Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Heritage Cities of Malaysia: The Penang Chapter, Penang, Malaysia

Source: http://www.mepedu.com/

Ipoh Bandaraya Unik, Perak, Malaysia

Stesen Keretapi Ipoh (1917)
Berikut adalah petikan artikel yang diambil dari Arkib Utusan Malaysia bertarikh 23/07/2009. .
Ipoh bandar raya unik
Oleh HAMIMAH HAMID utusanperak@utusan.com.my
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IPOH 22 Julai – Bagi mereka yang pertama kali menjejakkan kaki ke bandar raya ini, bangunan-bangunan lama dengan reka bentuk yang unik pasti menarik perhatian. Berbeza dengan tempat lain di negara ini, bandar raya ini cukup unik kerana masih mengekalkan banyak bangunan lama yang didirikan oleh penjajah British. Terletak di antara deretan bangunan yang telah diberi nafas baru dan ada setengahnya sudah kelihatan uzur, namun bangunan dengan seni bina lama itu tetap mencuri tumpuan kerana imej unik yang ditonjolkan.
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Reka bentuk bangunan lama selalunya berjaya menarik perhatian pelancong asing yang lebih gemar berjalan kaki daripada menaiki kenderaan semata-mata untuk melihat dari dekat keunikan bangunan yang secara purata berusia 100 tahun. Antara bangunan bersejarah yang menjadi mercu tanda di bandar raya ini ialah Stesen Keretapi Ipoh yang terletak di Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab. Ini kerana ia memiliki struktur binaan yang menakjubkan dengan gabungan seni bina negara Turki dan seni bina moden yang masih tersergam indah dan berfungsi dengan baik.
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Keunikannya bukan sahaja memikat hati ramai pelancong, malah warga tempatan turut berasa bangga kerana bandar raya ini mempunyai bangunan lama seperti itu malah banyak memberi manfaat dan berjasa kepada penduduk. Disebabkan itu, bangunan yang terkenal dengan keunikan seni bina Moorish mendapat jolokan ‘Taj Mahal Ipoh’ di kalangan penduduk tempatan.
Stesen berkenaan satu masa dahulu sentiasa sesak dengan penumpang kereta api yang menjadi pengangkutan utama ketika itu. Selain Stesen Keretapi Ipoh, bandar raya ini juga diserikan dengan banyak lagi bangunan lama dengan rekaan kolonial. Walaupun ada sesetengahnya uzur tanpa sebarang cat, namun seni binanya tetap utuh tidak ditelan zaman.
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Sayang sekali jika harta penuh bernilai ini tidak diendahkan dan dijaga dengan sewajarnya. Pemeliharaan bangunan-bangunan lama ini tidak bertujuan untuk menentang arus pembangunan negara yang pesat sekarang, sebaliknya ia bagi memastikan nilai sejarahnya dikekalkan. Justeru, tinggalan penuh bersejarah itu harus dipulihara bagi menarik kemasukan lebih ramai pelancong ke ibu negeri Perak itu.

Melaka Warisan Sejarah, Malaysia

Melaka Warisan Sejarah / Historical Melaka

Bangunan Stadhuys / Stadhuys Complex

A' Famosa / Porta De Santiago

Muzium Istana Kesultanan Melaka / The Melacca Sultanate Palace

Masjid Kampung Kling / Kampung Kling Mosque

Tokong Cheng Hoon Teng / Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Kuil Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi / Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple

Muzium Samudera / The Maritime Museum

Muzium Baba dan Nyonya / Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum

Jalan Jonker / Jonker Walk (Street)

Menyusuri Sungai Melaka / Malacca River Cruise

Pasar UNESCO di Tepisungai Melaka / Malacca Riverside UNESCO Market

Bas Panorama Melaka / Malacca Panorama Bus
Menara Taming Sari / Taming Sari Tower
Taman Mini Malaysia dan Mini Asean / Mini Malaysia Garden and Mini Asean
Pusat Sejarah Melaka / Malacca Historical Spot

Sumber: Salinan Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Melaka

Heritage Cities of Malaysia: The Malacca Chapter, Malacca, Malaysia

The Historic City of Melaka, Malaysia

Introduction
The Historic Cities of Melaka and George Town are two most extensive
historic port settlements in Malaysia. Their urban fabrics, dating from the
16th century for Melaka and 18th century for George Town, together with
the monumental facades and the urban pattern, largely are still intact,
constitute a cultural property of interest for mankind.

