Relocating home activities: spatial experiments in Malaysian apartment houses to accommodate the vernacular lifestyle

Kyung Wook Seo*, Mimi Zaleha Abdul Ghani, Yazid Sarkom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

To cope with the fast urbanisation and population growth, the public and private sector housing developments in Kuala Lumpur have prioritised the high-rise apartment building. After decades’ massive development, this housing type became the most dominant dwelling form in the city. For centuries, the traditional Malay house has evolved to suit to the vernacular lifestyle, but now the urban life mandates that people adapt themselves to this alien concrete house. This paper investigated the hidden cultural link between these two seemingly different house forms. Using graph-theoretic methods, we traced how old domestic activities were transferred to the modern housing and revealed how the old spatial order of front/back and high/low distinctions could be re-configured inside the high-rise apartment housing in a creative way by Malaysian architects. There have been frictions and compromises between the past and present, but the outcomes of this research clearly indicate that there exists a cultural DNA of Malay housing that guides the whole process of housing evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering
Early online date13 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2021

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