Cover Twinkle Villa in Janda Baik, Malaysia (Photo: Lawrence Choo)

What other styles take pains to hide, industrial style boldly puts on display, from raw concrete to exposed brickwork. Yet there is a certain cool factor as these five Malaysian homes can testify

Raw concrete or exposed brickwork generally never see light of day in more conventional homes but this perception has recently shifted. This could be attributed to the mainstreaming converting industrial spaces into large, light-filled lofts. While industrial-style homes may seem harsh to some, when done well and juxtaposed with refined details and greenery, they come alive.

Here are five such homes which may feature minimal adornment but have maximum character:

1. A terrace transformation in Bangsar

Notorious for bad ventilation and enclosed spaces, Eleena Jamil Architect (EJA) rid this Bangsar terrace house of its less desirable traits to reveal wide open spaces with a double volume dining area filled with natural light. The building's facade, which was extended, is particularly striking. Wrapping around the master bedroom and extended upwards to enclose the top floor roof terrace, the surface features a board-marked concrete wall.

The unadorned beauty of the concrete façade continues inside the house with a softly grey material palette of bricks, steel, and smooth exposed concrete against the backdrop of white walls.

“Our work has always been defined by using material and finishes in their most basic state. This means using bricks and concrete exposed where possible, and steel unadorned. I like the idea of layering these different materials,” explains Eleena Jamil, founder of EJA

Don't miss: Home Tour: A Practical Yet Pleasing Terrace Transformation In Kuala Lumpur

2. A home in Glenhill Saujana with retro references

This sprawling three-storey bungalow in Glenhill Saujana was built and designed from scratch by Seshan Design. A symphony of bare brick walls, fair face concrete surfaces, and brass fixtures, its industrial-inspired aesthetic provides a worthy backdrop for the owner's vast and eclectic collection of vintage objects.

In line with the owner's fondness for unique vintage items, retro items were repurposed into the design like old barber chairs were used as bar stools in the outdoor lounge and bar on the first floor and a vintage cabinet found a new life as a bar cabinet. Bamboo blinds in black-and-white stripes, custom-cut geometric ceramic tiles, and symmetrical black railings further reinforce the nostalgic ambience for this key lounge space, rife with colonial influences. 

Don't miss: Home Tour: An Industrial-Inspired Home In Glenhill Saujana With Retro Roots


3. A Brutalist bungalow in Shah Alam surrounded by greenery

Overlooking a golf course in Shah Alam, this 12,500sf bungalow is a wonder of angular concrete shapes that cut an imposing silhouette.The existing bungalow was modified by Studio Bikin almost completely except that key living spaces like the living room, kitchen and dining area were kept on the top floor as it boasted panoramic views of the golf course. The use of balconies and elevated outdoor terraces that seem to float above the trees also offer multiple vantage points from which to enjoy the scenery

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Above Photo: Gerry Chin

Bare elements of concrete and steel with colours, geometrical patterns and stunning design features were also added as they made optimal use of the sheer scale of the space. 

One such design feature is the magnificent concrete chandelier suspended above the lobby, built to allow in plenty of natural light into heart of the home—not to mention a touch of dramatic flair.

Don't miss: Home Tour: A 'Brutalist' Bungalow In Shah Alam Surrounded By Greenery

4. A Bauhaus-Style Home that's feng shui compliant

Choo Gim Wah Architect ran with the idea for the client's idea for an open-plan home with off-form concrete aesthetics in Shah Alam which considers Feng Shui principles. Since the house was surrounded by existing neighbouring buildings, the architect chose to make the house itself a green pocket filled with lush landscaping and a swimming pool. 

Off-form concrete was transcends  its structural function and imbues the house with a unique personality particularly in the main “feature space” of the staircase area, which connects the ground floor and the first floor. This, paired up with an off-form concrete wall and timber floor, allows rays of sunlight through the two-storey height window that livens up the living area

Don't miss: Home Tour: A Bauhaus-Style Home In Shah Alam That's Feng Shui Compliant

5. An award-winning Janda Baik etreat

Located on the highest point of Tanarimba in Janda Baik, Twinkle Villa won the best building and a gold award at the Persatuan Arkitek Malaysia Awards in 2017 for “conversing eloquently with the idyllic forest and responding climatically to the setting”. Designed by CY Chan Architect, the house's unique form is a response to its environment. 

A striated C-shaped volume perched lightly on top of natural slope, the building has two faces as it were. On one side, it’s a solid raw concrete wall rising dramatically above building height while on the other, it’s a meticulously assembled palette of finishes emphasising materiality and modularity– a mixture of fair-faced concrete, glass, clay brick wall and bamboo railings.


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Above Photo: Lawrence Choo

The fair-faced concrete and clay brick walls were used without plastering and paint to minimise environmental damage and because they would require minimum maintenance in the long run. “Moreover, the natural appearance of the materials suits the original forest palette," states Lim Kee Yen, lead architect.

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