With this reconstruction project on Lorong Kemunchup, we were faced with an extremely challenging site with very exciting possibilities. An existing conservative semi detached house sat inconspicuously at the street frontage of the site. Lurking behind this house, however, was a 100m long narrow strip of land that belongs to the property and tapers gradually toward the back in a boomerang shape. Apart from being extremely long and narrow, this strip of land, which reaches around the base of a surrounding hill in a heavily forested area, slopes approximately 6-7 meters from the back to the front of the strip. Because this long strip was thought to be an unbuild-able area, much of the site was left unoccupied and neglected. Out of the 10,000.00 ft2 of the site, the existing semi detached house only covered approximately 30% of its area. We saw that this neglected strip of land, despite its treacherous terrain, was the most beautiful portion of the site and we challenged ourselves to build upon it.
As a way of reducing waste on the project and of saving cost, we decided to retain the entire 2 storey plus attic semi detached house with minimal refinishing work to be done. We concentrated the efforts of the project at the back of the site. Firstly, an existing single storey extension at the back of the semi detached house was demolished and the ground beams and slab were re-used for the new single storey living room. A second terracing two storey structure was added at the back of the site and separated from the Living Room with a swimming pool and covered walkway and terraces that wrap around it. Due to the fact that the structure is terracing to follow the sloping of the ground form, several roof terraces were created for the inhabitants to enjoy the fantastic surrounding scenery. The new structure was kept low and ground-hugging in order to keep it light and minimize the foundation work. In another effort to minimize material, we used the 5th elevation of the house, the roof form, as the main façade of the extension. We bent and folded this form around the top and the sides of the house. This roof was conceived as an evolution of the traditional sloping gable tropical roof and retained the idea of the visual and functional importance of the roof in the tropics. Aesthetically, this undulating roof form also echoes the language of the surrounding hills and organically wraps and manipulates itself around the sloping, twisting site.