Lined permeability / Tangu architecture
Lined permeability / Tangu architecture
3300 sq. Ft.
Photographs: Tang Hsiao Seak
Tang Hsiao Seak
Text description provided by the architects. In a well-established suburb of Greater Kuala Lumpur, within a tight-knit community, sits this east-facing home that had been incongruously renovated over the years. It has now been transformed into a progressive test bed for design innovation, research and development and the testing of ideas and principles continually developed through practice.
The approach stems from a minimalist point of view that ‘lightness’ – of building footprint, carbon footprint, weight, construction / materials and logistics, on-board energy – applied through the well thought-out design of spatial configuration, envelope and form, combined with the principles of “permeability” of the elements lead to holistic sustainable solutions. These are found fundamentally in proven passive concepts, vernacular practices and occur in natural processes and phenomena, as expressed in the equation below:
Lightness + permeability = durability
Thanks to the methodology as expressed in the equation above, the applied design principles and strategies are found in these built solutions:
Configuration of 3 extended family subunits – the bedrooms are articulated around a common area on each floor similar to a village.
Spatial configuration made up of boxes (private); congregation (communal); transient (ephemeral, intermediate): Living + Dining – communal; Gallery (transient) – intermediate entry / exit; Social kitchen – common; Chef’s kitchen (box) – semi-private; Bedroom suites (box) – private.
Enveloped by intermediate + transitional spaces (entrance courtyard, two-storey gallery, atrium, attic) – climatically ephemeral, dynamic, multistory, multilevel – for circulation use, as a climatic cushion, air exchanger, visual buffer and vertical planting.
Encapsulated by the lightness of the steel frame trellis in the extension that wraps around the existing concrete frame – for rigidity and strength in distributing loads in the 3D frame around the perimeter.
Induce the intermediary between house – garden – street to promote community interaction and surveillance by blurring the boundaries of spaces, by programming ambiguity and the multiplicity of uses.
Innovate in the design of the building envelope with the superposition of materials and construction to “Kiss the earth, dance with the sun + the air “ – bring out and multiply the benefits of topsoil & CO microbes2 -O2 cycle, to be fully integrated into the blue-green cycle (rainwater harvesting, vertical irrigation + subsoil, retention / retention, cooling, aquaponics), to promote micro biodiversity and passive cooling on site.
Control of the permeability of air elements (breeze, convection, cushion, exchange / atrium plenum), light (direct, diffuse, reflected, filtered), cooling (radiation, insulation, shading, evaporative), view (direct, obscured, shielded, borrowed, object). Obtained by means of an assembly of these infill components mounted on steel and aluminum frames: insulated fiber cement cladding, glass (clear and translucent), double-walled polycarbonate panels (translucent and solid), adjustable louvers in transparent glass, wooden shutters, steel mesh and hanging planter channels, and a vertical landscaping veil to achieve different specific quality performance and quality criteria.
Improvisation of new uses and reuse of traditional craft construction and vernacular materials – clay channels (drain) for planters and light green roof, cane wicker (rattan) for the application of fence / door / screen, sieving of cement and plastering techniques for floors and walls instead of modern tile finishing, re-use of old wood for wall framing and roofing, and old rubble for landscaping.
The selection of materials for the lowest on-board energy, lightness, untreated rawness, smoothness, minimum efficiency, simplicity of construction and craftsmanship contribute to lower on-board and sustained energy consumption during the construction.
Aesthetics and attitude consisting in working with the rawness of materials and construction, leaving traces of history, expressing the purity of materiality, reducing to the essence and accepting imperfections, bad weather, patina and errors in hand-made construction techniques, much like the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi”.