The Architect's House
Having worked for Foster + Partners in London, the Architect has adopted clean lines and
geometries in her design.
Upon returning from the UK to Ipoh, she has failed to find a house that satisfied her spatial
requirements and quality of finishes. Also, in believing the saying that “Never trust an Architect
who has not build his/her own house”, she decided to build her own.
To the architect, part of the reason of returning to live in a tropical country was all about enjoying the sun all year round but at the same time keeping out the heat out. Clear glass windows and doors facing the North are maximised, while solid raw reinforced concrete walls are built at 200mm thick to shield the house from strong sunshine from the East and West. Except for the private rooms and bathrooms, all internal spaces were designed as open and inter- connected to maximise the effect of cross ventilation. Central courtyard acts as a wind towers brings hot air up. Dramatic double volume ceiling also draws hot air out from the living space through openings from the first floor.
The approach is very successful. The house is able to keep itself cool all year round.
Living with Green
Vertical garden with creepers wraps around the staircase with operable louvre window allow outside air to be filtered into the stair core. This allow the architect to wake up to fresh air from the greenery every morning as she descends from the floor above. The creepers, which has already covered up fully within 6 months of move-in, act as a shield to the strong morning sun from the East.
The material palette has been kept simple and straight forward – white rendered walls, raw concrete printed with strip plywood formwork and grey tinted glass with powder coats dark grey aluminium frames. In Malaysia, especially in a humble city of Ipoh, raw concrete finish was still a fresh approach and the architect wanted to explore with the local workmanship and quality of concrete. One layer of mineral paints was applied to all raw concrete surfaces as protection from stains and acting as a water repellent. As a natural stone lover, several types of stones were used by the architect for the house, e.g. Black Travertine for outdoor fish pond and dining table, white travertine for the powder room and Ivory cream for the ground floor.
As a relatively young Architect, she had a constraint of budget but that did not stop her from building something she would happily call home. It is a relatively simple house built amidst a quiet neighbourhood. However, it is really its simplicity and crisp clean lines which celebrated its existence. The project has since invited a lot of interests locally and certainly brought her some substantial clients.