Filed under Interior Design

Endless Personalization 
Location: 288 Residency, Setapak
Client: Ms. Yong Cheow Ling

Interior design of a house is a manifestation of owner's personalization. How far can it go? An entire house. 
I started this apartment interior design process by listing out all possible items that would be displayable and can appear versus program (the type of room and their functionality). The process leads to the architecture of an endless personalization - an infinite spatial opportunity of displaying things inside the house. 

The brief called for remodeling of an approximately 1200 sqft house into a house having one classroom and a useful utility room next to the kitchen. Apart from that, it needs to be an aesthetically pleasing and economically sounded interior design of a house for a person to stay. 

During the first meeting with my client, I am inspired that part of the house is to be converted into a classroom for teaching. A proverb immediately came through my mind - There is no royal road to learning (Chinese: 学海无涯) and I took the idea further. 

A Boundaryless Interior
A house is then defined as a manifestation of user personalization, at the same time a place where people learn. A 'boundaryless' interior would sound unbelievably ambitious. Speaking less of metaphor, 'boundaryless' interior actually articulates relationship of spaces in a house where user find value in space through the new space-form relationship; which is the very essential, philosophically important aspect of a house. How to create a "boundaryless" interior?

In dealing with existing house layout (kitchen, living, dining, bedroom, utility room) it is essential to breakaway the conventional, preconceived spaces-perceiving system. Therefore, user and house is a space of whole to be part of, rather than a sum of its parts. It is then, possible to create spatial tendency that allows user cultural and behavioral personalization that will redefine the relationship between user and space - Home.

Remodeling existing interior layout, we conceived the idea of "cancellation" might be needed in neutralizing the space once again, that user could start to discover new relationship within herself and the house through new form-space when time goes by. 

What I love about the Work
The work eventually evolves breaking of walls, existing doors to turn into the aluminum glass door that brings natural daylighting into spaces. What I love about the work is that not only it breaks away solid, masonry wall for lights, it breaks the conventional idea of having conventional, dark corridor spaces in a 3-bed apartment that we see almost everywhere in Malaysia. We removed doors and make maid room a usable guest room that fits a queen size sofa bed.

If we were not encountering site issue - one wall of a bedroom being a reinforcement shear wall that cannot be structurally taken down, otherwise, we would break more walls to lit up the house even better. 

The Bigger Idea
Cancellation evolves rejection strategy. We split wall painting into two colors - white for the top and baby blue for the bottom, this act as a binder of space in responding to the elongated house configuration in a complementary manner, and in this case, to the entire house. Timber ledge (the main component of the project) is installed in the middle of two colors as termination, it follows through the perimeter of almost an entire house. It turns out as an item-displaying ledge for almost the entire house - the architecture of the interior. Space/Activity/Item/Cancellation Tabulation is used to visualize existing, as well as an intended function of spaces, and then suggest an item that can counter-intuitively reject original function of existing space. This counter-intuitively turns out that the item display in space can reinforce the experience of spaces in terms of functionality, pleasure; it also makes space unexpectedly enjoyable. Example - a wireless speaker near the kitchen, a mini earth globe at the dining area, painting, pencil at the living area.      

The entire house is a Sea of Personalization
As much as structuralism architecture talks about the spatial-structural framework that redefines user space-form relationship in finding value in spaces, the house is a realization of the idea - endless personalization of spaces.