About Timur's Philosophy

TIMUR is the Malay word for East. Timur, the eastern part of the world, has its unique forms of culture and lifestyle notwithstanding the globalisation that pervades all large cities. In Timur, customs and traditions dictate traditional building forms. We choose to look towards Timur, the East, for directions and cues to our form of tropical architecture.

The Tropical Asian House
The fundamental essence of the contemporary Tropical Asian House traces its origins to the traditional and vernacular tropical house. Traditional tropical houses, be it a Malay, Thai or Bali house, is a home that is designed with a deep understanding of the climate and environment. These vernacular buildings recognise the need to shelter the users from the intense sun and the torrential tropical downpours, to control the glare from open skies and to ensure there is adequate natural vegetation in the surroundings to cool down the micro-climate. The stylistic expressions of the different houses may be different, but at its core, it is the same tropical Asian house. To truly understand the tropical house, one must venture beyond the superficial.

Timeless Tropical
The traditional tropical house plays a big role in our perception of homes and subsequently to our understanding of living in the tropics. Tropical living usually occurs in the in-between spaces i.e. the spaces between the outdoors and indoors where there is sufficient shelter from the harsh climate and sufficient openness to relate to the outdoors. We usually find these spaces are more lived-in compared to the purely internal spaces.

Usually the client’s brief focuses on the internal spaces that are required. Timur’s approach to interpreting the brief is to look at the design of the whole site and not merely the building. Moving beyond conceiving the building as merely a box, Timur focuses on designing the house as an ensemble of internal and external spaces that are engaged in intimate dialogue.

The client is often concerned with ‘what does the building look like?”. Whilst it is tempting to want to design architecture as sculpture, we believe that it is as important to understand what the building feels like.

Experiencing the building is about entering and discovering the joys in surprising views, to perceiving the connectivity of spaces horizontally and vertically, to discovering that there is more within than the physical appearance of the building at first glance.

Timur appreciates that a building has a unique life span during which the occupants will live, work, use and inhabit its every space. Guided by this understanding, we consistently aim to ensure that the building is as much about ease of use and adaptability, allowing the occupants to imbue it with their own character and stamp it with their own personality with every passing moment.

Inspired by the best time-tested tenets of tropical architecture, exemplified by the traditional Malay house and the British colonial buildings that have served the occupants well in the hot tropics and which continue to be relevant today, Timur strives to produce contemporary architecture that respects the climate, nature and the occupants. It is an architecture that we hope will continue to be relevant and timeless.