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Type         : Residential

Location  : Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Status       : Completed


The site is situated in Kampung Boyan, looking across the Sarawak River towards River bank Suites / Grand Magherita Hotel and 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 when required.


As the area still floods on occasion, the house is elevated on ‘stilts’. This gave additional security for the occupants as well and provided an open-covered space to the ground floor, which accommodated large gatherings when required. It will also serve as a shaded and secure area for the grandchildren to play and a place to meet the neighbours for chitchats.


The traditional sequence of public to private spaces for this scheme in keeping with the traditional Malay house was maintained. The verandah created on the first floor provided unobstructed viewing of the waters edge just about 40 m away. This also meant that the occupant 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.


Kampung Boyan originally was a Malay village and the residential houses cascades organically from the hill slopes towards Sarawak River.


The village was slowly eroded by neglect, commerce and the threat of change in the guise of development over the years. The relationship of the community with each other, and the water edge was slowly forgotten.


We explore the use of contemporary building materials with contemporary amenities while fulfilling the client’s wish for a ‘traditional’ vernacular style, which was important for this project in the context of Kampong Boyan. This house sought to quietly reaffirms Kampong Boyan past heritage without fanfare. This insertion has started a positive conversation among the residences there.

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