Modern Tropical Bamboo House

Modern Tropical Bamboo House

Modern Tropical Bamboo House

With bamboo as its main material, the architect has integrated the modern tropical design to the nature.

/// Malaysia ///

Architect: Design Unit Sdn Bhd /// Story: Ekkarach Laksanasamlich /// Photo: Soopakorn Srisakul

A concrete roof spanning 15 meters across provides protection for the sitting room, dining room, and bedrooms.

The house is located in Selangor state, Malaysia. The design was responsible by John G N Bulcock of Design Unit. Though the theme is modern tropical, Bulcock preferred not to limit his idea only to the word. “Actually, I’m not interested in defining it. I’m more curious to look into the floor plan, the atmosphere, the functions. And I like it the way it is.”

The swimming pool and terraces lie at the low end of sloping ground surrounded by full-grown trees.  /// The door is especially made to open wide from one end to the other. So, the view is not blocked.

Fung Kai Jin, the homeowner gave Bulcock freedom to design. The only request was to feature bamboo into the work, although the material has some flaws of its own. “Bamboo is a gift from nature,” said Fung.

“It is strong and durable to a certain extent. But it has some weaknesses. It doesn’t last as long as other kinds of wood, or steel and concrete masonry and it requires more maintenance than other materials. But for those who have a penchant for bamboo, I think it worths the effort. After all, you get to spend time in the house that you love every day.”

The sitting room has high ceilings. The upstairs TV room is protected from the sunlight by a bamboo lattice.
Spaces between the walls promote good air circulation.

Bullock then decided the house has to be an integrated one. “The main idea is to make the house an integral part of the nature, he recalled.

“Meaning, it has to blend well with the land features and trees around it. So the plan calls for plenty of open spaces and undisturbed materials, such as plain concrete finishes, glass, and bamboo.”

Imitating nature with a rain garden, the architects put in a nice little green alfresco oasis on the second floor.
A semi-outdoors area stays cool and comfortable all day thanks to leafy plants and underground vapors.

The three-storey house was set on a slope. So, Bullock placed a carport and a main entrance on the second floor for a practical use. The floor consists of a dining room, a kitchen, a TV room and a wide balcony overlooking a swimming pool. The lower floor includes a home office, a living room, a storage room and a maid’s quarter. Private area is reserved on the third floor.

The bedroom is adorned with simple decoration. Plain concrete walls and white ceilings spice up the atmosphere. The floorboard is made of a hard wood for durability and a stress-free environment.

The house is kept small and uncluttered by dividing into rooms connecting through a roofed hallway that spans over 15 meters across the area. A small interval between the roof and the building is allowed for the rain and sunshine in.

There are also gaps between the main roof and nearby rooms to promote a good ventilation system. Fresh air circulates throughout the day through passageway and gaps in bamboo lattice. Courtesy to the tropical weather, there is no need for an air-conditioning machine.

The architects install bamboo lattice in the interiors as well to create visual continuity.
Fixed windows at the top edge of dining room walls allow light to shine through, while effectively keeping the heat out.

“As it rains, a fine spray of water descends upon bamboo lattice. When the owner chose this kind of material, he accepts that wet weather is normal. Call it living close to nature. We need to plan which part can be exposed to the rain and vice versa to avoid damage to the structure over time,” Bullock said

Large windows in the son’s bedroom make the interior very light and airy. The swimming pool below can be seen in full view from here.

All things considered, this modern tropical house is a good example of what living close to nature should look like.

For maximum exposure to the natural surroundings, stair railings are crafted of glass panels.


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