A beautiful name for a beautiful home.
A home is where the heart is and everyone has a dream home etched in their minds. For Wenda, she can say that she shares her dream home with her husband (yes, relationship goals). This business couple has everything in a house one needs.
Designed by home-grown architect, Frank Ling who was based in Spain before returning to Malaysia, it took a total of three years to build this mansion comprising of five levels with a built-up of 15,000 sq ft. Incidentally Ling is married to a Spanish woman; his college-sweetheart as well as business and life partner, Pilar Gonzalez-Herraiz. This may explain the eclectic ensemble in the construct of the house and how they can both understand each other – architect and client.
When asked what the owner wants guests to notice, she mentioned, “Colours! If you can see, there are different colours on different walls of different areas in and outside of the house. It is very uplifting when you see vibrant colours around.”
Like many acclaimed properties, this house too has a name, Jiang Xia (江夏) which means ‘Summer River’. The reason for this beautiful name made more sense after we noticed a stream just by the house on the way in.
As we walked through the main gate of Jiang Xia, we were greeted with a mural that resembles Wenda. It was personally hand-drawn within a fortnight by Toh May Xuen, a Dasein Academy of Art student where both the artist and subject met at an art exhibition. Not just an ordinary student, Toh has her works hung in cafes around the city even before graduating.
Touring the house from the bottom most floor, there’s a wine cellar which fits about 10 people in the ‘basement’ and a hall; perfect for gatherings with loved ones. Part of the furniture and floor in the hall are made out of corks from the wine bottles. The idea? To exude an ‘after-wine’ scent to the room.
There is a herb garden on the rooftop where Wenda spends her free time gardening. It is home to chillies, lemon and tangerine amongst many other kinds of plants. You would wonder how there aren’t any birds or other creatures that disturb the shrubs on the rooftop. These plants are protected by a frequency device that keeps them away but not loud enough for human ears to pick up.
Needless to say this house is one of a kind and I for one, am awe struck that such a house exists in Malaysia. Pardon me but perhaps time is now ripe for me to cast a vision to my winter cottage. I too want to live like Wenda.