Breaking A Terraced House Into Bungalow


J-House in Subang Jaya has won Silver Award from PAM 2014 under category Alterations & Additions. There was no gold winner.

From the outside, the house looks pretty much like any other properties in the neighbourhood, but its interior and design is all its own. This isn’t an ordinary 22ft x 75ft 2-storey terraced house which boasts a built-up of 1,500sq ft.

The approach was to create the qualities of a loft infused with the spatial qualities of landed property.



Silver: J-House, Subang Jaya SS17, Selangor

Designed by: Design Collective Architects Network Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Essential Design Integrated Sdn Bhd

Client: Lim Sue May

Jury’s comments: Refreshing, disciplined and stunning transformation of a terraced house that retains its original characteristic features.








What To Aim

Abundance of light, cross-ventilation and open spaces – this was precisely what the owner and architect were aiming for. The owner also wants the home to feel more like a bungalow or a loft than a conventional link house.


What To Remove

Architect Chan Mun Inn radically altered parts of the original layout by reducing 4 rooms to just 1½ rooms. This has essentially turns the house into a series of interconnected, open – really open – spaces.

The architect also removed a floor from the first level and in doing so created a double-volume ceiling height for the dining space.




Part of the ceiling on the top floor was removed as well in order to expose the framed timber roof trusses.

Transparent roof tiles were installed to allow an abundance of daylight and moonlight.






What To Add

When you step into the home, you don’t see walls or a series of rooms and formal spaces. There is no uninterrupted view of the whole house, from the living and dining spaces right to the vertical garden. The minute you step into the house, you can see the entire 75ft [length] of the house and in that way you experience the whole space at a glance.

There is a comfortable living area, a generous dining space, a modest-sized kitchen, ample storage space, a guestroom, an entrance space that can double as a mahjong area and even a wet kitchen — all this on the ground floor.




The first floor comprises only the master bedroom and bathroom as well as an open-air deck in the rear of the property which the owner uses as the laundry and drying area.




With glass-panelled walls and strategically placed transparent roof tiles, the house is bathed in light. The owners can wake up to the rising sun and at night there is the moonlight.

The architect also created a courtyard, which features a 20ft-high vertical garden with 350 plants from 7 species.

Apart from painting the walls white, most of the furniture, kitchen built-ins and fittings such as the lighting and blinds, is also white. As much as white colour can heightens the sense of space, white was also the most practical choice as it allowed touch-ups to be done at ease.



Do you notice there’s a raintree dining table?

Modified from the trunk of a raintree, the dining table has become the focal point of the house.




The house does interest me. But I don’t think 1 ½ rooms is enough for me, I would need at least 2 – 3 rooms. So that my kids can have their own rooms when they grow up… also I can gain back my space and privacy. Another concern is the long term maintenance especially when it comes to cleaning transparent roof tiles and the excessive use of glass walls.

So, will you sacrifice your available rooms space for a transformation like this, towards an open space loft living style?

Are you the unconventional one?


[ Source from The Edge & Essential Design ]


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