The letter C could stand for contemporary, cool, character, classy and a host of other feel-good words. But in the instance of our featured home, The C House, it simply stands for the owner's surname, Chin. -The Star/ANN
Sun, Nov 28, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network
IN THE words of the Cookie Monster from the ultra popular children's show Sesame Street, the letter of the day is? C.
The letter C could stand for contemporary, cool, character, classy and a host of other feel-good words. But in the instance of our featured home, The C House, it simply stands for the owner's surname, Chin.
|The C House|
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The 3-storey C House is located at Mutiara Damansara and when asked to draw a house in school, the owner's children might draw a house differently compared to their classmates. Why? For one, the roof is not the regular pointy type. It is flat and the house's body looks like neatly stacked cubes.
S.C. Chin, 43, is a trader for construction materials and he purchased the land for RM230,000 (S$96,000) three years ago. Today, the land is worth approximately RM400,000. His brief to the architect, Kiat Tung, 35, from T&T Architect Associates, was to create a contemporary modern home that incorporates "green" features. Chin and Tung have known each other for 10 years. When asked about his acceptance of the Tung's concept, Chin says, "Can accept. Maybe the older generation might have difficulty accepting it, but for me, it is okay."
Tung adds, "We presented the facade at one go. It was accepted and we started work. Sometimes the owner is very important. The owner must have good taste." At this point, Chin jokingly says, "If owner don't have budget, also cannot."
Tung continues by saying that Chin still refers to him when it comes to decor to make sure that it suits the house's concept, as Tung was both the architect and interior designer for the house. Such is the friendship and trust between them.
Cool & cooling elements
An interesting synthesis of "green" architectural elements have been incorporated into the 6,000sq ft home. The home's material selection is heavy on glass on one side, the East side or you can call it the left side if you are facing the home, to embrace natural lighting. As Tung points out, even though the home features lots of glass panels, the home's interior is not sweltering because they used the neighbour's building to shade the glass area.
"A green building must have very low heat gain. When you have low heat gain, then your need for air-conditioning would be low, or you don't need air-conditioning," Tung says matter-of-factly.
The non-tinted tempered glass panels run from the lowest floor to the highest floor, and can be opened to welcome cross-ventilation for all floors. The glass doors at the lowest floor open to the focal point of the house - the pond - which is also both men's favourite spot in the home. Glass class doesn't get more functional and beautiful than this.
"On top of that, we have a huge roof. Conventional green buildings use louvers. We use one big roof to shade the whole house. The roof has three functions. Rainwater harvesting (non-consumable water for irrigation, landscaping and car washing), solar panels (for hot water), and shade the building. So as people say, kill three birds with one stone.
"We predict that solar PV (photovoltaic) panel's price will drop when there is more demand. So currently, we only use the solar hot water system. The solar PV panel is for electricity, but it is not viable to install it right now. The roof is designed so that we can install PV panels in the near future," Tung explains.
While the home's east side has glass walls and doors, the west side has a double cavity wall, which translates to a two-layer wall with air gap. This understandably thick wall aids insulation and discourages heat from visiting the home.
Do not disturb: Art at work
There are not many paintings on the walls. Instead, Tung opted to use the doors as pieces of art. "Every piece of veneer is an art. The owner and I selected the veneer at the factory before it is fabricated into the door," Tung educates. How zebra-like, in the sense that each door presents a different patterned veneer, just like how each zebra's stripes is unique to each one.
|The C House|
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The selection of tiles is as impeccable as it gets. Each bathroom has unique and different tiles, ranging from 3D protruding tiles to cushion looking tiles complete with indentations like those found on sofas. The "sofa cushion" ones, they look so real that one can't help but run one's palms across the tiles just to make sure that they are indeed hard tiles and not soft cushions.
According to Tung, the main challenge is the staircase. "See the staircase. There is no support. It is structurally challenging, cantilever style. It took us a while to construct this staircase and anchor the steps into the wall." Every piece of furniture, furnishing and art piece commands an appreciative stare of at least five seconds. Tung rightfully sums it up, "The ID and architecture is the art."
True blue nights
When daylight leaves, The C House takes on a different look. Tung opted to use blue lights at strategically located spots along the exterior walls to create a rather dreamy ambience. It works particularly well at the feature wall that complements the pond. Made of GRC (glass reinforced concrete), the "water wave" feature wall was designed by Tung and sculpted by an artist who hails from China.
Before leaving, Tung shared a piece of advice on grass selection. He advises to use Philippine grass as weeds don't grow as much. Of course, there's still a need to maintain it, but you will minimise any encounters with weeds.
So, is there anything wrong with the home? Absolutely nothing. The C House is indeed Cantik (beautiful) - inside out.