by Pooja Suresh HollannavarMar 25, 2023
A terrace house on the corner of a residential street in Kuala Lumpur saw a major facelift with the construction of its beefy extension. Referred as the Bewboc House, the project has been designed by Malaysian architect Fabian Tan, who founded his own practice Fabian Tan Architect in 2012.
“The new form is intended to be simple but bold; contrasting it with the existing fabric of tropical suburban homes,” says Tan. The L-shaped property inhabited by a young couple previously had a studio, a guest bedroom and a kitchen on the ground floor, while three bedrooms and a family entertainment space on the upper floor.
The client sought minimal intervention with respect to the addition of new spaces. Tan sculpted a massive barrel-vaulted annex in cast concrete in which each space offers uninterrupted views from inside out. The layout comprises a living quarter and dining on the ground floor, and a study and lounge on the first floor. “The approach was to re-imagine a form befitting a corner house and to re-purpose the living spaces on ground level,” says Tan.
The annex has been inserted diagonally to the existing built fabric and the new spaces are oriented parallel to the site’s northern edge. The connection between the old and the new resulted in a ‘triangulated break’, through which light and air stream into the house.
The two massive doors, painted in black, open into the living space and dining on the ground floor. A sliding door panel inside the walls allow seamless integration of the interiors with the garden outside.
The ground floor reveals a dramatic view of the mezzanine study area and the vaulted ceiling as soon as one enters the house. Bringing a little more play to the picture is an inverted arched opening on the side of the vault that create a flowy S form as it meets the curve of the ceiling.
“The space appears continuous through the extension of the arch and exaggerated further through the materiality of the concrete finish from floor to ceiling,” adds Tan.
The upper floor of the annex can be accessed by the original staircase of the house that leads to the study. Further, a step-up platform opens toward an intimate lounge, which features dark wooden flooring and white walls.
One of the interesting spaces within the architecture of the annex is its outermost floor section which can be accessed via a series of steps beginning from the master bedroom. Visible from the building’s front, the arched platform makes for a comfortable outdoor lounge overlooking the street.
Walking through the space, a continuity echoes as lines of openings and arches meet and spaces disappear into one another. Tan describes the experience through the house as “reminiscent of a journey through a cave, perhaps to see the light at the end of the tunnel”.
Name: Bewboc House
Location: Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
Architect: Fabian Tan Architect
Built up area: 3700 sq ft