© Ceavs Chua
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The idea to design a suburban terrace home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was reimagining a form befitting a corner house and to re-purpose the living spaces on ground floor as the owners requested for minimal intervention.
The new form of the house is designed to be simple yet bold, that contrasts with prevailing fabric of tropical suburban homes. The layout is planned such that, the living areas were aligned parallel to the site boundary which create a break between the existing and the new spaces. Naturally cooling both the sides, the triangulated break works as a secured ventilated light well. Living spaces are formed by the vaulted annex created by outward extension of an arch roof. The extension of the arch creates a continuous space which is further emphasized through the materiality of the concrete finish from the floor to ceiling. Two large doors opening in the garden further enhance the extension. Connectivity is maintained between the interior and the exterior nature through the uninterrupted views from inside out.
The play of curves and levels create a vivid background on the upper floors. Hierarchy of space is designed by layering the spaces. The study looks over the living spaces and adjoining, a step-up platform corner for lounging. A bedroom overlooks these spaces from behind. A bridge links the master bedroom to the outermost floor section of the annex, and much to one’s surprise, an open balcony.
The openings on the upper level meticulously carved to resist the heaviness of the concrete vault. For example, the inverted arch window at the side of the vault is drawn as a continuous “S” shape when it meets the front arched opening. As series of openings and arches meet, continuity is reflected throughout the spaces. A subtle play of light is created with the rhythmic drama of lines within a heavy structure. The design resembles a journey through the cave, perhaps to see the light at the end of the tunnel.