Submitted by WA Contents
Malaysian home by Core Design Workshop is shaped by artworks and a large inner garden
Malaysia Architecture News - Sep 16, 2022 - 11:24 2545 views
Named Introverse House, the single-storey house was designed for the architect's own house; Chun Hooi Tan, who is the founder of Core Design Workshop, and his wife Scarlette Lee, who is a contemporary art gallerist cum avid collector of Malaysian contemporary arts and their four-years-old son.
When the architect started fighting vocal cord cancer in 2019, the architect has since learned to reconcile with his introverted character and envisioned the design of the house as an introverted structure.
The program of the house comprises foyer, courtyard, living + dining room, master bedroom, kind's bedroom, kitchen, outdoor dining, master bath, kid's bath, powder room, dry and wet storeroom, outer and inner garden.
"I am a Malaysian Hikikomori, and this is my story ” an online article that I came about reading during the lockdown periods in the year 2020 that tells a story of an extreme introvert with her social discrimination and how she sees people follow society’s made-up standards where ones have to act a certain way to be accepted," said the architect in its project description.
"It was only when the Covid-19 pandemic hit with its lockdowns, she felt for the first time in life as if she was alive and normal, at least to the eyes of society, as she was living fully as before while others were struggling to cope for simply being at home."
"Introverse was born out of this social context, where the rights in our social perception could have been wrong and the wrongs were right. If we could ditch the influence of social perception in our mind, we may possibly find new paths to progress onward instead of wandering on the status quo," added the architect.
The architect designed and executed the house from the very initial stage of design to construction phase, which spanned 2-year pandemic period.
In this suburban area outside of Kuala Lumpur, the new house was transformed from a semi-detached house, which was built in the 1970s.
According to the architect, the house "defies the social norms and puts a new living to its test, a living in where a home is organised in the introversion manner, contrary to the normal outward-looking houses."
The design of the house redefines "the garden" blended with the house itself. The architect added a full-height linear garden wall, suspended on a steel structure, hovering above ground running along 10 feet (3 meters) from the perimeter fencing. This created a new walled garden within a garden.
According to the architect, the inner garden, separated from the outer garden, mirroring the ancient Chinese architecture or the Japanese’s Zen Garden, has a new purpose.
"It is an outdoor space where one can live without the constraints of security and privacy, a garden where one can utilise and enjoy at the same time," said the architect.
"It is within this walled garden area where the wet rooms of the house, the kitchen and the bathrooms are found, integrated freely with no physical walls defining the individual areas."
On the opposite side of the garden, the architect created a linear cross-ventilation tunnel to detach the house from the adjacent neighbour.
With a courtyard sitting in the middle as a chimney, the individual rooms within this zone are solely separated by permeable adjustable louvres and perforated metals, making this zone another semi-outdoor space where the utility, foyer, powder room and a mezzanine play room are found.
Based on the "introvert" concept, all the mentioned semi-outdoor spaces are arranged inwardly looking to the core of the house where the living and dining room stands, a space where they define the purpose of homes.
This core space is flanked by two bedrooms on each side and these three main rooms makes up the house fundamentally.
Reacting to both architecture and sociocultural context, externally, the house is covered in new metal roofing yet with original building profile remained, and internally, the old complexed layout of the house was entirely stripped and transformed into its simplest and minimal spaces.
In the design of the house, the architect considers the philosophy of minimalism through the spatial organisation and is further expressed in its material selections, architecture finishings, built-ins, and interior furnishings.
In addition, the curation of contemporary arts are distributed around the house, while the artworks redefine the spatial quality of the house.
"Here, minimalist is not a style, but an architectural solutions to our contemporary needs, standard and lifestyle," said the architect.
"It is a formula to minimalise the unnecessaries to our life, from the hoarding habit, the influence of social perception to living up to others expectations."
"In Introverse, we can be honest to ourself, find our voice and define our own life, and that is the essence of minimalism, our very own version of minimalism," added the architect.
Core Design Workshop, founded in 2009 by Chun Hooi TAN. The firm is multi-disciplinary design practice based in Subang Jaya, Malaysia.
Project name: Introverse House
Architects: Core Design Workshop
Location: Subang Jaya, Malaysia.
Art + Interior Curation: Scarlette Lee of Core Design Gallery
Architect in Submission: Ng Syh How of How Architect
Main Builder: Seong Chin of Sinar Sintetik
Metalwork: Mun Seong Chia of M Steel Solution
Electrical: John Loh of Kejuruteraan Letrik T&K
Sanitary Ware: Michelle Lee of Arch Green Enterprise
All images © Ceavs Chua / Bricks Begin
All drawings © Core Design Workshop.
> via Core Design Workshop