eleena jamil designs a family home that is lucid, comfortable, private and with views of the bustling neighborhood of bangsar in the heart of kuala lumpur. the project came together as an exercise of extending the existing structure to accommodate a young couple, their two young children, and visiting guests. the term ‘end-lot’ is commonly used in malaysia to describe a house at the end of a row of a terrace row. the original structure was built in the 1980s with low ceilings and floors split into 4 different levels within a two-story structure. it also comes with a small garden along its open boundary.
images by david yeow
the remodeling involves adding a level at the top, and removing several non-loadbearing walls and floor slabs to create a double-height volume and voids for a new staircase. this process allows the ground floor to be reconfigured as a single space for daytime dwelling and the upper floors to have more sizeable rooms and efficient circulation.
detail of the folded steel staircase
the building is extended along its southerly front façade with a board-marked concrete wall that sits over the car porch. this new elevation wraps around the master bedroom and extends upwards to enclose a roof terrace on the top floor. here, the concrete wall is punched with large rectangular openings, framing views out to the neighborhood and the city’s skyline. in the terrace, multiple trees planted in oversized pots provide some privacy and shading from the afternoon sun. the tactility and rawness of the exterior façade is felt inside the house.
concrete walls punched with large rectangular openings
eleena jamil uses a material palette that is grey and softly raw in the form of bricks, steel, and smooth exposed concrete against the backdrop of white walls. upon entering, one is greeted by a staircase set against a brick wall that extends upwards to the top of the house. the original staircase is replaced with one that is fashioned out of folded steel plates hanging from above on steel rods. this new staircase allows for a better flow of spaces and improved daylighting levels.
exterior view of the house
hovering close to the ground is a series of floating concrete steps snaking around the living area in the quest for spatial continuity. it starts off as part of the main staircase, then connects the different levels of the living and dining areas and transforms to become benches. in section, the split levels of the house are apparent, and the problem of low room heights in the original structure is overcome by creating voids and doing away with false ceilings in places.
existing non-loadbearing walls are removed to create a one-room multi-level space on the first floor
where the original dining room was, a new double-height volume is opened. with the addition of a new high-level window, this space draws light deep into the core of the house and creates a powerful visual connection between the living areas on the first floor and the corridors of the upper floors. this also forms surprising vertical spaces and lightwells that are animated by the staircase rods and sunbeams streaming in, creating a tree house-like quality.
view of the double height
eleena jamil places a playroom on the top floor, where the family spends a lot of their time. it has a direct connection to the roof terrace providing a safe outdoor place for the children to play. this space is also used for hanging out laundry to dry and occasionally as an open-air dining space. on the first floor, extra outdoor sitting space is created by the addition of a roofed terrace that overlooks the side garden.
a series of floating concrete steps snakes around the living area in the quest for spatial continuity
view of the folded steel staircase hanging on rods
trees in large planter boxes offer some privacy and shade to the roof terrace
view from the second floor
floating concrete steps
large glass window illuminating the staircase
name: end-lot house
architecture firm: eleena jamil architect
location: bangsar, kuala lumpur, malaysia
completion year: 2020
floor area: 272 sqm (2,927.78 sqft)
floor area extended: 94 sqm (1,011.81)
architects: eleena jamil, yow pei san, bahirah rahman, cheah zhi bin, nurhidayah ab razak
interior designers: eleena jamil, yow peisan
contractor: th tham engineering sdn bhd
photography: david yeow
edited by: yasmina karam | designboom