2016 Season's Greetings Web

Wishing everyone a fantastic holiday season!

It’s a known fact that we at IDC|DesignEast, LOVE . FOOD.¬†So we had a Year-End Lunch and a Christmas Brunch to celebrate the holiday season all in two weeks. LOL.

Miss our Christmas Tree?

Year End Lunch at Carvery

There were lots of food.


And lots of Smiles.

The following week, it was time for Breakfasts at IDC again, and we prepared a Christmas themed lunch! Feast your eyes! ūüôā

Happy Holidays and a Great new Year to everyone!

We’re glad to share that a¬†project we designed: An Apartment Renovation in Kuching (click for more pictures)¬†was recently featured in Home Concepts 2016, Volume 3. Below are the pages of the article. Special thanks to Zoe Liew for¬†the write-up. Enjoy:

Pared-Back Living

A cramped apartment was transformed into a cosy yet spacious interior for a couple who saw the need for a smaller and more practical living arrangement since their children had left the nest egg.
text by ZOE LIEW
photography by IDC
lead architect / director-in-charge TINA LAU

“As a young, growing city in East Malaysia, Kuching‚Äôs high-rise residential scene is¬†experiencing a boom. It is becoming rather common to see apartments popping up along¬†the city‚Äôs skyline which has been formerly dominated by low-rise buildings.¬†One of the reasons why there is a growing demand for apartment living is the need¬†for some people to downsize to a more practical living arrangement. The clients are¬†an energetic couple with two grown children living overseas. Since their children had¬†left the nest egg, they realised that their bungalow was too large for the two of them.¬†Wanting to visit their children more often, they were delighted when they saw the¬†opportunity to relocate to a condominium that sat within their neighbourhood. The layout¬†of the apartment suited them. It spanned 230 square metres of area with 3 bedrooms¬†and attached bathrooms, a spacious living and dining area flooded with natural light.¬†Nevertheless, they saw the need for some improvements and wanted to adapt the bones¬†of the existing blank space for their tastes and lifestyles.

The couple approached Tina Lau from IDC Architects to design a simple, fuss-free home where they could unwind after a busy day. Both professionals, they emphasised the need for the space to be functional and practical. Since they were moving from a large house to an apartment, the architects were asked to look into the lack of storage space.

With these concerns in mind, the architects explored different ways of maximising the¬†use of the existing spaces. The open plan of the living area was in fact a long space¬†divided into 2 areas ‚ÄĒ a living room and a study that could double-up as an exercise¬†area. This duality translated into the custom-designed TV bench which acts as a partition¬†screen and a display shelf for knick-knacks and family photographs. Subtle lighting is¬†used throughout the apartment to create a cosy and comfortable atmosphere. Many¬†of the lights are concealed within the customised built-in furniture, casting an intimate,¬†natural glow over the space”

“Within the same area, the dining table sits in the middle of the room¬†underneath a lowered ceiling with hidden light coves surrounding it¬†which in turn resembles a floating lantern, thus marking the dining¬†space as a defining point. A full-height joinery encompassing¬†cupboards, sliding panels, mirrored surfaces and bench tops line the¬†entire length of the wall adjacent to the dining table. As requested by¬†the clients who often adjourn to their dining room for meals and tea,¬†the team also created a dry kitchen in the form of this joinery unit.¬†The full-height sliding panels conceal pantry shelves and storage for¬†cutlery, plates and cups. Tom Dixon pendant lights are suspended¬†above a low bench that separates the dining area from the hallway¬†that leads to the bedrooms.

The main areas where the clients wanted the most change were the¬†master bedroom and attached ensuite. The existing configuration¬†restricted wardrobe space and the bed was positioned in an awkward¬†location. The clients also wanted a private dressing area adjacent to¬†the ensuite. The demand for more wardrobe space was significant. One¬†challenge the architects faced was incorporating as much storage as¬†was possible into the built-ins without making the space feel cramped.¬†The entire layout of the master bedroom was changed. The wardrobe¬†now lined the entire length of the wall where the bed was originally¬†placed. The bed was moved to where the wardrobe was originally¬†built.”

