The Deck House

Luxury living in the Malaysian forest

Denise Hopkins

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The Janda Baik forest in Malaysia is a great place to be active, with its backpacking trails and mild climate. But it’s an even better place to be inactive, especially if you can hole up inside this tree house.

Architects faced plenty of challenges when they designed the Deck House, a spacious 4,000-square-foot getaway that sits above the sloped site. But by distributing the three bedrooms and the three baths over two levels and anchoring the house on concrete foundations, they made the steel and glass structure appear light and (relatively) unobtrusive.

A bridge crosses over to the upper floor where there’s a large entrance and a master sleeping suite with its own tree-top balcony. Open the room completely to the forest by pushing the glass doors aside.

The top of the staircase gives way to high ceilings with filtered light coming through two levels of glass. There are operable windows on all sides, while aluminum louvers under the roof overhang let hot air escape. A wood floor extends to the infinity deck, which is nearly as large as the home’s interior and open on three sides. 

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