October 1, 2020

The Brelades Bungalow is situated on the highest peak on the Malaysian island of Penang with beautiful views over Georgetown and its surrounding forest.  An original heritage house, WEIJENBERG has conceptualized a new extension and renovation with added functionality, bringing the building into the 21st century.

The original bungalow was built in 1927 with elements from the East and West. It had adopted characteristics from Malay architectural traditions and colonial architectural style tem­pered by Chinese manners. The character of the building is introverted and private, closing out nature and the sun.

Our idea was to take an opposite approach: to turn the building from the inside out. We wanted to generate contrasting structures which have an unexpected dialogue with the existing bungalow, which leads to the creation of an exposed and non-structural exterior opposing a closed and load bearing interior. Using this approach we created pavilions that are connected with the surrounding rainforest, giving all breathtaking, column-free views of the surrounding greenery. In response to the brief, three separate pavilions were designed: a reception space for guests; a pavilion for the family; and one for the poolside and relaxation.

Each pavilion has an internal load-bearing concrete core, which smoothly grows over to a cantilevered roof structure. The thickness of the suspended concrete roof structure varies, growing from thin roof edges to a bump above the core. The external layers of the pavilions comprise thin glass walls and sliding doors. Each is cleverly composed of architectural structures beyond the limitations of constructive logic.