For the Historic City of Melaka, the property for the inclusion on World
Heritage List, comprises of two major protected areas within the
conservation zone of the city, and is demarcated by the historic Melaka
River. First is the St. Paul’s Hill Civic Zone and another is the Historic
Residential and Commercial Zone. Whilst, for the Heritage City of George
Town, the property includes the inner city at the northern tip of the
Penang Island. The property of each city comprises of core and buffer
zones.

Throughout the urban history of both cities of Melaka and George Town,
the myriad cultures which both traded with and settled in the cities
brought architectural styles from all over the world. The early
architecture of both cities forms from culture values, ideas, tradition and
memories of the immigrants and indigenous Malay builders. It adapted
according to the availability of materials, transport and the needs to live
comfortably in a tropical climate.

As the important hubs of both regional and global trade in the Southeast
Asia from 16th to 19th century, the cities of Melaka and George Town still
maintain their architectural heritage including various types of heritage
buildings as follows:
􀂃 Traditional Malay houses
􀂃 Traditional shophouses
􀂃 Terrace houses
􀂃 Malay Mosques
􀂃 Churches
􀂃 Chinese temples
􀂃 Hindu temples
􀂃 Colonial buildings from the periods of Portuguese, Dutch and
British

Apart from heritage buildings, the cities of Melaka and George Town
also retain some of their existing old roads, streets, river, open spaces
and town squares.

The Characteristics
The character of the Historic City of Melaka is strengthened by the
unique townscape qualities of the streets and the buildings that shaped
the quality of space created by these streets. In comparison to other
towns in Malaysia, Melaka's townscape is quite distinctive in character
because of its sense of enclosure and mixture of houses, shops and
places of worship. Along the narrow streets of Melaka, align on both
sides are rows of shophouses, mainly one and two storey height. From
simple two storey height with plan facades to more elaborate three
storey height in different styles and influences. The street scape of these
shophouses are punctuated by a number of religious buildings, mainly
the Malay mosques, Chinese and Indian temples.

There is a strong element of surprises created by narrow and deflected
streets that entice a person to wander through the alleys endlessly. The
skyline is broken by tiny intrusive structures on the roofs to form an
interesting silhouette. Added to that is the unique blend of façade,
creating a sense of variety within uniformity – with each building along
the streets being different than the others, yet giving a sense of unity.
The townscape of Melaka is reminiscent of the medieval European cities
which were designed to fit a society that was ruled by feudal lords,
where streets were designed to confuse the enemy. This makes Melaka
unique to the world as an example of a medieval townscape in this part
of the region. The naming of the streets according to the various
artisans that lived here such as goldsmiths, blacksmiths, temple etc
accentuates the character of medieval cities that tend to locate
craftsmen and traders according to their guilds.

The Historical Buildings and Monuments
St. Paul’s Hill Civic Zone has always been the seat of the governing
bodies from the time Melaka was founded to very recently. The
establishment of a kingdom at the locality was due to its commanding
position facing the river mouth and the Straits of Malacca and protected
from the interior by a vast swampy area. Known as Bukit Melaka during
the Malay Sultanate era, it’s been a royal abode as well as the seat of
power of the Sultans. The Portuguese simply called the area as ‘Oiteiro’
or Hill. They built a fortress around this hill, which was completed in 1548
and stayed within the walls. On top of it, they also built among other
things a church. The Dutch, who took over the church, turned it into a
Protestant church and named it St. Paul’s Church. The hill was renamed
St. Paul’s Hill and remained so ever since. The hill also continued to be
the seat of power of the British-Melaka government and the state
government of independent Melaka.

Within the St. Paul’s Hill Civic Zone there are many historical buildings
and monuments around the Hill and urban square established and built
either by the Portuguese, the Dutch or the British that have been
preserved and remain unchanged. Mainly located on Kota Road (Jalan
Kota), Laxamana Road (Jalan Laksamana), on St. Paul’s Hill or around
the Town Square, these buildings are fine evidence of long established
colonial powers in Melaka.

