Much like the Hamptons to well-heeled Manhattanites or Berkshire to affluent Londoners, Janda Baik has become something of a weekend getaway to KL-ites with means. After all, in just half an hour, one can swap the city’s traffic congestion and pollution for clear mountain air and uninterrupted verdant views.
The sleepy town has seen the mushrooming of weekend homes of various architectural ambitions, many which gratifyingly work with the terrain rather than against it. Two such homes were built by Melvyn Kanny of MJ Kanny Architect, who got to know a middle aged couple who had two single acre plots of land that they had purchased up in Janda Baik. They had been recommended by the late David Winter, an interior designer with whom Kanny had worked, and requested for him to propose two houses: one intended as their holiday cum retirement home, and the other for investments or for their children to use.
Located in on a steep slope with a commanding view of the Genting Hills, both units were to be of a similar concept, and yet different in terms of spatial usage. While the site was spectacular, Kenny confesses that it acted both as muse and master . “The form was inspired by the captivating landscape of Janda Baik with its jagged hills and outcrops that finally inspired the built form that was in itself very natural and organic. All the interior spaces had different spatial characteristics, and no room had 90 degree corners. Each space was designed to capture a view of its immediate natural environment and all effort was taken to blur the distinction between inside and out,” enthuses Kanny.