Gale’s Residence is a complete remodel of a 1970s terrace house located in a hilly suburb of Kuala Lumpur. The brief to Gibert&Tan was to reconfigure the layout and to transform an interior that was dark, cloistered, and suffered from many poorly designed spaces; into one that feels bright, spacious, and well organized. At the onset, lengthy conversations took place with the owner to either up-cycle the existing frame or instead extend with a second floor (a common scenario in the region with the underlying motive to optimize value). The final decision to up-cycle and to dwell in optimizing the one-storey model resulted from the owner’s desire to enhance the building’s original character.
While retaining the original frame, important interventions were made to accommodate the new owner’s requirements. The revisited layout now divides the house neatly into two distinctive zones, the living, dining, kitchen, and other common spaces on one side, and bedrooms and bathrooms on the other.
Overall the architects intervention has been much about contrasts; the relation to the street is about privacy, with tall brick walls thus creating a boundary, while the interior opens up fully to the garden view with large expanses of glass. Where the exterior is mainly clay bricks with black painted steel, the interior is filled with light-reflecting on various colors and textures. The house as a result offers the opportunity to enjoy bright open spaces while still allowing for reclusive quiet moments off its immediate surroundings. To this were added the owner’s eclectic furnishing and tasteful collection of artworks that all come together to create a unique bespoke home that oozes charm and character.