If I ever were to write a book on architecture, it would be fashioned after the coffee table books of the Architectural world. Styled along the likes of The Neo Temperate House, Uber Villas, Tropical Maximal and Neophytic Clinical Interiors, mine would be called Underconstruction style. Underconstruction style begins with the premise that the design and construction practice in the country produces buildings that actually look better under construction than they do when they are finished. Buildings in Malaysia look just so cool and edge cutting with their stark concrete frames and twitchy rebars, it is a national mystery why we ever complete them with plastered this and that. It is not something that is easily explained; let us just say that things have a way of adding up.

I propose a style of the under constructed, one which embraces an aesthetic of economy and feeds off our local building and material industry; home grown, locally sourced and hip. One that allows the beauty of concrete frames and unplastered brick to win the hopeless war against painted moldings and pokey windows. It will be a style of contrast, of context and, dare I say, conviviality: one that will not prize itself or its sense of detail too seriously. Underconstruction style will take to its garden and context the way gardens take to a ruin, passionately and unselfconsciously. It will be a style informed by the processes of construction, allowing the integrity of its own construction to be revealed, not hidden. In being revealed thus, it will cease to be a style as it becomes a process of change, dependant on the nuances and subtlety of place, time and culture.

Subverting the dominant paradigm could be done with great fanfare, but I would rather, quietly now, let the underconstruction begin.



steel entry mat

gardenshell house

system shelves

slat door

monsoon mailbox

louvrebox house


gardenwall offices

timberblind door

a/c jacket

middleearth door

lightwell house

posttensioned stair

dining table #3


gardenshade shed

onion valet

britishindia offices

archiebunker chair

folding gate

bathshelf #2


safari roof house

timber table

brickwall house


autopsy table

folded stair



boardformed pool

ventblock house


pittsburgh desk

dogconcrete house



bricklite house



black and white house

cantilevered gate

mule system workstation


sibu pavilion

scrapwood pool

concretecarpet stair

fire stairfence


perforated bench

radiator railing


boardformed house

steel & white bath



barnstorm house


gnarly house

Kvadrat chaise

stacked club

mountain pool

greensplice house

threshold house

gainer mailbox