Two of the most distinctive urban elements come together in the construction of this home in the city of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Predominantly using concrete and scrap metals juxtaposed with natural materials, the Number 11 house is part city living, part country villa.
Situated next to the Federal Highway – the main Klang Valley traffic spine, “the house is a secret garden sitting peacefully at the end of a narrow cul-de-sac,” explain the architects Wen Hsia and BC Ang of Building Bloc.
“The natural terracotta colour of the bricks, greenish tint of the exposed concrete and rusty redness of the steel gates and grilles gives an earthy feel to the house.”
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the home, two large sloping concrete slabs form the overhanging roof. The architects explain that the roof and the western facade are insulated with a layer of inexpensive nursery mesh – a low-tech readily available mean of insulation.
“Internally, half of the house accommodates all the living spaces and the rooms, the other half consists of two double-volume semi outdoor spaces with gardens in between. The front half is a garage cum workshop.”
Despite being made of concrete, the central staircase – hung from above – sits lightly in the internal space.
Stepping out at the rear of the house the double-height overhang invites you to turn your gaze skywards, helping you appreciate the volume of the outdoor living space. An ‘out kitchen’ and breakfast area also flow into the green of the gardens.
“In the day, the double volume space allows the sun to shine in and cast interesting shadows against the metal grilles,” say the architects.
The house also provides for the owner’s extended family, with one parent given privacy in the guest wing, with separate entrances and private gardens.
The Number 11 house truly is an urban oasis, perfectly suited to its climate, contemporary, yet with a unique character – a secret garden indeed.
You can read about another of Building Bloc’s projects, the Langkawi House, in Habitus Issue 07 – out now.
Photography: Building Bloc & Tian XIng
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