KUALA LUMPUR – Interchanging the arrangement of floors and reversing what is deemed as ‘traditional’ is the highlight of a recent residential project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fabian Tan’s Ittka House focuses on integrating private and social spaces in a reversed role. The minimalistic design creates a unified arrangement with accentuating architectural features based on depth and volume.

Located in a neighbourhood context on a linear plot of land, the site limitations provoked the exploration of a reversed floor arrangement. The design plays with visual expansion through the contrast of open and enclosed spaces. On the ground floor, the design opens up to accommodate the bedrooms, which are focused around a small courtyard that is complemented by a skylight. With its double-height volume and an abundance of natural light, the first floor is dedicated to an open-plan living space that includes the kitchen, dining room and a living room, with large openings overlooking a small garden terrace. The upstairs living space has a ‘roof deck’ feel with the living space having low-rise edges around the perimeter giving views to the lower level.

Visual connectivity between the two floors creates a harmony amongst the private and social spaces within the house. The contrast between open and solid spaces can be adjusted with sliding bedroom doors, which allow a shift in privacy based on the user’s requirements. Subtle elements of nature and natural lighting add a unique character to the house making the unusual layout rather calming and welcoming. The play on spatial arrangements reinterprets how open planning can be incorporated into residential homes.

Photos courtesy of Eiffel Chong