Located on a hilly platform at the end road, the house is built on a narrow and long site. The surrounding views of existing residences are not really interesting, but the area is quiet and private.
By considering the existing site condition, the Kiarong House boundary is planted with lush greenery to obscure the less interesting views. Whilst the common living space enjoys an open and airy aspect that connects with and shares relaxing views of the planted greenery within the house boundary, as well as out onto further distanced natural greenery.
Architecture as external space
The main theme of the house design is how to merge the ground floor of family common living space with surrounding greenery and nature. The design challenge is how to take away the isolation boundaries between the living space and nature.
All components structure for the house, such as, walls, columns, ceilings and roofs, are not used simply to define enclosures. A study of all these structural elements and composition defined the ground floor space in the house, as free flowing and open to nature.
The internal walls are kept as minimalist, to purely serve the function of each room and to protect the residents’ privacy.
The natural stone landscape wall is extended to outside of the house, directing towards an open area of natural greenery area. Within the site boundary, residents can enjoy a view of lush planted greenery and a number of trees outside the boundary, plus green hills in the further distance.
The slanted roofs are raised up towards the sky creating an expanded angle of view towards the outside. The present combination of these elements diffuses the boundaries and lightens up the living space, with a sense of flow and continuity.
Instead of using big columns to support the slanted roof, the living and dining area roof are supported by a few slim slanted pipes to erase the weight visually. At the same time, these slim slanted pipes are also supporting the horizontal steel I-Beam, all along the sliding glass door and frameless glass window, to create a space with a lighter and more airy feeling.
The common living space is consciously designed to enable residents to experience a life blend with nature. All these natural elements such as smooth passing breezes; soft natural light passing through tree branches, as if in a forest; the sounds of rustling leaves, chirping birds and rain drops, are all as part of their life.
Kiarong House is therefore designed in such a way, so as to create a very comfortable and relaxing environment, where the residents will feel at ease, as if walking through a forest, enclosed by nature.
Enclosed interior space and the family bond
In contrast with a complete open space on the ground floor, the first floor is designed as a big enclosed box to secure the family privacy and security.
The cabinets, which incorporate the windows, are placed along the long hallway and on the opposite side of bedrooms. On the bedroom side, cabinets function as storage for individual family members, while the long hallway side is designed as open shelves. The open shelved cabinets are mainly designed for family members to display and arrange their belongings and also as a place where they can share and express their experience, interest and hobbies with others.
All bedrooms on the first floor do not using typical swing doors (a device which accelerate the isolation of individual family members), but instead use movable partitions.
These moving partitions can be kept open along the hallway when no privacy is needed. When every bedroom is open, the activities happening along the hallway will penetrate into every room and creates a close interaction with family members. This should help to strengthen the bond between family members.
The window openings allow natural light to pass through into the living space and create a beautiful effect, as if ‘living in a cave’ – and so helping to create a feeling of a safe and secure living enclosure.
Lifestyle (The contrast of common and private living space)
The ground floor living space of Kiarong House is designed as an area that is completely open to the nature, where people can live and enjoy the natural environment splendidly. In contrast with the ground floor concept, the first floor is designed as an enclosed space, where the privacy of family members is protected, and at the same time, promoting a lifestyle that should help to strengthen the family bond.