The more important buildings in the St. Paul’s Hill Civic Zone are:
􀂃 A’Farmosa, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Bastion House, Jalan Kota
􀂃 1963 Building, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Department of Museum and Antiquity, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Islamic Museum, Jalan Kota
􀂃 St. Francis Institution, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Banda Hilir Primary School, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Sacred Heart Canossian Convent, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Literature Museum, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Architecture Museum, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Democratic Museum, Jalan Kota
􀂃 Governor’s Museum, St. Paul’s Hill
􀂃 Ruin of St. Paul’s Church, St. Paul’s Hill
􀂃 Replica of Malay Sultanate Palaca, St. Paul’s Hill
􀂃 Stadthuys, Town Square
􀂃 Christ Church, Town Square
􀂃 Clock Tower, Town Square
􀂃 Fountain, Town Square
􀂃 St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Jalan Laksamana
􀂃 Several shophouses, Jalan Laksamana

The Town Square or locally referred to as the Dutch Square used to be
the hub of the town since its earliest foundation. It housed the key
buildings during the Dutch period in the form of the Stadthuys and the
Christ Church with a fountain and clock tower at the center. The strategic
location of the town square with its adjacent important public buildings
such as Stadthuys, relects the significance of this area as the centre of
the town. Since the beginning, the town started at the river mouth due
to its port activities. Therefore, the hub of the town centre was at the
site of the square due to its close proximity to the river mouth. This
square has not been altered since the Dutch period except for the
resurfacing of its roads. The composition of the buildings in the square
reflects the character of the townscape typical of a European town,
where the civic ambience of the place was heightened by the presence of
major civic buildings.

Leading to the Town Square is a parallel street to the river known as
Jalan Laksamana. This narrow street creates a strong sense of
enclosure, with many of the buildings consisting of the traditional shop
houses. The historical building located on the street is St. Francis Xavier
Church, which is designed to resemble a Portuguese Church. The
presence of a large church in the strategic part of the town center
suggests the strong influence of the colonial rulers in the development of
the city in the past.

The nearby Tan Kim Seng Bridge across the Melaka River marks the site
of the original 14th century timber bridge, which was attacked and
occupied by the Portuguese before they conquered the palace ground.
The bridge was also the original location of the Portuguese' bridge, the
Dutch drawbridge and the British cast iron bridge before it was replaced
by the present concrete bridge. The view from the bridge towards the
city resembles that of a fishing village with the buildings built close to the
water's edge. This bridge symbolized the link between the two sides of
the city that brought together the citizens and the rulers. This is
reminiscent of the humble beginnings of Melaka as a fishing village prior
to the Melaka Sultanate rule and way before its peak as a major trading
port in the world. The buildings along the river were built close to the
water's edge and in the past the buildings used to front the river when
the river was a lifeline to the city.

Across the bridge is The Historic Residential and Commercial Zone.
This was the most important residential area of the bygone era, which is
located on the northern or left bank of Melaka River. The Bendahara or
Prime Minister’s residence and the famous Melaka Bazaar were both
located in the vicinity during the Malay Sultanate period.
The Portuguese then change the racial composition of the settlement by
locating those who supported them closer to the fortress (Fortaleza de
Malacca). By the same token the Dutch did the same when they came to
power. In addition, the Dutch also built two residential areas for the
Dutch outside the fort, one for the rich and the other for the commoners,
and named them as Heeren Street and Jonker Street respectively. Among
the locals this area was aptly called Kampong Blanda.
Other community quarters namely Kampong Kling (Indian Village),
Kampong Hulu (Arab Village), Kampong Jawa (Javanese Village),
Kampong Serani (Eurasian Village) and Kampong China (Chinese Village),
which were established along racial lines still exist today but no longer
reflect the racial composition of he populace. It is also in this area one
can find a mosque, Indian Temple, Chinese Temple and church located
close to each other representing the harmony of the multi-racial groups.
This Three Temples Street (Jalan Tukang Emas, Jalan Tukang Besi and
Jalan Tokong) is better known as Streets of Harmony.

