City&Country: My Dream Home 2011-- Growing trend towards environment-friendly homes

The efforts of homeowners to go green paid off at the recently concluded haven/The Edge My Dream Home Awards 2011. The prize-giving ceremony was held at 1 Utama Shopping Centre (New Wing) last weekend.

“The haven/The Edge My Dream Home contest is about more than just beautiful homes,” said The Edge editor-in-chief Dorothy Teoh at the ceremony. “We’re pleased to note the growing trend towards environmentally sensitive and sustainable homes. This year, we see that many of the designs show a deliberate attempt on the part of homeowners, architects and designers alike to go green.”

As a result of the impressive number of entries in the green home category, a record nine homes won this year compared to five in 2010.

The contest, open to homeowners in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, was held from March to May in association with Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) and Institut Perekabentuk Dalaman Malaysia (IPDM).

“This is the fifth year of haven/The Edge My Dream Home Awards and every year, when I look at the photographs of the winning entries, two things impress me,” Teoh said. “One, of course, is how beautiful these homes are, and this is the testimony of the good taste and creativity of the homeowners, their architects and interior designers. The second is the clever and innovative use of space.”

The contest was divided into four categories: condominium, terraced, detached/semi-detached and green homes.

Architect Dr Tan Loke Mun’s home in Section 11, Petaling Jaya, won the gold award in the detached/semi-detached and green home categories. Ting Choong Sing, who owns the Ting Residence in Country Heights Damansara that was designed by Wooi Lok Kuang of Wooi Architect, also came out tops in the detached/semi-detached category and won the silver in the green home category. Tan and Wooi are no strangers to the haven/The Edge My Dream Home Awards, having been architects of past winning dream homes.

In the green home category, Raymond Wong’s home in Gita Bayu, Seri Kembangan, also received a silver while Leong Syn Ti’s retro home in SS3, Petaling Jaya, earned an honorary mention.

An honorary mention also went to Raven Sockanathan’s home in Ukay Heights, Ampang, in the detached/semi-detached category.

In the terraced category, the gold winner was fashion designer Rizalman Ibrahim for his stylish home in Bukit Setiawangsa. Rizalman’s home was designed by Chang Ye Shin of Y’Shin Architect who received a certificate of recognition.

Mohd Sofi Mohd Mustafa Azmi won a silver in the category for his home in Pinggiran Ukay, Ampang, while Ben Yap received an honorary mention for his home in Sunway Damansara.
The home of Ong Tien Ling and wife Goh Han Shin in Mont’Kiara Banyan was the gold winner in the condominium category. Goh was also the home’s interior designer.

Architects and designers of the winning homes also received certificates of recognition.

The judges for this year were PAM president Boon Che Wee; IPDM president Mohd Suhaimi Mohd Fadzir; fashion designer Datuk Tom Abang Saufi; Sharon Kam, deputy editor of The Edge’s property pullout City & Country and haven; and Lim Shiew Yuin, deputy managing director of The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd. The convener of the judging panel was Lee Chor Wah, immediate past president of PAM.

The winners took home prizes that included hotel stays in Philea Resort Melaka and hampers from Crabtree & Evelyn, courtesy of The Edge, vouchers from Art Village and IKEA, and flowers from Amtrol Flower Designing Centre. Juton was also a sponsor of the contest while 1 Utama was the venue sponsor.

The awards were presented to the winners by guest of honour Datuk Teo Chiang Kok, director of Bandar Utama City Centre Sdn Bhd.

The winning dream homes are featured in the August/September 2011 issue of haven, The Edge’s bimonthly interior design and garden magazine. The magazine can also be accessed via

Joint Gold Award
Category: Detached/Semi-detached

Gold Award
Category: Green Home

Location: Section 11, Petaling Jaya
Owners: Dr Tan Loke Mun and Chew May-Ann
Architect: Dr Tan Loke Mun of Archicentre

This detached house beautifully marries an open plan with passive green design principles. Not surprisingly, it has received the Malaysian Green Building Index’s highest rating of platinum.

