Malaysian Timber in Applications

Nautilus Water Suites, Singapore

Docked at Raffles Marina, Singapore, this unusual-looking structure with portholes and a huge timber drum is actually a boathouse named Nautique – the home of Kevin Hill and his wife Kelly Chan.

Kevin is the third of three generations of English professionals and craftsmen involved in the construction industry, specialising in timber. Having lived in Singapore since 1992, he understands tropical timbers very well and often specifies Malaysian timbers due to their legal credentials. As a specialist timber contractor, he conceived the idea of a boathouse that meets all the requirements of a boat with the comfort of an apartment. It is effectively a floating water villa, the construction of which did no harm to the seabed.

The 2,000-square-foot Nautique consists of three levels; the lowest level is equipped with a kitchenette, bathroom and a lounge that opens out to a patio. A master bedroom with an en suite bathroom occupies the middle floor while the top level is an open-air entertainment deck complete with a jacuzzi. Nautique has just enough propulsion for manoeuvres, but for long distances, it needs to be tugged. It is extremely safe and stable, as inclination tests with 30 people on it moving from side to side swayed it by no more than two degrees.

The eye-catching timber drum is actually the stair tower, which is framed in Balau and clad in Merbau. The decking is made of Teak while the floors are balau joists with tongue-and-grooved merbau strips.

The interiors are furnished for luxury and comfort: merbau floors and ceiling, polished marble in the bathroom, handcrafted stained glass portholes, solid Teak furniture and cosy sofas. The boathouse, apart from being the owner’s ideal retreat, is meant to be a prototype for floating luxury villas that could be tugged to exotic locations and quiet islands for a truly private escapade, without feeling that one is on a boat. Indeed, it could also be said that with such an awesome and luxurious villa floating on water at home, who needs to go away for holiday?