Tropical retreat master suite amid the treetops

Contemporary master suite by GSD Architecture is open to balcony and treetops and features sitting area, floating bed platform
The master suite on the top level of architecture, ceiling, condominium, courtyard, daylighting, estate, home, house, interior design, lobby, real estate, black, brown
The master suite on the top level of this house opens to a landscaped terrace complete with a Jacuzzi with its own sheer descent water feature. A timber screen shields the terrace from view, and supports much of the greenery. The house was designed by Leong Yew Kooi of GSD Architect.

When architects set out to create a private retreat, there is always one part of the house where the idea really comes into its own, and that's the master suite.

In designing a home for his own family, architect Leong Yew Kooi of GSD Architect has ensured the master suite also epitomises all his ideas about passive design and sustainability.

Leong says that in designing the house he took his cue from nature and tradition.


A freestanding, double-sided vanity unit appears suspended within ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, living room, real estate, room, table, wood flooring, brown
A freestanding, double-sided vanity unit appears suspended within this bathroom. A large ceiling fan helps with the cross ventilation, which is one of the key ways the home is cooled. The house also has an atrium that acts as a thermal chimney, removing warm air out through the top of the building. The house was designed by Leong Yew Kooi of GSD Architect.

"The landscaping around the house is like a forest cocoon," he says. "It mimics the wild profusion of a tropical forest, with shrubs, trees and creepers. Much like a traditional Malaysian kampong house, this helps to lower the ambient temperature through evaporation and transpiration, which provides a passive cooling system for the house through cross ventilation."

Lush tropical planting is an integral part of the suite on the top level of the three-storey house much of the planting is in an area that forms an open courtyard terrace right in the middle of the suite. Here, Leong has positioned a luxurious Jacuzzi that is open to the elements. Slatted timber screens at the side and overhead provide shade, privacy and support for vines.

The terrace with the Jacuzzi effectively separates the bedroom and the bathroom, while creating a linking device, thanks to extra-large sliding glass doors. The master bedroom can be opened right up to the outdoors on three sides. Similarly the shower is behind a large glass door that can be opened up to the Jacuzzi terrace to reinforce the sense of bathing outdoors.

Entire glass walls in this master bedroom can bedroom, ceiling, estate, house, interior design, property, real estate, room, window, gray
Entire glass walls in this master bedroom can be opened so the bedroom is at one with the outdoors. The house was designed by Leong Yew Kooi of GSD Architect.

"The glass doors allow light to penetrate right into the space," says Leong. "And the visual clarity allows a seamless interplay between the interior and exterior spaces it brings the forest garden into the master bedroom. And the rooms themselves are transformed into open terraces when the doors are opened, blurring the line between inside and out."

The sense of a tropical retreat is further enhanced by the wood flooring and a double-sided vanity unit that appears suspended within the space. Additional storage is provided by a bank of flush cabinetry along one wall, also in ebony wood veneer.

Feb 14, 2014
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