The home used a variety of recyclable materials and sustainable products, such as recycled wood, common red bricks and raw concrete and even reused the bricks, crushed concrete and roof tiles salvaged from the original structure.

Spicing up the home’s organic look are carefully selected furniture pieces and the owners’ collection of paintings, sculptures and crafts.

The family lounge area on the upper floor, which comes with a soaring double volume ceiling, opens onto a large deck complete with two symmetrical fish ponds that front the swimming pool. Overlooking this area is a half-floor attic which houses the library.

Other green elements include extended roof overhangs, breeze walls and courtyards — like the rain garden courtyard — to promote ventilation. The home’s water features help to keep it cool, the photovoltaic solar panels on the roof provide renewable energy while the wind turbines draw hot air out of the interior.

Joint Gold Award
Category: Detached/Semi-detached

Joint Silver Award
Category: Green Home

Location: Country Heights Damansara
Owner: Ting Choong Sing
Architect: Wooi Lok Kuang of Wooi Architect

This hillside home is characterised by one thing – the view. The house is designed to accommodate the spectacular vista around it. There are numerous spaces in the home from which to enjoy the view, such as the outdoor deck with a koi pond or through the cengal wood strips over the glass windows and walls that act as a screen.

Inside the home, the design has minimised the use of columns or walls. Even the supporting columns are made of tubular pipes that resemble clumps of bamboo. The house comes with a lift but the fit can take the dramatic curving stairways. The entrance of the main stairway has fair-faced concrete walls on both sides and is lit by LED lights.

The home features several sustainable features. For instance, rocks and stones uncovered from site works were reused in the wall and floors of the spa area where one can relax in a Jacuzzi.

The generous windows and doors maximise cross-ventilation and allow copious amounts of natural light into the house. Local hardwood and terrazzo are widely used while recyclable zinc titanium is used as the main material for the roof.

Honorary Mention
Category: Detached/Semi-detached

Location: Ukay Heights, Ampang
Owner: Raven Sockanathan
Designer: Kevin Low of Small Projects
Interior Designer: Geoffrey Thomas of Geoffrey Thomas Associates

This bungalow in Ukay Heights has a built-up of just over 11,000 sq ft and has an elongated linear configuration with an unassuming front façade. The exterior features boundary walls that are naturally decorated with creepers while precast cement vent blocks are used as screening partitions.

Designed as a contemporary colonial-style home, it emphasises tropical vernacular elements and boasts courtyards that open up the building to its surroundings. The first courtyard is planted with Melaleuca trees and separates the kitchen from the bar lounge area while the second courtyard features a single mature rain tree.

Another focal point is the outdoor double volume bar lounge which features the extensive use of exposed red bricks. The neatly manicured lawn and fresh gravel against the deep red of the brick walls add to the natural warmth of the area.

Silver Award
Category: Terraced

Location: Taman Pinggiran Ukay, Ampang
Owner: Mohd Sofi Mohd Mustafa Azmi
Architect: Visage Architect

The house, which had been abandoned for a decade, has been restored and given a new breath of life. It is now a cosy home for a family with two small children.

The façade is dominated by a concrete vent block screen with a weave design that not only makes the house stand out and also gives the homeowners some privacy.

The interior is warm and inviting with the design combining modern bare concrete and red brick aesthetics with tropical touches influenced by the works of Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa.
The ground floor lanai is the family’s favourite spot and features a red brick feature wall, comfortable sofa and dining set. The narrow foyer next to the lanai uses bare bricks and concrete vent blocks complemented by an Islamic calligraphy painting.

The furnishings and furniture are simple and mainly in a neutral palette of beige, brown and black. But the bedrooms are a different story.

The outdoors is brought inside by allowing natural light to filter through the roof in certain parts of the home, such as the bathrooms where sunlight streams in through opaque polycarbonate roofs.

