Beyond a physical home, Serendah Hill Retreat is a deeply personal homage to the clients, who are the Architect’s parents, and to the surrounding lush tropical landscape that has been the bedrock of their Buddhist spiritual life. Adopting the Japanese principles of “shakkei” (borrowed landscape), the house was conceived from the beginning as an extension of the landscape, part of which has been meticulously curated and nurtured by the clients by hand from seeds, for more than a decade, even before the house was designed – Pre-existing soft architecture that the house needs to respect. In the spirit of sustainable way of life, passive design principles are integrated to increase comfort without the need for air conditioning. While views are primarily orientated towards East-South-West due to the water tower on the north, deep shading is provided by means of natural vegetation, balconies and deep overhangs. The ceremonial double-height space that greets from the main entrance, top-lit with grand skylight, encourages cross ventilation. Carefully detailed ventilation louvres and mosquito netting are also used extensively throughout, while sandwiched insulated in-situ concrete roof system limits heat gain.
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