/ Petaling Jaya, Malaysia /
/ Story: Supachart Boontag / English version: Bob Pitakwong /
/ Photographs: Rithirong Chanthongsuk /
Once an affordable choice among artists, lofts have grown to become one of the most popular house styles. The design that makes use of high ceilings to create an airy, cozy and comfortable place of residence appeals to a much wider demographic now than any time in the past.
This three-story retro loft house in the Malaysian state of Selangor is the brainchild of Ramesh Seshan, who has experience in loft design. Judging from the way things are going, it’s an architectural style that represents endless possibilities.
It all began with Lee Kok Choong wanting to renovate his old house as a retro loft style residence. Responding to his heart’s desire, architect Seshan explored and rethought all the materials and building strategies to create solutions that meet his preferences.
The result is a cozy and warm loft home showcasing the simplicity of unornamented concrete finishes. Uncovered brick walls become the center of attention, whereas rough textures are accentuated alongside of retro Chinese style detailing.
As one would imagine, the newly renovated home is rich in the appeal and qualities that connect with history.
Take for example the second floor entryway that’s inspired by colonial architecture in old Hong Kong. The floor is covered in custom-made ceramic tiles in geometric shapes. Nearby, a footbridge is paved with thick tempered glass that blends well with wrought iron detailing on safety handrails.
From a distance, the rustic façade in brown conjures up memories of the Jawa spaceship Sandcrawler in sci-fi movies Star Wars. Step inside, and you find a spiral staircase made of bare concrete with its distinctive rough textures and the expanded metal infill balustrade that’s the hallmark of industrial loft style.
Interestingly, each floor has its own character. The first floor is paved with green marble imported from India, while red marble, aka Rosa Levanto, adds a bold personality to the living room on the second floor. The third floor is an entirely different story as it unexpectedly switches to a combination of various concrete finishes.
Interior design showcases a fun twist, incorporating unique and unexpected elements. Take for instance a leisure area that uses a pair of vintage barber chairs for sitting on, instead of the regular bar stools at standard height. Behind the bar counter, an antique storage cabinet in subdued chili red and collectible décor items take pride of place on the wall.
The U-shaped house plan features a central courtyard that opens to natural light. The bright and airy atmosphere is further enhanced by large glass doors.
Even though the design is influenced by many styles and built using a variety of different materials, the architect has finally managed to keep all the retro loft qualities in perfect harmony.
More so than anything else, the overall effect is impressive; a home that’s stylishly fashionable, cozy and pleasant in its own special way. An experience like this is worth its weight in gold!
Owner: Lee Kok Choong
Architect: Seshan Design by Ramesh Seshan
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