The house is built for a client and his family who seeks a communal way of living, but cherishes privacy and security. Being frequent entertainers, he desired for generous spaces for hosting events of various scales.
Inspired by the Chinese courtyard house, the project seeks to re-adapt the vernacular typology in a tropical context. Sitting on 45,000 sq. ft land, fortified concrete walls encloses the compound, creating a safe environment for the young children to play outdoors without much supervision. The main bulk of the house where communal living and entertaining occurs, is compacted over a third of the plot size, freeing up a vast expanse of space for a back garden, pool and an annex block which houses the private bedrooms.
The massing is a deep square block delineated into 9 sub-grids, punctuated with a series of courtyards interspersed. The courtyards are an essential strategy in the context of the tropics, as they bring daylight and natural ventilation to the recesses of the deep building form.
Internally, courtyards anchors the main blueprint. Intuitive to the sun-path, communal activities occur sporadically around the courtyards that receives day-light throughout the day. Not restrained by physical rooms, living occurs organically, imbuing the cloister spaces an infinite permutation of possibilities.
Exemplifying a re-interpretation of Tropical Architecture, a cornerstone element of the Tropical Architecture Language, the pitch roof, is inverted and expressed as a key architectural feature. Sloping towards the courtyards in a reversed pitch fashion, it gives rise to a series of undulating timber ceiling ridges. At nightfall, the glow of the light from the interior emanates through a glass strip facade, revealing the intricacies within.
Credits: Iskandar Idris Formwerkz Architects, Alan Tay Formwerkz Architects, Sarah Ng Formwerkz Architects