Bamboo beauty

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Bamboo beauty

It was love at first sight for Fabrice Godeau when he first set his eyes on a bamboo house inSierramas, Sungai Buloh. The French native confessed that he felt an instant attraction for the4,500sq ft bungalow that is surrounded by lush greenery.The 40-year-old vice president of sales for an aerospace company was looking for a place to call homewhen he chanced upon this unique house that seemed to have its own character. He said, “When I sawthis house, I just knocked on the door and said I wanted to buy the house. It was what I had imagined mydream home would be.”The man behind this creation is John Bulcock, a partner of Design Unit Sdn Bhd who has almost 30years of experience as an architect cum designer. Having resided in Malaysia for over 10 years, he said,“The main concept of this house was a response to the site and the local climate. It emphasises theopen space of outdoor living. So essentially, what you see is what you get.”The house consists of a series of covered spaces, united by a large roof plane made of concrete. Theinterior of the house is concealed by a cubic façade made from selected materials such as bamboo,concrete, glass and timber which combines to create a remarkably distinctive identity for the house.Set against the fading light of day,the combination of bamboo, glassand concrete creates an interestingeffect on this spacious bungalowThe cosy living room on the groundfloor boasts a contemporary, minimalistconcept with a rustic feel. Extensive use ofbamboo and glass allow the breeze andnatural light to flood the entire space9


ABOVE: White-coloured dining table and chairsand the wall painting add a dash of colour tothis simple yet elegant dining-kitchen areaLEFT: An ideal spot forentertaining family and friendsOnce past the front door, visitors is drawn to the main focus of the house, that is,a water garden that opens to a sky courtyard that nestles between the kitchenand the main living area. The interior décor is kept muted on purpose in keepingwith the home's overall appearance.Both the kitchen and the main living area are connected by the main deck,which serves as an outdoor living area. In fact, the latter is Godeau’s favouritepart of the house as the generous space and subtle lighting allows him toentertain friends comfortably.The lower ground or basement, on the other hand, consists of a guest roomand the main living area, which opens up to a swimming pool. The mainliving area has a bright, airy and spacious ambiance thanks to the doublevolume ceiling.The family area, three bedrooms and a TV room can be found on the highestlevel, and each room on this floor has been specifically designed to look andfeel like an extension of the outdoor area. The unfinished concrete walls areadorned with Godeau’s vast personal collection of artwork and paintings.Bulcock professed that the bamboo house is one of his favourite projectsto date, even though he had to address a number of challenges in theconcrete work and formwork with his contractor.10


ABOVE: The clutter-freemaster bedroom allows thespace to speak for itselfRIGHT: Lush greeneryliterally surrounds thiseco-friendly houseAs is common for most of his works, Bulcock used asmall palette of materials to create a simple, calm anduncluttered space that allows the space to speak foritself. Bamboo became his material of choice for morethan just aesthetic reasons.He said, “We used ring beams to allow daylight tocome in, while the bamboo keeps the heat out. About70 per cent of the heat from the sun comes from theroof, thus we insulated it to prevent the heat frompenetrating into the house, which in turn will minimisethe use of air-conditioners.”The bamboo house had a previous owner, a banker,who had a clear direction in terms of making useof the strength of the site to design a contemporaryhouse with a very open feel to it, complete with goodnatural lighting, good ventilation and lots of openspace within the gated community of Sierramas.Bulcock took about a month to come up with thedesign concept of the house. and was given a freereign to bring the design to life. Despite the fact thatrenovation works took about two years to completewhen Godeau became the owner, the end result wastruly inspiring.Says Godeau, “In today’s society the key is space. Thefeeling of space is the true sense of luxury.” Godeauwho entertains his friends frequently at his home, saysthat his friends are still in awe of the house.12

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