2020 UDAD 🏆 Awards

Winner: Villa Alba | Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.

Nestled on the tranquil eastern coast of Sentosa Island, Sentosa Cove, Villas Alba, seat at the Ocean Drive facing the spectacular verdant fairways of the Tanjong golf course. Alba, which means ‘sunrise’ in Italian, are twin villas inspired by the beauty of the sun rising behind the deep blue sea.

Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2020

Villa Alba
Private Housing Built

Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.

Massimo Mercurio

Design Team
Kimberly Liu



©Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.

The two villas stand next to each other, mirroring the images of one another with just minor variations: not identical twins, but close siblings. Its semi-circular form, which was then reinforced by the red terracotta roof and warm travertine cladding, calls to mind the image of a sunrise which seemed apt to its location.

Aiming for integrity between the outer form and inner living, the design inspiration is repeated inside. The color palette used in the interior is a consistent gradiation of tones that goes by the image of a sunrise. Warm and bright colors were applied to the facade as well as the inner spaces. The terracotta roof with red and orange hues illustrates the colours of the sun while the travertine facade complements its warmth. Even the plates for the dining and the paintings on the walls were custom designed to maintain the mood. The villas were carefully crafted from the exterior to the interior to maintain a cohesive concept and feel.

The entry to the house is set off to one side with a dramatic double-height timber doors which, once opened, provide sweeping views of the canal and the golf course. The living/dining space has a timber pool deck and extensive glazing which promotes a sense of uninterrupted connection between the inside and the open landscape beyond. The master bedroom overlooks the golf course, while the attic sitting room becomes a cosy retreat looking out to an intimate elevated courtyard lined with planters.

The dramatic visual effect is enhanced by the angled cut-out windows. The dynamic travertine piers between the panels then become feature walls, which also serve to edit the landscape in a variety of intriguing ways. The fluid interior space is an extension of the dynamically curvilinear external form which, in turn, is set in an exciting counterpoint to the sharp angularity of the inside walls and windows, which are not just laterally angled, but sometimes angled out to heighten the drama.

Moreover, the dramatic arching roof to the villas plays an important part of the sustainable strategy. Along with supplementary screens, the roof provides shade from the sun and protection from heavy tropical rain. Deep, shaded recesses complement the pool and provide natural cooling, while minimal glazing on the western facades—the villas are aligned on a north-south axis—also minimises heat gain. The heat-resistant terracotta tiles have an air cavity behind them to enable air and water circulation to further naturally cool the house. This is supplemented by energy-efficient glazing and planning, which facilitates cross-ventilation to take advantage of the breezes.

Like the sunrise, Villas Alba enthralls the onlookers with its iconic character that works perfectly for a seaside development.

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