Architecture Interiors Residential design

Fabian Tan reinvents private residence in Kuala Lumpur with vaulted ceiling and cave-like interiors

March 16, 2020

Fabian Tan Architects has designed a 344m² suburban terrace house for a young family in Kuala Lumpur on the site of a former residence. The brief was re-imagine the corner space with minimal intervention and to re-purpose the living spaces on the ground level.

The new form of the Bewboc house is intended to be simple but bold; contrasting it with the existing theme of tropical suburban homes. The living spaces were orientated parallel to the site boundary, resulting in a “break” between the original and new spaces. The triangulated “break” acts as a secured ventilated light well, cooling both sides naturally.

An arch roof extends outwards, creating a vaulted annex that forms the living spaces. The space appears continuous through the extension of the arch and exaggerated further through the materiality of the concrete finish from floor to ceiling. The extension is further enhanced by two large doors that open up to the garden. The uninterrupted flow of space seamlessly connects the interior with the outdoor space.

The second floor sets a dramatic background with a play of curves and levels. The spaces are layered, creating a hierarchy of space. The study overlooks the living spaces and the adjacent space features a step-up platform corner for lounging. The bedroom situated behind overlooks these spaces. The master bedroom connects through a bridge to the outermost floor section of the annex, and creating a surprise element, further connects with an open balcony.

To counter the heaviness of the concrete vault, openings were carefully carved out on the upper level. 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. Walking through the upper levels, this continuity echoes throughout as lines of openings and arches meet. Consequently, this rhythmic play of lines within a heavy structure lends to a play of light in subtle ways – reminiscent of a journey through a cave, perhaps to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

See the full gallery here:

Photos: Ceavs Chua

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