Within the The Historic Residential and Commercial Zone there are
excellent examples of shophouses on both sides of the narrow streets of
Melaka. Mainly located on both sides of the six main streets as follows:
􀂃 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street)
􀂃 Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Street)
􀂃 Jalan Tukang Emas (Goldsmith Street)
􀂃 Jalan Tukang Besi (Blacksmith Street)
􀂃 Jalan Tokong (Temple Street)
􀂃 Jalan Pantai (Kampong Pantei Street)

Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock was formerly known as Heeren Street;
was among the earliest streets built by the Dutch to accommodate their
government officers and the upper class groups of the society. The
residential character of the street can still be seen with its narrow
streets, ornate and richly decorated façade. Typical features of the
buildings include footways filled with hand-painted and Wedgewood tiles,
carved front doors surmounted by the family motto in gold calligraphy on
a black lacquered board, Corinthian columns and opulent base with
motifs of bats, phoenix, flowers and dragons. The flamboyant nature of
these town houses reflects the affluence and luxurious life style of the
original occupants. It was even dubbed as the 'millionaire's row' by the
locals.

After the Dutch left the country, these houses were occupied by the
affluent Babas or Peranakan (mix breed of English educated Chinese and
local girls' parentage). Their exquisite life style can still be seen today in
the overwhelming ornate interior decoration and furniture used. Among
the typical features of these Baba townhouses are gilded teak staircases,
an ancestral altar embellished with dragons, delicately carved and gold
screen, black wood furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl and
embroidered silk paintings. There is also an interesting display of
townhouses, which have variations in its façade treatment,
ornamentations and window patterns within one street.

The other unique feature of the townhouses along the street is their
deep plan and narrow frontage. This is quite typical of Dutch architecture
and buildings in most Dutch cities until today. This type of façade
treatment creates an interesting streetscape due to the variety of façade
design that is harmonious to each other. The courtyard is another
common feature in these houses which was designed to allow fresh air
and sunlight to penetrate and brighten the rooms. Another interesting
feature is the way in which the arcaded walkways were blocked unlike
those seen in the traditional shop houses. This gives some privacy and
space to the residents.

Jalan Hang Jebat was once called Jonker Street and is translated as
'Young Noblemen's Street’ in Dutch. This is another street that was once
inhabited by the more affluent group of the society. Many beautiful town
houses still line both sides of this bustling street that is renowned for its
antique shops. The presence of the antique shops that sell many of the
antique goods of the past period reflects the historical significance of the
street. One of the oldest antique outlets in this street belongs to the
Kuthy family, which is one of the prominent Indian families in Melaka.
The late T.J Kuthy, an Indian Muslim from Kerala, started the first Jonker
Street junk shop in 1936. Many Baba families had lost their fortunes
when the price of rubber plummeted during the Great Depression and
were forced to sell their precious heirlooms just to survive. Kuthy bought
their treasures and started the antique business that his descendants still
run today. There is an intimate and homely atmosphere about the street
due to its narrowness which gives a sense of enclosure and rich sensory
experience from the smell of cooking that exudes from the kitchen and
restaurants nearby.

In the heart of Melaka's old town is Jalan Tukang Emas (Goldsmith
Road) Jalan Tukang Besi (Blacksmith Road) and Jalan Tokong
(Temple Street); renowned for many religious places of worship.
The deflected and curving nature of the streets that meander this part of
the city creates a perfect sense of enclosure and exquisite townscape
effect. The visual experience is heightened by the intricateness and
varied buildings in terms of façade design and building height. The street
names, which took after the craftsmen of old Melaka, reflected the
importance of this area as the once artisan zone for the city. Tinsmith,
blacksmith, cobblers, coffin-makers, paper artisan and basket weavers
still ply their trades here. The other unique feature of the streets is the
presence of three different types of places of worship namely; Cheng
Hoon Teng Temple, The Masjid Kampong Kling and the Sri Poyyatha
Vinagar Moorthi Temple. Although the area is now predominantly
occupied by Chinese, the presence of the mosque and the Indian temple
suggests that this area was once lived by a multi ethnic community that
was able to live harmoniously together. The Cheng Hoon Teng temple is
over 300 years old and was founded by Li Kup who fled China when the
Manchus toppled the Ming. It is still the major place of worship for the
Chinese in Melaka and is the oldest functioning Chinese Temple in the
country.

The presence of these three Places of Worship along the same street
lends a spiritual touch of the street's ambience. There is a high degree of
sensory experience as a person walks along the street due to the smell of
incense, fresh cut flowers and the sound of bells ringing and the call for
prayers that comes out from the minaret.

