When a House is a Home

Design Anthology - - Home / Melbourne - Text / Suzy An­netta Im­ages / Ed­mon Leong

The Lim fam­ily home in Kuala Lumpur ex­em­pli­fies the id­iom ‘a house is not a home’ — that is, a struc­ture is brought to life through the marks made by its in­hab­i­tants.

Nes­tled within lush trop­i­cal flora in one of the Malaysian cap­i­tal’s toni­est res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hoods is a phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of the fam­ily’s com­mit­ment to to­geth­er­ness. They ap­proached the new build with the view that if they’re go­ing to spend time there to­gether, why not de­sign it to­gether? And why not in­deed — it’s not of­ten you have three Cor­nell ar­chi­tec­ture graduates (five, ac­tu­ally, if you count part­ners) in the fam­ily: Wil­liam Lim, founder of Hong Kong-based ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­rior de­sign stu­dio CL3, el­der son Kevin, who runs in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary de­sign stu­dio openUU with wife Caroline, and younger son Vince who, along with wife Elaine, is the founder of emerg­ing de­sign prac­tice Lim + Lu.

The en­tire process took al­most six years. De­signed by Wil­liam and Kevin, the struc­ture is based on the prin­ci­ples of a tra­di­tional Chi­nese court­yard house that has been elon­gated ver­ti­cally. The cen­tre, or ‘court­yard’, of the three-storey space is an open stair­well that acts as the void, and from which each of the rooms ra­di­ates. The void al­lows nat­u­ral light to flood the en­tire space, but also al­lows mem­bers of the fam­ily to feel to­gether, even when they’re not. While the es­sen­tial el­e­ments of the house are cul­ti­vat­edly white and min­i­mal, the stair­case has been left raw and un­fin­ished, cre­at­ing an in­ter­est­ing con­trast and a sub­tle fo­cal point.

On the ground floor, it quickly be­comes ev­i­dent that the home was also de­signed with en­ter­tain­ing in mind. A gleam­ing Car­rara mar­ble and brass bar at the far end was Vince’s con­tri­bu­tion, which an uncle has filled with a selec­tion of his favourite tip­ples. On the up­per level, the en­ter­tain­ment fac­tor is turned up a notch with a karaoke ma­chine, dart­board, and bil­liard and ping-pong ta­bles. This is where, Wil­liam says, the chil­dren can be found dur­ing fam­ily gath­er­ings.

Wil­liam, who is also known and re­spected as an art col­lec­tor and artist in his own right, was not con­tent to fur­nish the house with just store-bought items. While the art­works on dis­play in­clude a se­ries of draw­ings and lith­o­graphs from his brother’s art col­lec­tion, the walls are filled mainly with pieces by some of Wil­liam’s favourite artists and a selec­tion of his own pho­to­graphs. A keen eye will also no­tice a num­ber of ac­ces­sories from the Lim + Lu col­lec­tion around the home, as well as one of the rugs from the stu­dio’s re­cent col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tai Ping.

It’s these un­der­stated per­sonal touches and a de­sign that en­cour­ages to­geth­er­ness that truly does make this house a home.

This page, left Wil­liam Lim at ease in the liv­ing room of the fam­ily home This page, right The ar­chi­tec­tural stair­case pro­vides a fo­cal point in the cen­tre of the struc­ture Next page Be­hind the Lim + Lu-de­signed bar — the stu­dio of WIl­liam’s son Vin­cent and his part­ner Elaine Lu — is an­other photo se­ries by Wil­liam, this time of the fam­ily hol­i­day home in Malaysia’s Cameron High­lands

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Hong Kong

© PressReader. All rights reserved.