Tropical House Uses Water as Air Conditioning

View from inside the water-cooled house

Singapore is a balmy city-state where the average temperature year-round is in the mid 80’s. The constant humidity in this Oceanic city-state provides no relief from the heat. Inhabitants are in a constant fight against the tropical climate to achieve cool and comfortable living conditions.

For one house nestled comfortably in a lush palm tree forest, the best solution is to let nature take care of the heating problem by incorporating water into the building design to keep the house cool. The owner, who desired a sustainable and green cooling alternative, allowed his architect to design a house that essentially sits on a manmade lake. To maximize the cooling effect of the water, entire sections of the floor are artfully absent to create small ponds of barely rippling water in rooms and hallways.

The modern design of the building effectively incorporates the green aspects of water architecture with the verdant tropical surroundings, creating a house that is in harmony with nature rather than imposing upon it. Without doubt, the house is the architectural equivalent of an oasis.

The House Surrounded by a Pool

Clear design issues, however, lie in interior ponds. The clean and angular modern design style leaves the interior ponds without any protective barrier; they simply occupy an area of floor as casually as a carpet. The long rectangles of water look nice, but from a practical standpoint it is inevitable that the owner will drop objects or stumble into these pools, some of which take up no less than half the width of a hallway. The architect could have found a way to incorporate some sort of safety mechanism into the design, or at least partition off the ponds so that they are not physically in the way when moving between rooms.

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