The oldest mosque in the historic city of Melaka is the oldest mosque in
Malaysia. The Kampong Hulu Mosque, built in 1728, was one of the first
mosques built primarily of masonry construction and possesses the
distinctive Chinese-Pagoda like pyramid-tiered roof form. The mosque
was one of the bustling centres of Islamic missionary activities during the
days of the Dutch occupation. The design of the mosque is simple which
is on square plan and open planning and surmounted by two or three
stepped pyramidal roof covered with Marseilles tiles. Columns and
minarets of late nineteenth and early twentieth century mosque adopted
Renaissance decorations and had no storeys. The Melaka mosque
appears to have numerous structural affinities with the mosque at
Bantam. The general principles of this tradition may have been brought
from western India at the time of the Islamisation of Java in the
fourteenth century.

The present Kampung Keling Mosque was built in 1748 on the foundation
of its original timber construction. It was related by the locals that the
Kampung Keling Mosque was founded because the local Malay
community was not on the best of terms with the Keling (Indian Muslim)
people. The Malays were centered around the Kampung Hulu Mosque
while the Keling community established their own mosque after a Malay
endowed a piece of land nearby to them.

The two mosques which stand at close proximity are not a common
feature in Melaka or anywhere in Malaysia. They are used at alternative
Friday prayers. The mosques are located on the corner of Jalan Tukang
Emas and Jalan Hang Kasturi. They have similar plans, based on a square
foundation with three entrances framed within a porch structure. The
mosque plan consists of an enclosed prayer area with three serambi
(verandah) sides. The heavy masonry walls enclosing the mosque
interiors have three doors on each side. The mihrab is enclosed like the
maksura with four round column arcades. There are four belian timber
columns from the original mosque which support the top most roof
structure. The top of the three tiered roof gives way to generous
windows all around. The Chinese tiles are used for the roof and crown
with mastaka to be inscribed into an almost perfect cube. The floor and
walls are covered with decorative ceramic tiles and the interiors are
heavily ornamented.

The Chinese contribution to Melakan architectural styles, as has been
mentioned before, is most strongly exemplified in commercial and
religious buildings, namely the shophouses and the temples. The Cheng
Hoon Teng Temple or the temple of the Evergreen Clouds in Melaka was
built in 1645 and completed in 1704 after several extensions and
additions. It is the oldest temple in the country. The decoration of the
temple applied in physical and visual form of the orthodox elements of
South-east Chinese architecture, with the color, symbolism and fineness
of detail and materials. It is home to the three religious philosophies of
Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, with ancestor worship as the
centerpiece and common element in all three.

The Sri Poyyatha, built in 1710, is a Hindu temple standing on the same
street as Kampong Hulu Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng temple. The
coexistence of these three distinct faiths is a testament to the religious
pluralism and tolerance of Melaka. Erected in 1781, this temple enshrines
the deity Vinayagar. In the back room is a sculpture of the deity with the
head of an elephant and the body of a man with four hands. The deity is
believed to be capable of removing obstacles in one's life.

Jalan Kampung Pantai is the street that runs parallel to the river and
accommodates many wholesalers, go downs and stores. In addition to
that, there are also many traditional retailers selling sundries goods and
items used for worship. This is a street that acts as physical evidence to
the role of Melaka played in the past as a port and trading post. In the
past, the river was the main means of communication and thus goods
that arrived via ships and boats were unloaded and stored in buildings
nearby. Today, the loading and unloading activities still occur on this
street which is congested with lorries and trucks from the wholesalers'
activities. This street also displays the character of a medieval street that
opens up to a square addressing a Chinese temple. A narrow lane links
up this Chinese temple with a tiny mosque on the other side of the river.
There are several other narrow lanes that link this street to the river that
suggest the close relationship between the activities on this street and
the river in the past.

The Multicultural Nature of Melakan Society, combined with the style of
architecture, has provided a rich legacy of buildings representing different
traditions. From the various religious traditions come an exceptional
collection of mosques, temples and churches modulated by many world
architectural languages.

