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House at Kampung Boyan




Sarawak, Malaysia

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Project Description

The site is located in Kampung Boyan, looking across the Sarawak River, towards Riverbank Suites / Grand Margherita Hotel and Kuching Waterfront.

We were commissioned to design a house for the family matriarch and one of her daughters on the family land by our Client Ir. Dr. Abang Hatta Bin Taha and his family. A ‘small’ house for two yet adaptable to accommodate large family gatherings if needed.


"Rised on stilts as the area still floods on occasion."

As the area still floods on occasion, the house is elevated on ‘stilts’. This also provides extra security for occupants and provides an open-plan covered space on the ground floor to accommodate large gatherings if needed. It will also serve as a shady and safe area for the grandchildren to play, as well as a place to chat with neighbours.

The scheme maintains the traditional sequence of public to private spaces in keeping with traditional Malay houses. The veranda created on the first floor provides an unobstructed view of the water's edge approximately 40 m away. This also meant that the occupier was above the hustle and bustle of street live as Jalan Rajah Brooke is constantly rowdy and packed with stalls selling Ikan Terobok to Burgers on most weekends and especially festive occasions like the annual Regatta.

"Fulfilling traditional vernacular style."

Kampung Boyan was originally a Malay village with houses cascading organically from the hillside towards the Sarawak River.

Over the years, the village has gradually been overrun by neglect, commerce and the threat of change in the guise of development. The relationship of the community with each other, and the water edge was slowly forgotten.

We explore the use of modern building materials with modern amenities while fulfilling the client’s wish for a ‘traditional’ vernacular style, which was important for this project in the context of Kampong Boyan. The house seeks to quietly reaffirm the legacy of Kampong Boyan's past. This insertion has started an active dialogue between the dwellings there.

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