design collective architecture: j house
design collective architecture: j house design collective architecture: j house
feb 27, 2012

design collective architecture: j house

‘j-house’ by design collective architecture in subang jaya, selangor, malaysia all images courtesy design collective architecture

malaysian practice design collective architecture (david chan weng cheong, chan mun inn) has sent us images of ‘j-house’, a renovation project to a double-storey terrace house in a suburb of subang jaya, selangor, malaysia. slipped between two neighbouring buildings on a slim and narrow site, the design integrates a private vertical garden into the layout to promote an illuminated interior atmosphere.

street view

focusing on seamlessly blending into the aesthetic of the suburban fabric, the street elevation continues the strong angular faces of the flanking buildings with an asymmetrical roofline. the house is stepped back from the street line to accommodate a private parking space for two cars. the front facade adopts a lower window-to-wall ratio to shield the westward elevation from overheating. predominantly finished in a light shade of white and grey, the exterior exhibits a clean and modern identity within the area.

front elevation

view from vertical garden

conceived for a young family of three, the interior features high-ceilings and levels that overlook different areas, resulting in a loft-like organization of space. the ground floor combines the dry kitchen, dining, and living room in a free-flowing open concept. the vertical garden placed at the rear of the 6.6m by 22.5m plot serves as a green volume of open-air space that extends the layout into the outdoors. a guest bedroom and washroom is accessed through the garden, creating a distinct separation from the rest of the house.

guest bedroom from garden

accommodating a master bedroom, washroom, and an intermediate zone that can be converted to a temporary room when needed, the upper level is punctuated with void space that overlooks the garden and living area below. an outdoor terrace elevated by the vertical garden serves as a private outdoor space for a variety of activities. given the limited exposed surface area of the exterior, the design maximizes on natural daylighting opportunities by utilizing acrylic roof tiles with matching profiles to subtly integrate translucency into the roof. a careful study of solar conditions was conducted to prevent excessive heat penetration.

interior view of living space

dining and kitchen

view of vertical garden from upper level

(left) exposed beams (right) view of dining table from above

bathroom overlooking garden and level below


(left) entrance (right) washroom


floor plan / level 0 (1) car porch (2) foyer (3) study (4) living (5) new dining (6) new dry kitchen (7) store (8) new guestroom (9) new guest bath (10) new wet kitchen (11) garden

floor plan / level +1 (12) master bedroom (13) master bath (14) new laundry (15) new open toilet (16) new open terrace

longitudinal section

cross section

front elevation

cross ventilation diagram

  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Grass is not carpet, you fools! How long do you think that will last for? How will the owners mow it? What happens after a heavy rainfall? I despair, I really do.

    Julie M says:
  • they could bring in the mower through the gate.

    Jill says:
  • Im sure they did their homework and thought about the grass. The climate there is probably suitable for that kind of thing, meaining not alot of rainfall combined with a drainage system. As for mowing, its not neccessary if theres alot of foot traffic, but it will create patches of dirt. I have mixed feelings about it.

    Matt says:
  • nothing to write home about except nice interiors

    wwwillem says:
  • It all looks so sterilized like a hospital. Any human entering would look like an unwanted mess.

    joy breeze says:
  • I like how they solved to problem of a really narrow space while making it seem spacious, airy and with an outdoor/courtyard feature. I may have tiled the grass area but the living walls make the whole place seem less severe.

    Jess says:
  • it dont need to mow the grass because the grass is easy to maintain

    ttk says:
  • What’s behind the house?

    Drew says:
  • the greenery is not a problem but to those traditional minded architects who need more study on this area…if you ask me it should be even more than this..

    Linda says:

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