With approximately 14 years of experience in the architectural and design industry, Tung, 36, describes his style as green contemporary, featuring buildings that are contemporary, simple, clean yet environmentally friendly. “I believe that architecture style and design moves and changes with time. Therefore I prefer something simple and nice as these types of look seldom fade with time.”
“I like to refer to works from WOHA; a Singapore-based multi-disciplinary design firm led by directors Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell. They are well-known for their innovative and sustainable high-rise apartments namely Newton Suites in Singapore and The Met in Bangkok,” says Tung.
A graduate of University of New South Wales, Tung believes that to practice architecture, one must really have the passion for it because it’s a very tough profession. Together with his two partners, Yardly Cheng and Edwin Teo, he established T&T Architect Associates in 2002. With a workforce of 20 staff, his firm has successfully undertaken many designs for high-end residential projects by major property developers.
Trust and understanding
“Plenitude gave us our first project, that is Phase 3B, with a total of 300 units of terrace houses. We are indebted to Plenitude (laughs). They gave us an opportunity and we grew from there,” explains Tung.
Plenitude Berhad director Zukarnine Shah adds, “We always believe in having a mutual understanding with the designer. We have an idea of what we want but we never stop the architect from exploring and putting in new ideas. We are willing to listen as we want to benefit together with Kiat Tung’s new ideas and designs.”
When asked about the whole process of this project, Tung replies, “To be honest, this project was quite smooth. The brief from the developer was simple. They gave me the general guideline and idea of what they want – from the built-up and number of rooms to the selling price, but not so much on interior design.”
Playing with space: The unique design, high ceilings and split levels are what makes this development different
“In terms of architecture, we played with space. We pushed up the master bedroom so it sits at the top of the building. This gives the living room a 13ft high ceiling, making it look spacious. For corner lots, we designed a lanai – a corner to sit back and relax. For the exterior, you can see that the roof is not like the common ones we see – all with pointed roofs. We wanted to go for the modern look, therefore we made the roofs flat.
“It is these simple things that give the house its amazing quality; truly different from the rest,” says Tung.
For Tung, his favourite part of the house is the master bedroom. “To maximise space, I built the master bedroom on the top of the living room. Interior wise, the house looks as if it’s a two-and-a-half storey, but in actual fact it’s just two storeys. I like the fact that the master bedroom is on its own – giving owners their well-deserved privacy,” he shares.
As for Zukarnine, he stresses on the importance of always improving and learning as they grow as a developer. “The underlying concept of this whole development is still the same as what we envisioned since our first phase; a conducive living and value-for-money development in terms of space. We are always receptive to the feedback and comments of our previous purchasers. However, the element of design has improved as we go along.
“The strong features that I particularly like are the high ceilings, split levels, the clever use of lightings, and the unique design and usage of space.”
For me, I like the idea of dressing up a casual area with an accent piece; something unique and iconic. It gives that added twist of sophistication to the design.”