29 Design : Be-Landa House in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia, Truly Asia

 Architects : 29 Design
     Photos  ©  Lin Ho

29 Design : 

Sited on a dramatic 34-degree slope facing a forest reserve, the Be-landa house
 was an exercise in “befriending” rather than “conquering” the terrain. The starting point
 was to establish the minimum amount of flat land required for the house to be functional.
 We drew a line for the retaining wall to include a flat area for parking the cars, an adjoining
 main entrance, and the kitchen at the street level. The retaining wall bisected the site acted
 as  a datum for the master planning. All spaces required by our Clients were massed
 into three Pavilions with varying relationships to the datum wall; the 1st Pavilion
 is entirely  “on the ground”  within the flat land area;  the 2nd  Pavilion is half 
on the ground, and half hanging over the slope on stilts; and finally the 3rd
 Pavilion is entirely hovering over the slope on pilotis,
 accessed via a glass-sheathed bridge.

29 Design : 

When viewed from the street, only the “grounded” portion of the 1st and 2nd Pavilions
 is visible. The front façade is decidedly low-key, a double story massing with little indication
 of what lies beyond. Upon entering, there is an element of surprise as the house unfolds.
 The Foyer features an elevated view straight through to the forest reserve across the
 valley, framed by the 2nd & 3rd Pavilions. The lowest poolside living area was
 used in Crazy Rich Asians, in the scene where the ladies gathered for Bible
 study and tea. This level is shielded from the rain and equatorial
 sun by the spaces above. 

29 Design : 

Overall throughout the house, the relationship between the spaces is experienced
 vertically rather than horizontally, with a total of seven staircases threading the spaces together.
 In spite of being the house’s lowest  level,  the pool  area  retains a floating  feel as it sits on
 stilts eight meters above the untouched contours below, with treetop views and airy jungle
 breezes, a platform to enjoy the best of the tropics. Materials used were all local 
(polished concrete floors, pebble wash finishes externally, Sukabumi limestone
 at the pool areas, Merbau timber for flooring, ceilings, and façade screening).
 The material palette was muted (charcoal grey, white, timber) to contrast 
with the rich, emerald hues of the surrounding jungle.


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