RT+Q'S maverick designs

By Cecilia Chow & Charlene Chin / EdgeProp | December 7, 2018 8:30 PM SGT
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From private houses to niche luxury projects and high-rise condominiums, the Singapore-based boutique architectural firm is set to change the skyline.
Popularised in China by young people celebrating their singlehood, Singles’ Day, which falls on Nov 11, has become a significant occasion for others too. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding has turned it into a global shopping phenomenon: It chalked up $42.28 billion in record sales over a 24-hour period this year. It was an equally memorable day for architect Rene Tan, director and co-founder of Singapore-based architectural firm RT+Q, as it marked the completion of the firm’s 111th private house in Singapore — House with Circles — which Tan describes as “an exploration of geometry between circular and rectilinear spaces”.
Several other houses designed by RT+Q had also been completed around the same time in November: Perforated House, House with a Loggia and Brick House. “Every house, every project is an opportunity to create something different,” says Tan. “As long as RT+Q’s core values such as proportion, scale and craft are preserved.” He likens it to composition of music “for piano, then for violin and then for orchestra”.
Besides private houses, RT+Q’s portfolio extends to conservation shophouses, towering condominiums, office blocks, a smart bus stop and even a tombstone for a client’s late mother.
The team at RT+Q, with co-founder TK Quek and son Jonathan (seated, second and third from left) and co-founder Tan (right side of screen) (Credit: Albert Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Boutique, luxury projects
Founded in 2003 by Tan and Quek Tse Kwang or TK, RT+Q made a name for itself in the design of private houses, but it recently leapt to the top end of the condo segment when it was appointed design architect for Petit Jervois. The 55-unit boutique development is the first under the Petit Collectibles series of luxury projects featuring apartments with smaller sizes by luxury developer Simon Cheong, chairman and CEO of SC Global Developments.
“We like to support local architects,”...