There are various types of buildings in Melaka, ranging from the periods
of the Melaka Sultanate to the present day. Most buildings during the
sultanate were destroyed since most of them were made of wood,
although there are records of buildings built of some other materials
during this time. Malay vernacular and terrace houses can still be found
in city of Melaka. Malay timber houses remain intact in the core zone,
particularly at Kampung Ketek, Jalan Tokong. On the other hand, some
of the earliest antecedents to the townhouses in Malaysia were built in
Melaka. The houses, the most ornate examples to be found on Jalan Tun
Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street), were built or bought by wealthy Melaka
Straits-born Chinese merchants for use, sometimes both as godowns and
residence. Now, many of the houses are no longer lived in but are
maintained by the families as ancestral homes that are used for special
celebrations.

The origins of these townhouses are not easy to trace but the earliest
recorded maps and drawings indicate some form of development on
Heeren Street and Jonker Street dating from 1514 during the time of the
Portuguese occupation in Melaka. However, subsequent to that, many
battles were fought over Melaka and the town was burned and razed
several times. The streets, because of their strategic location by the sea
and adjacent to the Melaka Fort City, always become important
addresses. For example, as its former Dutch names, Heeren Straat
(Street of Lords in Dutch) and Jonker Straat (street for the working class
people). Some of the oldest buildings on the streets are of mideighteenth
century construction, built during the Dutch Colonial period.
Though the main influence for the building form must certainly have
been from the Chinese, the European and especially Dutch tradition of
row houses is very evident. Also, during the second occupation of Melaka
by the Dutch after the Napoleonic War (from 1818 to 1824), the Dutch
ordained that no new buildings were to be built. This meant that the
Chinese had to buy existing buildings built by the Dutch and adapted
them to their needs.

The Shophouses and Townhouses in the Historic City of Melaka are
attached or terrace houses with similar facade treatment as those found
in Europe. Those on Heeren Street were mainly used as residence, and
those on Jonker Street were for commercial purposes. Some of the
earliest houses have covered walkway as a linkage, though in some cases
an extended party wall blocks the passage. Shophouses - means a
building where the commercial activities are on the ground floor and
residential purposes on the upper floor. Nowadays, the buildings are used
as offices and cater for a variety of businesses such as light industry and
café or restaurant. The original façade is still maintained although there
are have small changes to suit to the building use. Similar to the
shophouses, the townhouses of Melaka have covered walkways as a
linkage, though in some cases an extended party wall (the wall which
separates each house) blocks the passage. The walkways are often tiled
in hand-painted or wedge wood tiles and the front doors have a "pintu
pagar" (double leaf 'saloon doors' found in front of the main doors). An
outer security swing door in carved and fretted teak facades are typically
decorated with sculptured figures, animals, flowers and other patterns.
Over the main door, the "pintu besar" are house mottos proclaiming good
fortune and everlasting happiness. Eave fascias are usually in fretted
Malay designs. Columns and pilasters may be Doric or Corinthian.
Windows may be Venetian, Chinese or Malay derivative with louvered
(European influence) or solid (Chinese) shutters. Roofs are tiled in
Chinese clay tiles with distinctive rounded gabled ends.

The interiors of both houses are richly decorated with carved teak panels,
doors and window frames. The air wells and courtyards are often paved
in Melaka tile, a derivative of Dutch Delph tiles. Complementing the rich
decor is traditional Chinese furniture which is centuries old. These long
narrow attached houses with several internal air wells and courtyards
accommodated members of an extended family that shared a common
kitchen. The important elements of the house are the ancestral hall, the
sitting room and the air well. The roofs are steeply pitched to present as
sharp an angle as possible to facilitate rain run-off. It also shelters heat
from the hot mid-day sun. The framing structure is a system of trusses in
rigid rectangular forms held together by wooden tenons. Circular purlins
carry the weight of the roof by brackets to roof beams. This in turn
transmits the load to the column. Seldom are the walls load-bearing
which reduces the material needed.

Within the Core Zone of the Historic City of Melaka there are more than
600 shophouses and town houses of different styles and influences,
which can be divided into several categories, depending on their façade
designs and such as:
• Dutch Style
• Southern China Style
• Early Shophouse Style
• Early Transitional Style
• Early Straits Eclectic Style
• Late Straits Eclectic Style
• Neo-Classical Style
• Art-Deco Style
• Early Modern Style.

