The ubiquitous terrace house is problematic for comfortable living, especially in tropical climates. With their lack of air flow and low ceilings, it would seem that these houses were designed to maximise floor space rather than ease of living. Of late, a new breed of young architects are transforming this humble typology into homes which work with the environment they’re in rather than against it.
For a couple who had bought one such terrace in Bangsar, they chose Eleena Jamil Architect (EJA) after seeing the award-winning firm’s work online. Struck by their thoughtful and sustainable ethos, they embarked on a journey to remodel the 1980s end-lot house which had low ceilings and awkward split-levels.
The project came together as an exercise in extending the existing structure to accommodate the couple, their two young children and visiting guests in a comfortable family home with views of the city.
Undeterred by the limitations of the original house, the architect went about revealing its full potential. “From the outset, we set out to open up the house in terms of planning by removing some walls, floor slabs and by reconfiguring the staircase in a new location.
These moves created a better flow of spaces within an open plan configuration. It also allowed for more daylight and improved the natural ventilation,” explains Eleena Jamil, founder of EJA. To ensure uninterrupted views of the city, a level was added on the rooftop.