The Subsoil House was an exercise in re-planning its existing spatial content to suit the needs of a couple and their two young children. Located amidst an unremarkable row of mass terrace housing built in the mid 80s, the existing architecture neither responds to its hilly and leafy context nor takes advantage of its unobstructed view of the KL skyline. It was thus a very dark and depressing dwelling for the spirited couple.
The entire house was gutted and extended to the rear boundary to maximize light and ventilation flow along the entire length of the house. The boundaries between the kitchen, dining and the living area were eliminated. The bedrooms on the first floor were reorganized for better spatial use and a little garden was created over the car porch that filters light into the master bathroom.
The entire double story air well elevation at the rear end is constructed using concrete subsoil pipes that gives an impression of petrified bamboo to allow for cross ventilation within the house. The solid compressed limestone white bricks were recycled from a demolition in Jalan Cochrane the historic Jalan Cochrane when the houses were unfortunately slated for demolition by hungry developers. We were lucky enough to have chanced upon the opportunity to reuse them in this project. The material reincarnated into this house is now part of the new lives of the family that will grow into it.
Photographs by Erna Dyanty