#haven* Outside In: Design by Pentago

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A book that explores the inside-out approach to landscape design and architecture.

In his foreword, University of Melbourne’s convenor of the Interdepartmental Programme in the Arts of Asia John Dunham places Outside In: Design by Pentago in context. In lyrical and engaging prose, Dunham describes the fertile soil in which Pentago’s founders Wendy Khaw and Greg Dall started their career in landscape architecture, and how it has shaped the way they work today. Even before you turn the pages of this 220-page tome, you can already anticipate the kind of pictures that await — landscapes teased into exploring indoor spaces and interiors that spill outdoors exuberantly.

Indeed, Outside In certainly does not disappoint. It’s a stunning coffee table book which explores the remarkable portfolio of modern tropical architectural and landscaping projects by Pentago, an internationally renowned firm famous for its signature inside-out approach to combining indoor and outdoor spaces. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Pentago’s stock-in-trade is its modern tropical look and feel that melds together the realms of the natural landscape with architectural design. It has, over the years, literally changed the face of the earth in the name of practical, natural and holistic living.Outside In: Design by Pentago
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Author: Brandon Liew
Editor: Stephanie Yeo
ISBN: 978-981-4484-11-4
Release date: November 2013
Price: RM108
Founders Dall and Khaw graduated from universities in Australia at a time when the study of the indoor-outdoor relationship was at its peak. As such, the work the duo have undertaken have abolished the dichotomies between interior and exterior spaces, and the book showcases how well they have done the job.

The chapters in Outside In spread over a timeline tracing Pentago’s growth and creative evolution since its founding in 1990. Projects include both private homes and commercial projects in KL and around the world, so the book also serves as a reminder of how architecture and the landscape design industry have developed over the years. This is preceded by a special chapter on the Penta series, a collection of five houses that collectively embody Khaw and Dall’s vision for Pentago.

More than 200 full-colour pictures and sketches are complemented by concept notes to get readers really involved in the design process, while the accompanying text is the ideal guide to navigate the rich and colourful pages. The book was penned by Khaw’s son Brandon Liew, with the layout done by Dall’s son Simon. Both boys grew up spending time in many of the projects featured, and the author’s note on his relationship with the company is a charming personal touch.

Outside In is a great source of inspiration should you want to re-examine your own personal living space, and will definitely provide some wonderful ideas to help you plan your own indoor/outdoor haven.This article first appeared in The Edge haven, on Issue #65 February 2014 + March 2014.