Green-roofed Cantilever House floats above the Malaysian rainforest

This green-roofed house juts out over the lush rainforest of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Architecture firm Design Unit Sdn Bhd envisioned the Cantilever House as a “forest” of industrial steel columns that create a weightless-looking volume. Passive House design features – including an adjustable envelope – minimize the building’s impact on the environment.


The house consists of two independent structures constructed of exposed structural steel and concrete, framing a large courtyard with a swimming pool. A long ramp connects the “steel box” to the ground. The opaque appearance disappears once inside– the double glazed full height sliding glass screens and adjustable glass louvers bathe the interior in natural light. This operable envelope wrapped in external sunscreens made from perforated stainless steel provides optimal natural ventilation and allows views of the surrounding rainforest.



The two structures of the house serve different functions– one with living areas and bedrooms, and the lower one accommodating an art gallery and cinema. The grass-covered roof establishes different micro-climates and creates gardens for relaxation. These spaces allow occupants to enjoy an indoor-outdoor lifestyle which maximizes contact with nature while minimizes disturbance to the site.





Photos by Lin Ho Photography

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