A3 PROJECTS Architects as Architects

Zen88 is crafted with strong focus on community building, design sustainability, and modern vernacular expression in its outlook. 36 and counting, the second phase of the development is rapidly transforming the locale.


The project represent a radical approach of establishing various design typologies that challenges the traditional concept of new homes with diverse range of contemporary houses that were designed to bring architectural dynamics to the local context. Zen88 comprised a mix of house types, clustered houses, semi-detached and stand-alone houses that create multiple possibilities of experience within dwellings that respond not only to its drastic site level conditions but also to the demands of environmental conditions and social context of the suburban neighbourhood. 


The Asian cultural values of 'filial piety' are widely practiced in Malaysia. Throughout our design research, we explored the idea of independence and interdependence living and other family dynamics offered. Based on findings, most families are three-generational households. Our aim is to create homes for multi-generational living with spaces that promote healthy family living.


The layout is designed with consideration for multi-generational occupancy and convenience for elderly users whereby essential spaces are provided on ground floor itself. Variation in site level condition presents opportunity for personalization and zoning interplay via split level, rethinking the users’ experience within their dwelling. Dedicated study room and family spaces were included giving environment for focused work, privacy, meditation, reading that promote a personal spaces within the household.


Most of the houses were designed to have internal courtyards adjoining to high ceiling family space on first floor. This effectively bringing in natural daylight and ventilation where most conventional homes lack. It provides environment that allow for social engagement and play, helping the families to feel more connected with each other and therefore benefiting their health and wellbeing. Throughout this exploration, we ensured that passive environmental strategies were utilized and the efficiency of the internal space planning were optimized without impacting the housing densities.


The homes were built with natural, traditional materials but these were used in a highly contemporary way. Burnt clay bricks, cement tiles and vent-blocks gave warmth and tactility to the homes, while carefully scaled of glazing flood the homes with controlled daylight. Balconies and courtyards were provided at varying levels throughout the homes, providing shades, as well as creating cross ventilation. The streetscape elevations of the development soon became an integral part in creating an identity to which the houses were identified by. Despite the challenges, the sensitivity and honesty throughout the creative process of improving a place for living in an open community neighbourhood were abide by to ensure that design outcome benefits the neighbourhood economically and socially in a long-term.


Material used :
1. Terreal (Roof tiles) - Zen tiles

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Mechanical & Electrical Engineering
Product Spec Sheet

Zen tilesTerreal
Product Spec Sheet
Zen tiles
by Terreal
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