Demang Abdul Ghani House Analysis

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Introduction Rumah Demang Abdul Ghani is the house of a well-known head man in Merlimau, Melaka. This house has been inherited by three generations and is still standing firm under the government as a heritage center as today. It is located in Merlimau, Melaka which has rich heritage and culture. The house has been through modification twice, once in 1925 and then in 2007 for conservation purposes. Being the Demang of Merlimau, this house was built by Tukang (master builders) from Merlimau and the size of the house was also bigger than a typical Melaka house. Building Form The house has two main structures that are divided by a courtyard/laundry area. The form of the house mainly responds to the local environment as well as the culture.…show more content…
Before the house was restored, no nails were used and the construction method was drilling and fitting of cross-beams and columns. Long crossbeams were laid along the length of the house and short crossbeams the opposite direction. In traditional Malay houses, the base of wooden pillars was buried in the ground for foundation, however, in Demang Abdul Ghani’s house, the use of concrete foundation was evident. This allowed the house to remain in good condition and stand for many years. There are many types of pillars like the king post, secondary pillars and short pillars. The shorter pillars usually lend support to the main pillar as secondary members. The floor was constructed using wood planks and joist. The joist acts as a beam running in the opposite direction of the wooden floor…show more content…
Firstly, the most common practice would be the orientation of the house according to the morning sun and the Qiblat in Mecca. The “cleaner” spaces like verandah and bedrooms are orientated towards the north-east whereas “dirty” areas like the kitchen and laundry area are facing the south-west. The Islamic belief of “cleanliness” is also shown in separation of toilet from the main area so that the bad odor spread. Also, in this house, there are two “Kolahs” (water ponds) where guest can wash their foot before entering the house. Traditional Malay houses practice the separation of women and men activities. The same is done whereby there are two rooms for the Demang and women and is separated by a corridor. Islam beliefs of limiting the interactions of women and men are clearly shown in the layout of the house where the women activities are located mostly at the rear of the house. Besides the influence of religious beliefs, the spaces are designed to reduce obstruction to air movement and allow the house to be naturally ventilated. The hierarchy of the house is expressed by the levels. The corridor and kitchen spaces are lower whereas the main house and verandah are higher. This shows the importance of the space and its function to the house. The main area and verandah being the one frequently used by guest and officials whereas the kitchen,

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