Exclusive images of Malaysian Spiral shared with WAN by Marra + Yeh Architects
Marra + Yeh Architects have shared these spectacular images of their latest project with WAN, a spiralling staircase for a three-storey house in Malaysia. Three generations of one family reside in The Leaf House, encased in lush foliage on a scenic landscaped plot. The architects were brought in to design a dynamic circulation system for the entire family, linking living areas on the ground floor with the individual apartments across the top two floors and took the initiative to encourage each generation to use the stairs rather than existing lift by offering a beautiful architectural alternative.
The curving, tapering form is entirely naturally ventilated and controls the daylight which illuminates the space through monsoon windows which also minimise heat gain. In order to construct such a challenging design, Marra + Yeh requested the help of skilled timber boat buildings in the local area who were suffering from a lack of work due to decreased demand for their trade.
The architects explain: “Every section of formwork has a complex geometry, curved, tapering, and with different radii for the inner and outer forms. Boat building traditions, where double curvatures are common, provided the opportunity to reinvent the application of craft. Each section of formwork was handmade and then assembled on site. Laser guides were used during construction to place each opening in relation to the steps as the correlation was crucial. Thus the Spiral is a combination of tradition and technology.”
Generous ceiling heights and open plan living areas define the main Leaf House and this is reflected in the twirling staircase. Its rustic finishes enliven what may have been a generic access space and offer an enjoyable volume for the residents. Encasing the coarse form is a luscious green landscape which creates a pleasant microclimate in the tropical region, lightening the load on the natural ventilation system.