“This arrangement resulted in a bedroom that was¬†not only more spacious. It also provided additional¬†wardrobe space and opportunities for more shelves¬†and cabinets. The bed backdrop was designed as a¬†single unit with cantilevered side tables and concealed¬†cupboards. Soft furnishings from Acacia Fabrics were¬†used to upholster the cushioned bed head and blackout¬†curtains for the windows from Fabric Library were¬†selected for the rest of the apartment.

The remodelling of the master ensuite and dressing area was radical. Walls were demolished to create openings for vast expanses of frameless glass which in turn rendered a seamless visual and spatial flow. Cabinets with mirrored surfaces and concealed lights above the marble-clad hand basin counter line the full length of the wall, establishing the illusion of spaciousness. New sanitary fittings from Kohler and Toto were selected for their elegant and minimalistic aesthetics.

In line with the minimalist theme, the architects kept to¬†a simple monochromatic palette of whites, charcoals,¬†greys and natural wood. Details such as recessed¬†shadow-lines and finger-pulls were introduced in order¬†to break the monotony of the customised built-in¬†furniture. Together, the clean, minimalistic lines of the¬†apartment and the simple, abstract composition of the¬†built-in furniture reflect the ‚Äėless-is-more‚Äô philosophy¬†which is aligned with the clients‚Äô request for a¬†simpler, pared-back living arrangement. The result¬†is a spacious, bright interior with cleverly concealed¬†storage spaces tucked away in the built-in furniture¬†which in turn help define the spaces.” hc.residences


Wishing everyone health, wealth and happiness throughout the new year!


Thank you to everyone for all these amazing hampers!


Lucky draw for all 24 of us!


Ee sang tossing for good fortune!


Happy Chinese New Year once again from everyone at IDC | DesignEast.


Pizza Fridays happen once a month where the team would stop working at 4.30pm and head to the meeting room to watch¬†interesting presentations from selected team members while nibbling on pizzas. These presentations are normally on architecture, staff¬†travels, art, or anything at all that they’d like to share.

One Pizza Friday, Jeffrey took us out of the office to present on one of our past projects that won a PAM Commendation in 2013: KTS Anniversary Park and Function Hall.


Here are some random facts about the KTS Anniversary Park and Function Hall Project and some of the pictures from the day!:

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1. The hall is made out of a recycled warehouse structure.

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2. The hall was built in conjunction with KTS Group’s 50th Anniversary.

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3. The interiors of the function hall and restaurant were designed by a Shanghai-based interior design firm – Mooredeco.

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 4. The hall fits 60 round 10-seater tables.

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5. Different shades were chosen for the glass windows on purpose for maintenance reasons.

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What architects tend to do when in a new environment: Look up and down, touch, think.

Dinner with the past Chief Minister


The Chinese Restaurant at KTS Garden. Opens for lunch and dinner.

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 The expensive little garden in front of the restrooms.


View from the restrooms.

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Amazing late afternoon view of the river from the garden.

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Part of the team on the garden’s Philippine grass patch. Really comfortable and cooling¬†place to lie down and relax on.

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Sunset at KTS Garden.

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Would make a beautiful wedding venue right?

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Do pay the place a visit! Perhaps plan a garden event too??

More on the project here: http://idc-designeast.com/project-page/kts-anniversary-park-function-hall/

GAWAI 2015

Happy Harvest Festival to everyone in Sarawak and Sabah! Stay safe and enjoy your long weekend!

Gawai 01

Our office had a Gawai lunch on Thursday at Absolute Tribal.

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Dabai Fried Rice

We did not take many¬†food pictures because it was quite dark and we didn’t bring a proper camera. So here are 2 almost-decent looking pictures out of the 8 dishes!

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Kiwi Chicken was delicious!

We also had very tasty Tom Yam Soup, which wasn’t spicy enough for Janani; fresh steamed fish in Thai sauce which was done very well; refreshing Apple Kerabu; interesting steamed otak-otak, which packaging was a little deceiving; and the good old stir fried mixed vegetables.

