Architecture

Passively-cooled Wind Vault House catches the breeze

Passively-cooled Wind Vault Ho...
The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
View 36 Images
Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
The barn-like Wind Vault House is, frankly, a very attractive build (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The barn-like Wind Vault House is, frankly, a very attractive build (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
The house features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid's quarters, a prayer room, and even an elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The house features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid's quarters, a prayer room, and even an elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
The Wind Vault House features a passive cooling system to keep the interior temperature comfortable (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The Wind Vault House features a passive cooling system to keep the interior temperature comfortable (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
The house features a total of three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The house features a total of three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
The Wind Vault House features a passive cooling system to keep the interior temperature comfortable (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The Wind Vault House features a passive cooling system to keep the interior temperature comfortable (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wallflower Architecture and Design did an outstanding job of fitting such an unusual contemporary design within a residential area (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wallflower Architecture and Design did an outstanding job of fitting such an unusual contemporary design within a residential area (Photo: Jeremy San)
Residents can choose the stairs or the elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Residents can choose the stairs or the elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
The house features a total of three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The house features a total of three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
Another view of one of the home's three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Another view of one of the home's three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
The north and south facades feature multiple function timber screens (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The north and south facades feature multiple function timber screens (Photo: Jeremy San)
The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
The two-story (plus attic) property is raised on concrete tubes (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The two-story (plus attic) property is raised on concrete tubes (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
The house features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid's quarters, a prayer room, and even an elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The house features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid's quarters, a prayer room, and even an elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
Residents can choose the stairs or the elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Residents can choose the stairs or the elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
The Wind Vault House features a passive cooling system to keep the interior temperature comfortable (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The Wind Vault House features a passive cooling system to keep the interior temperature comfortable (Photo: Jeremy San)
The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
Residents can choose the stairs or the elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Residents can choose the stairs or the elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
The house features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid's quarters, a prayer room, and even an elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The house features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid's quarters, a prayer room, and even an elevator (Photo: Jeremy San)
The house features three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The house features three bathrooms (Photo: Jeremy San)
Besides looking great, this swimming pool also cools the air and helps lower the overall temperature (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Besides looking great, this swimming pool also cools the air and helps lower the overall temperature (Photo: Jeremy San)
The north and south facades feature multiple function timber screens (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The north and south facades feature multiple function timber screens (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wallflower Architecture and Design did an outstanding job of fitting such an unusual contemporary design within a residential area (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wallflower Architecture and Design did an outstanding job of fitting such an unusual contemporary design within a residential area (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House was completed in 2012 (Photo: Jeremy San)
The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)
The north and south facades feature timber screens which perform multiple functions (Photo: Jeremy San)
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The north and south facades feature timber screens which perform multiple functions (Photo: Jeremy San)
Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
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Wind Vault House measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft) (Photo: Jeremy San)
First story plan (Image: Wallflower Architecture and Design)
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First story plan (Image: Wallflower Architecture and Design)
Second story plan (Image: Wallflower Architecture and Design)
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Second story plan (Image: Wallflower Architecture and Design)
Attic plan (Image: Wallflower Architecture and Design)
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Attic plan (Image: Wallflower Architecture and Design)

Keeping cool in tropical Singapore can be a challenge, even if one chooses to turn expensive and wasteful air-conditioning up to full. Therefore, when Wallflower Architecture and Design created the Wind Vault House on the island city state, the company installed a carefully-considered passive cooling system.

The barn-like Wind Vault House is, frankly, a very attractive build, and the two-story (plus attic) home features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, maid's quarters, a prayer room, and even an elevator. The property measures 553 sq m (5,950 sq ft), and is raised on concrete stilt-like tubes.

As its name suggests, Wind Vault House was built with a view to maximizing the prevailing winds coming from the nearby coastline, and thus its north and south facades sport multiple function timber screens. In addition to offering privacy and reducing the sun's glare, the timber screens can be angled, almost like a ship's sail, to catch the breeze and channel it into the house.

Besides looking great, this swimming pool also cools the air and helps lower the overall temperature (Photo: Jeremy San)
Besides looking great, this swimming pool also cools the air and helps lower the overall temperature (Photo: Jeremy San)

Wind Vault House also features a swimming pool, placed to serve as an evaporative cooling surface and lower the temperature of the local air, much like the YAK01 house we reported on earlier this month.

Wallflower Architecture and Design also planted a line of Polyalthia trees along the boundary of the plot, and the company reports that these help lower the air's temperature as the breeze passes through.

Wind Vault House was completed in 2012.

Source: Wallflower Architecture and Design, via Arch Daily

5 comments
Slowburn
It is efficient and all and if the owner and occupants are comfortable it is a good design but I am sensitive to high humidity levels. I would prefer a solar powered absorption refrigeration system driving the air conditioning and and kitchen refrigeration. the system could also provide all heating for domestic hot water.
Jay Finke
Wow that's a cool pad, doesn't look too storm friendly though, I could always hide in the pool, with a six pack.
Guy Macher
If you can afford this place, you can afford to pay for A/C or a room at the Ritz.
Slowburn
re; Guy Macher Envy is a terrible thing when it blinds you to the technology that can be used in low cost housing.
Henry Van Campa
I have not experienced a comfortable AC system yet. Too cold or hard to adjust for a comfortable temperature without variations in the room. AC is not needed in New Zealand where I live but now I am on holiday in Thailand. Taxi drivers have their AC set on cold so I prefer to catch a tuk tuk instead and sit on the back with natural breeze. My hotel room has AC but I rarely use it but instead keep the balcony door open with bug screen to catch the natural breeze. I did not come up here to freeze and to cool down I have a dip in the ocean or have a cold shower. Air conditioning is over rated and wastes a lot of energy.