This is the most unique mansion in Malaysia

Image Credit: Roland Halbe

Yeoh Tiong Lay is a Malaysian business tycoon. He founded YTL Corporation, Malaysia’s largest conglomerate, with interests in construction, utilities, hotels, property development and technology. YTL is based primarily in Malaysia but has extensive operations in Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom, where it owns the utility Wessex Water. YTL Corp has over RM12 billion in cash.

Yeoh Tiong Lay
Yeoh Tiong Lay

And this is where he and his family lives in Kuala Lumpur

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Image Credit: Roland Halbe

Paris-based Agence Jouin Manku took on its first large-scale integrated architectural and interior design commission in 2003, when YTL Design Group from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, invited it to design the residence of a Malaysian power family.

Projekt: HouseY, Architekt: Jouin Manko, Ort: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ©(c)Roland Halbe; Veroeffentlichung nur gegen Honorar, Urhebervermerk und Beleg / Copyrightpermission required for reproduction, Photocredit: Roland Halbe
Projekt: HouseY, Architekt: Jouin Manko, Ort: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
©(c)Roland Halbe; Veroeffentlichung nur gegen Honorar, Urhebervermerk und Beleg / Copyrightpermission required for reproduction, Photocredit: Roland Halbe

Completed in the latter part of 2008, the residence is the ultimate expression of the taste, influence and industrial-scale capabilities of the prominent family whose entrepreneurial activities have shaped Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.

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Three generations of the family inhabit the 3,000 square-meter residence designed to accommodate both private and public functions.

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The building includes nine bedrooms, two family rooms, a family kitchen and a private dining area, a family library, a game room, a study, a public reception area, a formal dining room, a ballroom, chapel, 21 bathrooms, a swimming pool, two guest suites plus indoor private and guest parking.

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The initial sketches exploring the owners’ usage requirements reveal resemblances to the boring stacked-boxes look still so ubiquitous in residential architecture. And while traces of the ”heaped trailers“ syndrome remain in the finished building, this is not the Jetsons, neither are we looking at EPCOT, Tomorrowland or the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

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We are in the lush vegetation of a posh Kuala Lumpur residential area, and in spite of the boxiness of the structure, an elegant circular softness manages to permeate the sightlines and key details of the building, making it an agreeable part of its landscape.

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Inside, prominent examples of this curvilinear elegance include the amazing staircases resembling the inside of a shell when viewed from above, and the round ballroom chandelier of 13,000 custom-designed undulating petals of unglazed cast porcelain biscuit.

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The curved walls both inside and out have a functional purpose of providing privacy and enclosing each function gently in its own space. The overall sweeping feel inside the spaces invites the viewer in and creates soft, arching vistas.

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The concept consists of three layers: the base for public functions, the ring for guests and the private house for the family.

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The inside of the magnificent residence is gorgeous with its high ceilings, large windows and abundance of light. White color and natural wood are dominant elements but they allow the view from the vast, mostly retractable, windows to remain the main visual attraction.

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YTL Design Group of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was the architect of record. The Agence Jouin Manku design team included Patrick Jouin, Sanjit Manku, Yann Brossier (architect), Richard Perron (designer). Officina del Paesaggio from Lugano, Switzerland was in charge of the landscape design, and L’Observatoire, New York, USA handled the lighting.

Image Credit: Roland Halbe
Image Credit: Roland Halbe

The residence is also a wonderful study of contrasts between inside and outside, private and public, traditional and ultra modern, man-made and natural.


Written by FunnyMalaysia

The leading media company in Malaysia for the social age, intensely focused on delivering high quality original reporting, insights and viral contents.