The place called “Desa House” belongs to 49-year-old artist Leon Leong. Located in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, the building clearly stands out from the rest in a neighborhood characterized by ubiquitous town-homes.
/// Malaysia ///
Architect: WHBC Architects, by Wen Hsia /// Story : Panchat Changchan /// Photos : Rithirong Chanthongsuk
The most eye-catching feature is the lush sky garden that extends outward from the second floor. The structure also doubles as carport roof. Green foliage adorns the front façade and functions as a privacy curtain. The striking feature reminds us that we have reached our destination.
The bedroom and the studio are lit by natural light through sliding glass that slides open to access the greenery. The same applies to the rear portion of the house, which opens to a backyard. In the front and back, green foliage forms privacy curtains that effectively set the interior spaces apart from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The home’s aesthetic is achieved by putting in an add-on and other details to the existing structure. Like other townhomes in the neighborhood, there is a central court that the occupants use for relaxation. But architect Wen Hsia of the WHBC Architects group has a better idea. She transforms this centerpiece into something different. What used to be a seating area now becomes a lush landscape, where tall trees cast shadows on surrounding walls and much of the first floor. It brings in the outdoor, and the atmosphere comes alive every time leaves blow in the wind. All day the light and sound show gives the artist homeowner the inspirations that he needs.
Leon needs plenty of light to create works of art, and he gets it all in the home studio. To bring in natural light, the architect has tiled roofing replaced by lattice skylight, creating beautiful special effects. Concrete lattice casts striking shadow patterns everywhere. It is cheaper, longer lasting, and easier to maintain than that made of wood. As night falls, the studio is aglow by electric light. Interestingly the studio light alone is enough to illuminate the entire home.
Finally, the result of all solutions is very contented. The architect can bring the new life to the old building and change it to characteristic artist house.