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Passively-cooled Wind Vault House catches the breeze


July 29, 2013

The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)

The Wind Vault House (Photo: Jeremy San)

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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.

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

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

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.


Wow that's a cool pad, doesn't look too storm friendly though, I could always hide in the pool, with a six pack.

Jay Finke

If you can afford this place, you can afford to pay for A/C or a room at the Ritz.

Guy Macher

re; Guy Macher

Envy is a terrible thing when it blinds you to the technology that can be used in low cost housing.


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.

Henry Van Campa
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