Some designers may recommend false ceilings to conceal the beam, but with HDB you can only drop so low (2.4 metres is the minimum floor-to-ceiling height allowed). And, as you can see, the beams hang lower than that already.
Here are five ways you can work around this architectural dilemma.
In this HDB flat in Marsiling, Spacious Planners merged the study room with the living room in one open-concept space. In place of the wall between the two rooms, the designer put a long study table right under the now-exposed beam. A strip of light from the beam illuminates the table, which divides the two spaces without being obstructive to movement. Whilst this flat also has a proper dining area near the kitchen, this long table can double as a spot for meals when watching TV.
This three-room flat in Bedok benefits from a wall being hacked and replaced with glass panels and glass sliding doors. Designer Ace Space Design used the beam to support the glass dividers and frame the home- office-and-guest-bedroom as seen from the living area.
In this five-room flat Bayti Design partially opened up the kitchen to the living area, demolishing the upper half of the wall but maintaining the lower half to be used as a breakfast nook. To make the beam blend in with the industrial style of the interiors, the designer placed black trunking along it for the track lights that illuminate the living area.
Similar to the previous design solution, Free Space Intent only partially opened up the wall in this four-room HDB flat in Punggol. A geometric cutout window disguises the beam, and makes this entire wall an architectural highlight of the house.
Although LS2 Design and Construction merged two rooms into one open-concept study-and-lounge in this flat, a change of flooring (from screed to wood-clad platform) and different lighting treatments indicate the functions of the two spaces. The beam seemingly completes the demarcation of the two spaces.