Cover Photo: Ceavs Chua

This luxury home in KL demonstrates how narrow proportions can be opened up dramatically through clever design

Located in an upscale neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur, this impressive house with an attention-grabbing entrance is home to a young couple about to start a family.

The Ottiqa House, as it's fondly called, was the handiwork of architect Fabian Tan, and the design brief was fairly straightforward: To create the perfect space for people who lived a calm, simple lifestyle. 

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At 2,200sqft, the property's size and proportions instantly caught Tan's attention, becoming the basis for a design scheme that would open up the space considerably.

"Initial observations of the former conventional terrace house of 24' x 90' were that it had a long driveway and typically dark interiors," shares Tan. "We devised a design strategy rooted in the idea of 'extensions', questioning its definition that morphed into an overall scheme of extending architecture through volume, voids and openings."

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True to its aim, the design plan of the home didn't restrict itself to horizontal space, even incorporating vertical elements like a large, 'T'-shaped column to form part of the car porch roof and the entrance foyer, creating a seamless extension to the most narrow areas at the entrance.

"From the start, one can sense an extension of the internal to the external, both horizontally and vertically to the sky," shares Tan. 

"The perforation of the trees through the architecture softens the space, but also heightens the heavy contrast of linear lines. Extended voluminous garden rooms are naturally created to fulfil the requirements of security and privacy," he adds.

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Past a side door entrance lies a breezy garden courtyard which leads seamlessly into the home. Additionally, the presence of extended 'garden rooms' serve to enhance the security and privacy of the home.

"The ground floor was transformed into open living spaces that open to external spaces as a kind of refuge," Tan says. "A central void area was also created to connect all the floors with natural light and ventilation."

Tan adds that the bedrooms on the first floor benefit from this air well-like space, with uniquely placed windows opening out to it and accentuating that feeling of extension, connectivity and space. 

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Upstairs, a discrete study loft area located atop what was formerly a water tank slab is accessible via a spiral staircase, overlooking the heart of the home. 

"From the study, another flight of stairs leads to the open roof deck with a 360° view of the city skyline. A hot tub area was also combined with a platform catered for any rooftop leisure activities," Tan adds.

A perfect lounge spot for cool evenings, the rooftop area that's lined on one side with shrubbery is another excellent example of opening up limited spaces to the natural surroundings.    

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Minimalist and inviting, the Ottiqa House makes excellent use of vertical space, layered efficiently and stylishly to suit the young family's tastes and preferences.         

"Ultimately, I think the home serves as a reminder that it may not be necessary to change or alter an idea significantly for concepts to be fresh and new," Tan muses. "Perhaps all that was needed was for its boundaries to be extended." 

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