Open House II, Kuching

Client: Richard and Dona
Completed: 2015

This is a continuation of an earlier house which we completed almost a decade ago. To cater for the growing needs of their 4 boys, they bought the adjacent plot for a new house.

The plan is derived from linkage to the family house, in the form of a gallery or a ‘ruai’, which is the communal veranda in front of the biliks in a longhouse, often the venue for community activities and celebrations. The client has Iban ancestry.

In the new house, the Ruai evolves into a double height space with the rooms providing the ‘streetscape’ with bridges overhead leading into the boys’ rooms. The linear plan benefits from a north -south orientation with views of the pool.
Rooms upstairs cantilever 3 metres to shade the living spaces below.

A distinctive feature of this house is the roof; a readaption of the traditional gable roof expressed as a sheltering element under which the living modules are inserted. At a glance, the architectural expression seems quite straightforward, but the leaf patterns at the entry footpath hints at moments of whimsy throughout the house; most created from a simple palette of concrete, timber and steel.