Clay Roof House keeps cool with a twist of terracotta

Clay Roof House was completed in 2015

Clay Roof House was completed in 2015 (Credit: H.Lin Ho).

Malaysia’s Drtan Lm Architect was recently commissioned to undertake an extensive renovation of an old dilapidated house. The firm quickly found that the home contained a large number of intact terracotta tiles and the decision was made to recycle them into a sun-shading brise soleil.

The home, dubbed Clay Roof House, faces due west in Petaling Jaya, Selango, Malaysia, and is subject to harsh sunlight in the mornings and afternoon. Therefore, Drtan Lm Architect used the high-quality Indian-made tiles found on the old home to create a terracotta brise soleil, along with a second brick lattice brise soleil, both of which help to reduce solar heat gain and reduce the glare inside.

The terracotta tile shading mechanism can also be operated to channel the prevailing breeze inside the home. In addition, the tiles also produce an attractive lighting effect inside.

“The roof tiles were carefully removed, stored and reused,” explains Drtan Lm Architect. “Vertical steel rods were designed to hold the clay tiles whilst allowing free movement to swivel and turn. This reduces the solar gain through the house’s fenestration of windows and glass doors and lends a soft tremulous lighting effect when viewed with internal lights switched on at night from the outside. In the sun the terracotta glows a warm orange.”

The interior is decorated in exposed brick, concrete and wood, and in addition to the home’s shared living spaces and bedrooms, includes a piano room, study, two kitchens, and a maid’s quarters.

Clay Roof House was completed in 2015.

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