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Can You Guess What Was Voted As The Best Living Space In 2018?

  •   6 July 2018

From 400 entries down to one, here is the best living space in Asia Pacific according to an international jury of design and architecture greats.


Perhaps the first buildings humans ever designed or built, living spaces are an omnipresent facet of our lives the world over. One of the best indications of progress in our times has been the shifting landscape of our living spaces. Where perhaps fifty years ago an electric oven and a television set was considered the height of high-tech, and only thirty years ago did the first computers enter our homes, today seemingly every aspect of modern living is coloured by our digital reality. From inner city apartments, to multi-storey rural houses, today our homes no longer act as the mere repositories of our more basic needs, but as truly dynamic reflections of our unique personalities, which is why the Living Space award exists to honour these designs.


Presenting the Winner of the 2018 Living Space INDE.Award:

Room Without Roof, HYLA Architects

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Photography: Derek Swalwell


It’s with this celebration of great design and designers in mind that we proudly announced the 2018 winner of the Living Space award. While we received an undeniably high calibre of entries for this coveted award, and the shortlist alone showcased a range of varied, inspired designs, it was ultimately Singapore’s Room Without Roof designed by HYLA Architects that won over our judges. A huge congratulations is in order for what is a huge success of a living space.

The house takes the form of a two-storey brick home, having the archetypal form of a gable-roofed house with an unusual twist – part of the form is actually an external courtyard that contains a swimming pool. This ‘room without a roof’ became the central focus of the design, and blurring the distinction between inside and out. It also gives the house privacy by controlling the views both from and to the house. The swimming pool itself extends beyond the house, reaching into the landscape.

Internally, smaller pockets of green continue the blurring of the inside and outside. The staircase is a cantilevered structure with a triangular section facing a tiered landscape wall, and the attic lounge has its own planting strip and is a continuation of the courtyard space vertically. The inspired continuity in the structure and landscape is a method of immersing humanity into nature.

This project re-examines the relationship of a house with its external surroundings. It shows that you can have a richness of space with a very simple form. Typically, external spaces are outside the form. By making the space inside external, the result is a blurring of the boundary between internal and external spaces and celebrate the life lived outside.


Honourable Mention:

Artist Retreat at Pittugala, Palinda Kannangara Architects

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Photography: Sebastian Posingis and Mahesh Mendis


The Artist Retreat at Sri Lanka’s Pittugala, designed by Palinda Kannangara Architects, takes home our highly commended recognition for so many reasons. A relatively low budget and a brief from two contemporary artists to create a multi-use residence, work space, art storage space and gallery is a tough ask, but the resulting design is a living space that inspires and surprises.

The architecture serves as a backdrop to the artists’ simple lifestyle, offering a close connection to the natural environment. The entire ground floor has the feeling of garden pavilions, roofed but open to the natural environment. These spaces act as work and gallery areas, lacking doors and windows. The ground floor comprises the living space, dining-cum-studio area, as well as a kitchen and garage. The upper floor contains the more private and secure spaces of the residence: three bedrooms and a rooftop lily pond, which serves as a meditative zone. This is design that shows that a living space need not just be for living – but for creating and experiencing the beauty of life.


The Living Space INDE.Awards is Proudly Presented by Gaggenau

No great home is complete without a great kitchen. In many ways the heart of home – a kitchen is a place to create, to reflect and to appreciate what makes a house a home. For Gaggenau, the world’s oldest kitchen appliance brand at 335 years young, the inherent enjoyment and luxury experience of cooking, has always been at the heart of their unique approach to product design. For more than three centuries, Gaggenau has been a key driver for change in the design of kitchen appliances: uniting the best in modern technology and high-quality materials; uniting the best in streamlined functional design and svelte architectural forms; The brand understands that the kitchen is – and will always be – the emotional core of the home. Which is why when it came to partnering for the 2018 INDE.Awards Living Space category, there was no one to look to but Gaggenau. They’ve seen kitchens evolve over three centuries, and know better than most what makes a Living Space truly inspired.


The INDE.Awards 2018 Gala

For the 2018 INDE.Awards, we wanted to truly honour all that’s terrific about our region. From the event in Singapore, to the satellite celebrations across the Asia Pacific, this was about creating a bigger and better event than our first year. Australia and the Asia Pacific’s best came together to celebrate great design, which is what Indesign Media Asia Pacific is all about. The event was launched last year with the intent of recognising Asia Pacific’s most exciting and forward thinking design on the global stage – and promoting our region as a true design hots pot globally. Our many contexts are unique, and so are the designs that respond to them. The INDE.Awards are the new benchmark for design accolades across our diverse and dynamic region, and we were thrilled to play host to the great design and designers once again.


Han Loke Kwan of HYLA Architects accepting The Living Space trophy from Robert Warner of Gaggenau / BSH Home Appliances Australia. Photo by Mark Lee.


Living Spaces are areas we do much more than simply exist in. They’re areas for contemplation, relaxation, creation and more. This year’s INDE.Awards saw a showcase of the various kinds of beauty we can experience in varied living spaces. We thank our sponsor Gaggenau and give sincere congratulate all shortlisted entries, and a huge round of applause to our very deserving gold medal winners HYLA Architects, who show that a living space is truly a space for life.


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Palinda Kannangara of  Palinda Kannangara Architects accepting The Living Space Honourable Mention from Robert Warner of Gaggenau / BSH Home Appliances Australia. Photo by Mark Lee.


Gaggenau and Indesign Media congratulate HYLA Architects and Palinda Kannangara Architects on the best Living Spaces of Asia Pacific in 2018.