Canopy House - Kuala Lumpur by MJ Kanny Architect | homify
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Canopy House—Kuala Lumpur

This house was built on the hills of Kuala Lumpur called Ukay Heights. The steep

site’s main feature was the existing huge rain trees nearly a hundred feet tall

with spread out canopies dominating the site.

Being up on the hill with its jungle like setting the temperatures are a little

cooler than the city. Hence the design priority was to preserve its natural

surroundings and take advantage of the cool breeze that permeate its


In order to preserve the existing slope with minimum cuts the structure was

designed that appear to “perch” on the ground or almost levitate above it. The

big shady trees and its canopy gave birth to the idea of a large canopy in

which all the habitable spaces would be arranged under the it’s protection

which shields the interiors from the heat whilst still capturing the breeze and

views though carefully arranged apertures and openings.

The house was designed for a family of 3 with additional bedrooms for the in-laws

with a Gross built-up of just over 10,000 sq ft. The brief called for a home

where the residents could enjoy the outdoors whilst enjoying the views out to

parts of the city beyond.

As the access of the house from the top of the slope, the house cascaded down with

the slope over 4 levels down. At the road level the house appeared as driveway

that led to the carporch and the house dramatically ‘disappears’ down the

slope. The act of descending down the slope became the narrative of the journey

in which spaces started to unravel. The internal spatial planning were planned

in a linear logical manner to meet the client’s brief but the roof plan was

deliberately designed to contrast this as if acting on its own set of laws. The

roof became the canopy that shielded the structured spaces below interacting

with the surroundings and topography. In the same way a tree’s canopy freely

spreads out seeking the sun above it’s structured trunk, the roof canopy was

designed to create shelter from the sun and rain extending its span almost

touching the earth below. All the internal spaces looked up towards the

sheltering canopy from the bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces. The house was

no longer defined by the internal programmatic spaces but by the metaphorical

canopy. The structural I-beams supporting the timber lined canopy was revealed

much like the structure of a leaf with the midrib branching out to veins that supports the epidermis.

Below the canopy, all spaces were designed to be completely open when required to

the elements to absorb the cool breezes flowing up the hills with the central located

pool acting as a natural evaporative cooler. The residents spend most of their time here

below the sheltering sky of both the canopy of the house and the magnificent rain


Total dimensions
1000 m² (Area)
Kuala Lumpur
Total cost
  • View out to pool by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    View out to pool

    Living room with a view out towards the azure blue pool and the garden beyond

  • Pool by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical


    The lap pool strides along the living and dining spaces of the house

  • Staircase detail by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Staircase detail

    Staircase descending down to the dining room below

  • Dining Room Tropical style dining room by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Dining Room

    Editors’ Ideabooks with this photo
    Ideabooks: 1
    ["PH"] [Published] 10 Innovative ideas to connect your home with nature

    The dining room opens up directly to the pool and garden

  • Outdoor BBQ terrace Tropical style balcony, porch & terrace by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Outdoor BBQ terrace

    The BBQ terrace opens faces the garden an pool

  • Casual Living by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Casual Living

    The casual living and study space with the roof hovering over

  • Casual living and study by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Casual living and study

    High level operable glass windows that allow for hot air to escape allows for natural ventilation in the living spaces

  • Masterbedroom with TV luonge Tropical style bedroom by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Masterbedroom with TV luonge

    The master bedroom opens up to the TV lounge with plenty of natural light and ventilation

  • Carporch by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical


    The enrty of the house with a carporch and stairs that leads down to the entrance lobby

  • Poolside view by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Poolside view

    An evening shot of the pool terrace with the roof hovering above

  • Detail of the roof by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Detail of the roof

    The detail of the carporch roof with steel support and timber lining

  • view of the house from the street below Tropical style houses by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    view of the house from the street below

    Editors’ Ideabooks with this photo
    Ideabooks: 1
    ["MY"] [Published] 10 Beautiful modern home designs for the urban family

    View of the house from the street below showing the 50 foot high tree on the sloped terrain

  • Tree and house Tropical style houses by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical

    Tree and house

    Picture showing the relationship between the house roof canopy against the natural tree canopies