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Arched concrete home extension was designed for drama

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Curves built to stand out

Concrete house with large barrel arch. Ceavs Chua

When a young family enlisted architect Fabian Tan to build an extension to its suburban house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the directive was to make it stand out from its neighbors. With a soaring barrel arch constructed from cast concrete and massive wooden doors that make even the tallest person look miniature, we can safely say that Tan accomplished that mission.

The new volume extends the original L-shaped house, creating a hard to miss contrast between the curved and the orthogonal. “The new form is intended to be simple but bold, contrasting with the existing fabric of tropical suburban homes,” Tan told Dezeen.

Woman sitting on second story concrete terrace with feet dangling off side. Ceavs Chua

The extension is all arch, from front to back. Its tall ceiling creates a spacious living and dining room on the ground floor, while a mezzanine provides space for another lounging area and a master bedroom with a rather precarious-looking terrace.

Working with the curvy shape allowed Tan to build some playfulness into the space. The upstairs window, for example, is cut into a half-moon shape and inverted, presenting a nifty optical illusion in the form of an S.

Inverted half moon window in lounge area. Ceavs Chua
Woman sitting in corner chair. Ceavs Chua
Woman standing in open door looking out onto yard. Ceavs Chua