Rumah Para/Shelf Home is a competition entry for a microhome designed for the World Urban Forum 09 Kuala Lumpur. Occupying a footprint space of 248 ft², it is a prototype to be located within the main urban square of Medan Pasar Kuala Lumpur. It explores a new form of living that addresses the current housing and social crisis in the heart of the city. With more and more people living outside the city, what is left to make up most of the downtown KL population are expatriate and migrant workers, young urban workers and a disproportionately high number of urban poor individuals. It is these last two demographic groups that the microhome proposal is targeted at.
It takes the form of a multi-level courtyard house with walls of shelves, and it is conceived as a shared facility that will serve the dweller and community. The external shelving units allow the home to be used by the community in different ways, for example, as a free library or food bank.The internal arrangement of this microhome revolves around a small central courtyard space. This space is open to the sky and serves as the ‘lung’ of the house – it allows warm air to escape, increases ventilation and a tank at the bottom of the courtyard stores rainwater directed from the roof to be reused.