Voila House

Clean, minimal interiors and an ingenious solution to connect indoor and outdoor space make for an elegant and functional tropical home.

10 Oct 2013

Converting a typical, pitched-roofed bungalow in Kuala Lumpur into a modern dwelling that provides privacy, security and accesses a natural setting requires a deft hand and creative mind.

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Luckily for his clients, Architect Fabian Tan possesses both, and his solution to their brief, while traversing an inevitable process of refinement and friction, has been a successful one.

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Retaining the main structure, Tan rearranged the internal layout substantially, especially by opening up the ground floor into an open concept space.

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A luminous, predominantly white colour paint scheme and white terrazzo flooring create a fresh, uncluttered environment, brightening the home by inviting and extending external illumination. Exposed concrete is used to retain the materiality of the pre-existing bungalow, and contrasts with the new components to add texture.

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A major challenge and opportunity for Tan was how to connect the home’s interiors with its natural setting – as Tan states “From the first site visit, the large umbrella trees in the garden left a deep impression”.

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Inspired by this, the family are arranged to face the garden view. The common areas extend into the garden, in a U-shape, with the private rooms and kitchen placed on the other side of the house.

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A stroke of genius on Tan’s part was the design of the convertible garden patio space; the enclosing circular door of steel framed glass panels with timber louvers can be fully retracted to open the space, creating a versatile, elegant leisure area.

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Tan comments on his design philosophy, “I believe design should have a certain spiritual sense, not in terms of religion but in the soul of a space. Context to me isn’t just relating the inside to the outside but it is a relation to everything, like who is living there, what do they do, how spaces that relate to each other and the environment.”

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The attentiveness to both clients’ desires and the physical setting of this project demonstrate the value of this approach, and the compelling results it can achieve.

Fabian Tan Architect
fabian-tan.com

Photography: Eiffel Chong
eiffelchong.com