on the curved main timber structure. Through the use of rattan inlays beside the motifs and textures, the structure softens. The perforated opening behind continues the design synergy by revealing organic motion that connects with the life outside.

As playful as the wordplay of the café, timber silhouettes of the in-house Chow Chows are spotted at strategic locations, “peering” at patrons. These hand translated timber cut-outs liven the otherwise passive zones and add character to the staggered panels. With each angled to reveal viewports of the pocket cabins behind, it is a game of hide-and-seek with the furry friends. When viewed from another angle, the negative arching feature wall offers a vision of shared space for good interactions and frames the cabin’s façade.

Similar gentle curves are introduced in the main area upstairs, but not with a playful twist. Traditional precise corners are replaced with smooth round bends that entice one to move towards the windows. The boundaries of spatial rigidity are further pushed with collapsible pocket doors and sliding windows in the communal area. When engaged, the area transforms into designated intimate rooms that still enjoy the main room’s atmosphere. Rounding off the upper deck’s experience is the appearance of tonal-brown Chow Chows that emerge against a muted red wall for an oriental modernistic touch.

With the integration of the evergreen oasis and playful take on creating material contrast, this colonial house enjoys an unobtrusive air of contemporary within and radiates out a delightful atmosphere that is fitting of the in-house mascots.