Summerglades @ Cyberjaya
Summerglades Cyberjaya is a gated community consisting of 137 units of terraced houses close to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya lake. The terraced blocks are shortened to a mix of three units and four units per block. Such typology allows the blocks to be expressed as either bungalows or semi-detached homes that adds variety and richness to the development. The typology also allows for flexibility in the layout design.
The layout is based upon the garden commune concept whereby discrete groups of houses are arranged around their own garden courtyards in a ‘garden’ community. This arrangement breaks the community into smaller groups that will enhance neighbourliness.
These gardens are then connected to each other by a series of walkways in a complete loop thus tying the whole community together. The garden walkways run in a separate route from the vehicular movement thus the conflict between pedestrian and vehicles are reduced to the absolute minimum. The whole concept encourages the residents to walk and thus take full advantage of the gardens for recreational and social activities.
The garden living concept has been experimented before that has resulted in better housing layouts and better living environment. From the basis of the garden living concept that put emphasis on the masterplan layout design, the experiment moves forward to encompass the connectivity between the masterplan layout with the internal layout. This connectivity is given an individualistic architectural expression for a unified solution.
The masterplan layout introduces the concept of the commune garden that enhances community living and brings nature in the form of the garden into direct contact with the residents.
The architectural expression resulted in a new typology in terraced housing where the 4 units block are treated as a pair of semi-detached home and the three units blocks are treated as a single bungalow. The sequence of each expressed elevation is further varied that emphasise the individuality of each home. This provides the individuality and personal association between the home-owner and his home that is sorely lacking in a typical terraced housing.
One of the issues with a typical terraced housing is how much the building type is unattached with the outside. They may face a garden or open space but the connection between the spaces is interrupted by the street. The clutter that usually accompanies the car porch further alienates the spaces and presents a disconcerting view from the living room.
In Summerglades the buildings are re-oriented to face the rear where the commune gardens are. With this re-orientation the living room have an unfettered visual and spatial connection with the garden. The gardens are able to be brought right up to the house and into the living room with a direct physical connection. Full height glass sliding doors are able to maintain the visual connection between the internal spaces and the garden.
To take advantage of the closeness of the gardens and the view that it provides, the master bedroom is re-oriented to the rear towards the gardens. A balcony extends from the master bedroom and with the sliding doors open gives the impression that the master bedroom juts and flows into the garden space.
Bungalow and Semi-Detached Terrace
The typical terraced house presents in practical terms only one elevation treatment that is repeated in a monotonous tome. In Summerglades, the long block is broken into smaller blocks that relate better with the residents at human scale. This intimacy provides a strong connection between the residents and their homes. At a relatively smaller scale, the blocks are easily treated as one single composition. Without going too far away from the easily understood imagery of dwellings, the four unit blocks are expressed in the manner of a semi-detached unit whilst the three unit blocks are expressed in the manner of a single large bungalow.
A flat roof breaks the roof line of the 4 unit block. The break gives the impression of being the mirror line that divides the block into two effectively giving the impression of being a semi-detached home. For the 3 unit block, the roof line is variegated in order to diffuse the connection between the roofs and individual unit giving the impression one bungalow.
The penchant for terraced housing to use pitched roof for the car porch have effectively reduced the wall area of the front facade. Summerglades houses resort to having flat roof for the car porch that allows for the whole upper façade to be free from structures. With this freedom large areas of the wall are converted to light giving glass windows letting in pleasing unhindered light that enhances the quality of the internal spaces.
There are two different expressions each for the semi-detached block and bungalow block and these blocks are laid in a rather random fashion where the facing units are not repeated. The diversity of the expressions and the randomness of the arrangement creates variety and excitement within the street and garden frontage.
Instead of the typical straight lines, the street weaves across the development further enhancing the natural environment.
Although there is diversity in the expression of the forms, but there is design coherence in the architectural treatment of the facade. The language refers back to horizontal lines to express the building and tectonic planes to provide visual interest.
The roof lines remain consistently low that brings the whole building into more intimate human scale. Within this facade, the windows and sliding doors are framed with concrete fins and balcony slabs thus accentuating its features. The openings punches through extruded walls where they provide the contrast with the openings that adds to the visual interest. These architectural elements then wraps around the building edge to the side elevation thus maintaining a coherent architectural language within the block.