Gold Award
Category: Terraced

Location: Bukit Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur
Owner: Rizalman Ibrahim
Architect: Chang Ye Shin of Y’Shin Architect

The 2-storey terraced home belongs to fashion designer Rizalman Ibrahim and combines the modern with classical. The makeover of the lavishly decorated home took over a year.

The first floor, which houses the dining area and the kitchen, is a study in elegance. With a large dining table, Phillippe Starck chairs, an impressive chandelier and Martha Stewart wall lights, the area looks sophisticated. The grey walls adorned with black-and-white photographs give the space, which is juxtaposed against an all-white kitchen, a filmic appeal.

To create additional space, part of the porch was reclaimed and turned into a glamourous living room with baroque-style furniture, faux fireplace mantel and coffee table. A small air well reveals a tiny courtyard garden within the luxurious home. The bedrooms above are modest in size but beautifully decorated.

Everything in this house oozes opulence and sophistication.

Honorary Mention
Category: Terraced

Location: Sunway Damansara
Owner: Ben Yap
Designer: Ben Yap of Tokyo Design Construction

The original 2-storey terraced house was gutted to create a more spacious home and a private sanctuary for the busy owners.

The layout of the house has been reconfigured — where the kitchen once was is now a study where parts of the wall have been replaced by full-length louvred glass windows.

The study leads out to an enclosed back patio made of bare bricks and concrete, and an open grill roof to create a small and serene nook for relaxation.

The interior décor of the home is a combination of contemporary style with rustic charm showing off the owners’ personal taste.

Gold Award
Category: Condominium

Location: Mont’Kiara Banyan, Kuala Lumpur
Owners: Ong Tien Ling and  Goh Han Shin
Designer: Goh Han Shin

This newly renovated unit has been designed to be a retreat for the busy  owners. The Zen-like interior spaces are dominated by monochromatic tones of concrete and white, augmented by clusters of futuristic hanging light fittings that look like stalactites.

Depth and visual interest are injected into the interior by means of recessed and accent lighting. Quirky elements in the form of original craftwork by the owners have also been added.

The 2,300 sq ft unit boasts a surplus of storage space through built-ins concealed behind wall panels. The owners have also replaced the walls of the bathroom in the master bedroom with floor-to-ceiling glass panels for a sense of spaciousness.

Joint Silver Award
Category: Green Home

Location: Gita Bayu, Seri Kembangan
Owner: Raymond Wong
Architect: Michael Ching of CH&I Architecture

The house, situated in the exclusive gated and guarded neighbourhood of Gita Bayu in Seri Kembangan, is in harmony with its green surroundings. Its large landscaped garden takes centre stage and is the playground for the children of the family.

The house’s modern yet natural and organic look is attained by using three main materials throughout the house: belian timber, concrete and glass.

The outdoor and indoor spaces are seamlessly integrated, such as the open kitchen and dining area, which looks out into the garden and swimming pool. The top floor of this expansive home houses the gym and roof garden.

Low-budget solutions were used to create a sustainable home, for example  a rainwater harvesting system, using skim coat with recycled content as an alternative to normal house paint, a rooftop garden to cool the house and sliding timber louvres to allow in natural light and for ventilation.

Honorary Mention
Category: Green Home

Location: SS3, Petaling Jaya
Owner: Leong Syn Ti
Designer: Leong Syn Ti

This quaint home in the quiet neighbourhood of SS3, Petaling Jaya, looks unassuming from outside. But the restored wooden louvred and glass-panelled main door, now painted red, and vintage grill give a hint of what is inside.

The owner has lovingly pieced together restored wooden furniture pieces from the Fifties to the Seventies in her home. The vintage pieces are combined with modern accessories to form a quirky but individualistic look.

To open up this small house, the walls of a room were torn down and the back was extended. This provided the house with plenty of space and also allowed better ventilation and more natural light to stream in.

Throughout the home — in the living and dining areas and bedrooms — furnishings from the Fifties are coupled with other items that create a nostalgic feel. Adorning most of the walls are pictures and paintings acquired or painted by the homeowner.


This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 869, Aug 1-7, 2011

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