Design & Architecture

8 of our favourite architecture features in 2016

For the past few months, we’ve enjoyed looking at some of the most creative architecture in Southeast Asia – a treehouse made of bamboos, floating hotel rooms, a home with a façade of swivelling roof tiles. Let’s take a look back at some of our favourites so far:

1. Bamboo tree house in Bali

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The Sharma Springs is a jungle fantasy escape built for the Sharma family. The six-level, four-bedroom, 750 square meter home overlooks the Ayung river valley in Bali and is built almost entirely of bamboo.

The designers behind this gorgeous jungle escape are well-versed in using bamboo in their projects. This 750 sq meter family retreat was designed by Indonesian architecture firm IBUKU.

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2. Boutique resort in Koh Samui, Thailand

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On the east coast of Koh Samui Island in Chaweng Noi, Thailand, you’ll find this funky boutique resort, Suan Kachamudee designed by Sicarth & Smith Architects. The resort is perched on a hill with a stunning view of the surrounding waters.

Built on and around a slope, large granite rocks, and lush greenery, the resort makes the most of its natural surroundings. The designs of the white structures aren’t just aesthetically driven but are also created to afford protection from the sun in the tropical climate.

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3. Floating hotel rooms on River Kwai, Thailand

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The Kachanaburi Province in Thailand is the scene of a range of floating houses and rafts on the River Kwai, which adds to the stunning landscape of lush greenery, mountains, and the (in)famous bridge.

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One of the newest additions to the river’s portfolio of floating accommodation is the X-Float, a futuristic, gorgeous structure created by Agaligo that is remains afloat. The X-Float is a hybrid of vernacular and modern architecture, combining the simple technology of a raft and making it a liveable unit.

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4. Clay roof house at Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Front view

Located in the older suburbs of Petaling Jaya, the original old dilapidated house was purchased by the owners as they wanted to rebuild it into a new family home.

It was discovered that the Indian clay roof tiles on the old house were of good quality and still in good condition, so these were carefully removed and used later to screen the façade from the sun. Vertical steel rods were designed to hold the tiles while allowing them freedom to swivel and turn. This creative recycling of old roof tiles is the handy work of DRTAN LM.

Living hall

5. 8D house on Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

Verandah and pool
Verandah and pool

This house includes resort-like facilities and green sustainable features. The property is located on a lot that slopes down by about 10 meters and that provides the opportunity to design a tropical veranda that’s 70m long and ties the entire design together.

The veranda is made with steel and concrete, and finished with sawn timber. This complements the raw clay brick wall that forms the boundary of the property as well as the metal louvered sun screed that envelopes the living spaces. An overhanging canopy roof provides necessary shelter.

View towards patio

6. Forest getaway in Janda Baik, Pahang

The Deck House

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Nestled in the Janda Baik forest in Pahang at the foothill of Genting Highlands is a private residence built on gentle slope. The idea was to design a simple, unassuming, and modern house within the lush greenery of the forest.

The resulting Deck House is a 4,000 square feet, 2 1/2 storey house that built with steel, glass and timbre designed by Choo Gim Wah. The deck, which is the highlight of the house, is is supported by a steel structure and designed to be an ‘infinity deck’, bringing the occupants close enough to touch the trees.

Living area

7. Raw concrete house with pool in Sepang, Selangor

Front view at dusk

This house is defined by a large sheltering roof with deep overhangs, shaded terraces, and balconies along its edges. The raw exposed concrete is used for external walls while spine walls that run along the centre of the house are bare bricks. The ceilings, floors, and roof structures were built with timber and all other surfaces are painted white, an approach that creates a richness of texture in the house.

The ground floor living areas as well as the master and attic bedrooms open out to an outdoor terrace that cantilevers over the pool that provides relief for the occupants in the humid tropical climate.

Raw concrete external walls

8. Tropical box house in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur

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Set in a lush tropical jungle in Damansara Heights, this house, called Chempanai, was designed with a concrete egg-crate structure that surrounds the house to keeps the heat out and while allowing for the inflow of sunlight.

The perforated nature of the ‘envelope’ also allows for the natural flora outside to grow in between the holes in the wall, blurring the boundaries between nature and the man-made structure. The enormous house, designed by WHBC Architects, has a land area of 10,500 sq ft and a built-up are of 7,500 sq ft.

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