During the summer break(May-June 2016), I interned at an architectural firm in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The founder of the firm, who is also my mentor, was approached by a client who was dissatisfied with the bungalow layout designed by the previous architect. The bungalows are to be located in Temerloh, Pahang, Malaysia. We were allocated with a budget of RM 500000 per bungalow, which cannot even secure one a decent terrace in KL. Anyhow, I was tasked by my mentor to design a bungalow solely for practice purposes. This is how my initial design looks like.
The pavilions assume different room forms from one another. The height of roofs also varies, with the RC roof of car porch the flattest and the master bedroom the tallest. The family hall also has a unique roof form that resembles that of traditional Malay Kampungs.
My mentor took a look at it and decided to draft out a fresh one instead. To pick up something new, I decided to draft his floor plan on AutoCAD.
With the Malay clients in mind, he decided to give the client ample outdoor spaces for the children to roam. But he does have his gripes- the wet kitchen is not conveniently located for extension. Ideally, wet kitchen should be located at the rear of the house for extension when kenduri is held. In fact, wet kitchen is one of the most important, and hence the most spacious area in a typical Malay household. Usually, the Malays in town have big families and don’t mind having smaller sleeping quarters in exchange for more rooms. Besides, the relatively large number of doors translates to a higher cost. Anyhow, the most prominent feature of his bungalow design has got to be the wakaf, a uniquely Malay pavilion that is usually made of wood.
I was then tasked to create a scaled model.
Taking into account the above considerations as mentioned by my mentor, I decided to modify my initial floorplan and drafted it in AutoCAD.
By removing the pebbled gardens and the maid’s room, the number of rooms has increased, allowing for more occupants to dwell in it. More importantly, the wet kitchen is now significantly more spacious. Besides, the housewife preparing meals can now keep an eye on her kids playing outdoors. The ‘communal’ bathroom is also located right next to the lap pool for the kids to avoid catching a cold after swimming. Sliding doors are employed at master bedroom and communal areas such as living/dining areas and the family hall to provide views and ventilation. Inspired by traditional Malay houses, indoor staircases are also used in the entrance foyer and the master bedroom of the single-storey bungalow. The grass patch could be used for gardening/farming and the store that is conveniently located next to the grass patch could be used to store gardening tools etc.