Lightness, permeability, and sustainability are the main features of this uniquely quaint terrace house in Kuala Lumpur’s hill suburb area. The 1970s remodelled home known as Gale’s Residence, designed by local architectural firm Gibert & Tan, was given a stunning top-to-bottom makeover, transforming a former outdatedly dark and shady interior into a bright contemporary home.
“Initially, we have thoughts to either up-cycle the existing frame or expand the property via building a second floor, the architect says. ” Based on final decisions, it has now transformed into a clever mix of old world meets new world charm, utilizing the elements of both traditionalism and modernity while adding in a touch of sustainability for everyday practicality and use.”
Some of the house’s characteristics stay true to their original form, although the firm has to make certain changes to adhere to the personal preferences of the owner. The house comprises several sub-units such as living, dining, kitchen, all cleverly separated into two sides through a room divider.
This distinct feature stands as a barrier to the more private living quarters of the house like bedrooms and bathrooms, all to help maximize the living space and also help organize the area better. Additionally, many of the property’s dark areas are now brightly lit.
One of the standout features of the property is a traditional heat prevention device. It helps to circulate air via the clever use of Southeast Asian vernacular passive techniques from the yesteryears. Like in the old days, it helps to effectively beat the dry and scorching monsoon heat that is predominantly common in this region. Besides that, it also conveniently acts together as a light well, a ventilation shaft, and a connector.
“Overall, the intervention is about creating a contrasting feel that is a cut above the rest. At the same time, we also want to brighten up those dark and dreary spaces so that the occupants can feel invitingly right at home. Also, the owner’s eclectic furniture helps to put that odd-ball personal touch in place.”