Evaluating the Design and Construction Flexibility of Traditional Malay House

Nangkula Utaberta, Nurhananie Spalie


The ubiquitous terrace house is undeniably the most popular and affordable tihousing type in Malaysia. It has long been considered as one of the densest forms of property development and has become the common typology of accommodating the masses for this country. However, in Malaysia (like other third world countries), the design of a house has never grow from novelistic idea of style and revivalism. As stated by Tajuddin Rasdi (2003), housing in Malaysia has been plague with various issues for decades. We are currently living separate and individual lives in the sea of congested modern housing and we will be forever plagued by the mercy of crime, climate, cultural tensions and threats from accidents. For the last 50 years it has never grown to create the idea of community and fulfill the true need of a family with its culture and context called 'Malaysia'. Based on our paper N. Utaberta (2009) 'Growing House: Lesson from Mathematical flexibility of Traditional Malay House', there at least six (6) problems in Modern Malaysia housing which are; safety especially in the high rise and terrace housing, criminal issue in the housing complexes, problem of privacy and cultural tension, thermal comfort and its ability to grow based on the need of the owners and community while from the family perspective there are at least four (4) main problem of our current modern housing which are the need of one family to grow or reduced based on the grow of the family members, cultural gap between old people with the youngster, the increase of family members as a result of marriage and family bond and the need of one family to move from one place to another. We have identified the ability of traditional Malay house to grow and transform based on the need and interest of one family. This paper tries to study and evaluate the flexibility of a low rise house in Malaysia. It will explore some design and construction framework based on the flexibility of our traditional (timber) Malay house and some modernist idea of growing and transformable house.


Design and Construction Flexibility; Growing House; Traditional Malay House

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18517/ijaseit.1.6.137


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Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development