In the right hands and deployed correctly, concrete can be a thing of beauty. Think of the elegant austerity of Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute, or the poetic lyricism of Tadao Ando’s Naoshima Art Museum. To convey the beauty of concrete in a home, however, takes some doing as the hard finish can run contrary to the widely accepted idea of the home as a warm, welcoming sanctuary.
However, architect Choo Gim Wah, whose modernist oeuvre embraces the material wholeheartedly, it seemed like quite a natural fit when a client came to the firm around 2016 with an idea for an open-plan, off-form concrete aesthetics. Rising to the challenge, the architect would soon wholeheartedly embrace the design, while taking into consideration Feng Shui principles.
Located in a quiet Shah Alam suburb with mature plantings, Choo kept in mind the client’s requirements but looked to the site to inform the overall design. “The entire development might be filled with lush landscape and matured trees, but the site itself is surrounded by existing neighbouring buildings on all four sides.
"Hence, we thought of creating a green pocket within the project, filled with landscaping and a swimming pool. Then, the project is designed around it, drawing it as a focal point for all main spaces in the building. Main spaces like the master bedroom and AV room were designed to be on a higher level, and because of that, the occupants can actually view pass the neighbouring building towards the horizon of foliage,” explains Choo.