Airy Bamboo House with a Modern Flair in Malaysia

Airy Bamboo House with a Modern Flair in Malaysia

Airy Bamboo House with a Modern Flair in Malaysia

/ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia /

/ Story: Ekkarach Laksanasamrich / English version: Peter Montalbano /

/ Photographs: Soopakorn Srisakul /

With bamboo as its main material, the architect has integrated the modern Tropical design into nature. This well-ventilated house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the brainchild of John G. N. Bulcock of Design Unit Architects Sdn. Bhd. 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, and the functions. And I like it the way it is,” said the architect.

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

Fung Kai Jin, the owner of this bamboo house in Malaysia, gave Bulcock freedom to design. The only request was to feature bamboo in the work, although the material has some flaws of its own.

Bamboo House in Malaysia
[left] The swimming pool and terraces lie at the low end of sloping ground surrounded by full-grown trees. [right] The door is especially made to open wide from one end to the other. So, the view is not blocked.
“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’s worth the effort. After all, you get to spend time in the house that you love every day.”

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

Bulcock 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.”

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

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

There are also gaps between the main roof and nearby rooms to promote good ventilation. Fresh air circulates throughout the day through passageways and gaps in the bamboo lattice. Courtesy of the Tropical weather, there is no need for an air-conditioning machine for this bamboo house in Malaysia.

Bamboo House in Malaysia
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 accepted that wet weather is normal,” Bulcock said

“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.”

Bamboo House in Malaysia
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 bamboo house in Malaysia 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.

Owner: Fung Kai Jin

Architect: John G. N. Bulcock of Design Unit Architects Sdn. Bhd.

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