We also celebrated our HR Director’s birthday early at the lunch as his birthday falls on 1st of June, which is the first day of the Gawai holidays!

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Surprised Janggu?

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Here’s most of us in red on Chinese New Year Eve! ūüėÄ


We had an amazing CNY lunch together at Sanga.


Chopped up a whole salmon. 100 pieces of salmon sashimi split into two boats!


Salmon Fried Rice


Parts that don’t make good sashimi make good cooked food.

There was a lot more food. But we were enjoying our food so much, we forgot to take a picture of all of them.


Again, we forgot to take a picture of all of us together. So here’s some of us. ūüėÄ

May we all have a great year ahead!

In October, the team headed to Palm Beach Resort, Sematan for a weekend trip!

001The organizers packing up the goodies into our fancy ride.


Got to Palm Beach Resort, Sematan by noon.


Our accomodation




Rented some bicycles and explored Sematan town!


At the jetty.


Old pretty building.


Entrance of the resort!


“Shark Boy and Lava Girls”, said Janani.


Then we chilled out by the beach.


The night activities consisted of Black Jack with peanuts as money,


and munching on delicious barbecue prepared by Janggu!


The next day, we all headed to the beach in the morning for some team-building games!


First game got us dancing around with baloons on our feet.


2nd game was sort of a relay of tasks.


Flying Mic!


They were 2nd place :p


Quick picture before the final game! Sand architecture! We’re supposed to grab 3 pails, head back to our teams and build the tallest awesomest sand castle of all in 20 minutes.


Happy Diwali sharp

Happy Diwali!

Not having Deepavali as a public holiday in East Malaysia didn’t stop us from celebrating the beautiful festival of lights! Having a creative architect-colleague straight from Chennai, India made sure we had the most colorful one!


The Rangoli at IDC | DesignEast Office’s entrance that Janani stayed back after hours to complete!


We decided to go to Amah’s Curry House on Deepavali Day itself for lunch to find out the restaurant was closed for business as they were having a Deepavali Open-House. Instead of telling us to come back next time, the most gracious host warmly invited us to join them and have all his delicious food. Yes, so many of us thick-skinnedly ‘crashed’ someone’s party, and it was awesome! Loved their¬†traditional outfits too!


Most of us in the office dressed up for the occasion, but we didn’t have the chance to take a picture of our traditional clothes. So here are our faces and shoulder areas that sort of shows hints of traditional flavor. heh.

A few of our lovely ladies.


And some pictures of the Rangoli making process!

Hi Janani!


Hardworking Janani and Azizah


Lit up Rangoli

Pictures by:

Amily, Azizah, Daphne, Janani, Yon &  Zhann


IDC-DesignEast Office & Amah’s Curry House


In June, the Design Team went to Kuala Lumpur for the Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival’s DATUM:KL Event in conjunction with the 16th ASIAN Congress of Architects. The theme this year was, “Rejuvenation”.

Datum1We enjoyed 48 hours of pure indulgence in design inspiration throughout the day and on food and shopping at night.

wolo 1The beautifully decorated wall at the reception of Wolo Hotel made of plastic utensils.

Staying at the heart of the city was a plus for morning walks (only our diligent director did that though) and spending the evenings exploring the various food places.

DSC_1599The Team with our breakfast at Tous Les Jour before walking to Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre for the event.

datum2The Team going through the Events’ Handbook.

DSC_1384A group picture of the team with freebies from Lysaght.

It was a rejuvenating experience indeed!


Post contribution:
Content: Excerpts from Janani’s Heyday Journal
Pictures: Justin & Daphne

Hello and welcome to IDC-DesignEast’s Happenings Page! Get to know us better by dropping by and see what’s cooking in our oven!


Yes, as you can see from our events, we are quite literal when we mention ‚Äúcooking‚ÄĚ. Stay tuned for more yummy updates, our travels, thoughts on design, and much more!