Malaysian design firm Unit One Design has designed a luxurious private home in Kuala Lumpur that houses an impressive collection of books. A books lover’s dream, the residence was divided in two building blocks around a central courtyard, offering ample amount of natural light. The floor to ceiling glazed walls create the perfect atmosphere for reading and connect the indoor to the outdoors.
The Private Library is a privately owned retreat set in a residential area of Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur. The primary objective of the project was to house the client’s rich collection of books. The massing of the project was conceived as two building blocks with an open central courtyard, deliberately orientated on the East-West axis to ensure the space is well lit. The building is organized into two wings with one for living in and the other devoted to purely housing books.
Both building blocks are configured as double height spaces with internal walls lined with bookshelves on both levels. The bookshelves are carefully arranged around both building sides, allowing the books to frame the courtyard. With the books as the backdrop, the place becomes the perfect place for any book lover, emphasizing the notion of living within a library.
The solidity of the rubble-stone walls marks the face of the library as a private retreat. Behind it, the garage is hidden from sight, and the habitable spaces sit above street level further providing the sense of privacy and containment. The building morphs out of the ground, with the roughly hewn stone base rising up to form the library buildings.
Within the textured stone surface; precision holes have been cut with spindly trees sprouting out. Their delicate forms contrast to the heavy set of the podium. The narrow courtyard, nestled between the two library buildings provides a protected and intimate green oasis at the heart of the project.
The large rubble-stone podium not only provides the required visual effect but also provides excellent insulation in terms of heat and acoustics. Wrapped around the library blocks is an aluminum screen, which provides additional solar shading as well as creating an interstitial zone where all m&e services are located. This arrangement provides easy and direct access for maintenance whilst also creating a rich layered treatment to the facade.