The Historic City of George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Introduction
George Town is spectacularly situated at the cape or promontory at the
north-eastern tip of the island, between the hills and the sea. The hills
provide a stunning backdrop the city which is built up to the foothills. The
settlement that Francis Light, the British country trader, had originally
created (1786) and named did not have any grand design as it was not
intended to be a “settlement colony”. Light had neither resources nor
staff to develop the town. The development of George Town during the
first century after its founding could be attributed to the courageous and
entrepreneurial spirit of early migrant communities who found in George
Town a place to make a living and begin a new life.

The 1798 map shows the early topography and morphology of the
settlement. From the map, it can be seen that the town had to be built
on land that had to be cleared of vegetation, levelled and filled. These
early settlers formed their own neighbourhoods or quarters. The
boundaries of these ethnic quarters are not clearly demarcated but
centre on certain streets or intersections. The cultural practices and
preferences of the different ethnic groups appear to have created an
impact on the development of the town, particularly in relation to the
sitting of important religious and institutional buildings, the European or
colonial quarter is to the north, close to Fort Cornwallis, the
administrative centre, and clustered around St. George’s Anglican
Church (Farquhar Street) and Armenian Church (which no longer exists)
at Bishop Street. This was indeed the best location as it was cooled by
the sea breeze from the north. The presence of the fort and police
station in this area also provided security to the Europeans. A Christian
burial ground established in 1786 is sited on the north-western side of
Penang Road, on a site that was slightly elevated and overlooking the
north beach.

The Chinese Town
The Chinese town is located within the grid of early George Town, with
China Street as the primary axis and King Street as the secondary axis.
Although no record of Chinese influence in the early town planning exists,
an analysis of the Chinese settlement and the location of key buildings
suggest that the early Chinese settlers chose to live within the town grid
and followed as closely as possible their traditional and cultural
orientation. The Chinese community thus formed not only a “city within
city” but also lived in the closed society that Victor Purcell described as
“imperium in imperio”. The Chinese were also particular in choosing the
site based on social economy and feng shui principles. First they
segregated among respective dialect groups and built their associations,
kongsi or temples as social centres. The four major dialect groups,
Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka and Teochew were originated from
Guangdong and Fujian provinces in China. Each of these sub-groups had
their regional tradition in terms of dialect, customs, cuisine as well as arts
and architecture. Secondly, for major buildings to be built, the basic feng
shui followed would be “turn away from Yin and embrace Yang”. That
means the building is backed by all or high land and faces the sea.

The most important building for the Chinese society is the Kong Hock
Keong, also known as the Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) temple. It is
situated at the end of China Street on a slightly elevated site as known in
the 1798 Popham map. The temple is sited with its back towards the
central hills on the island and facing the harbour or sea with the hills on
the mainland in the distance across the channel. Stone tablets according
to Yin Yang (feng shui). Its position on the upper centre of the city grid
on Pitt Street and facing the main street (China Street) axis indicates the
importance of the building. Founded around c1800, this temple
architecture features a sweeping roof with ornate decorated copings and
ridges. Oracle sticks are a special features of this temple. Chinese opera
or puppet theatre is performed on the granite-paved forecourt on feast
days, three times a year.

The town plan and the juxtaposition of the important buildings built by
the Chinese community show a parallel to ancient Chinese city planning
which is a square or rectangular plan demarcated by perimeter walls with
a north-south primary axis and a secondary east-west axis. King Street,
which runs perpendicular to China Street, would be the secondary axis
where several institutional buildings and temples of less importance were
laid out. During the 19th century there were at least eight associations or
kongsi on King Street, one on Bishop Street and two of Church Street
which represented peoples from different parts of Guangdong and Fujian
provinces. It is noted that most of the institutions are located to the left
of the Kuan Yin Temple on the China Street axis, which is considered to
be superior to the right in Chinese cosmic order.

The Indian Settlement
Next to the Chinese town is the Indian settlement, extended to the two
sections of Chulia Street, where the Kapitan Keling Mosque is the
centre for the Indian Muslim (Chuliah) community and the Sri
Mahamariamman Temple for the Hindus.
Situated at Queen Street Sri Mahamariamman Temple was built in
accordance with the saiva agamas with an antechamber, a hall,
circumambient dome, surrounding walls and an entrance. The complexity
of Hindu mythology is reflected in the sculpture (gopuram), which is over
23 feet high and features 38 statues of gods and goddesses and four
swans over the entrance. It is from this temple that the celebration of
the Thaipusam starts every year. Built in 1833, this temple is dedicated
to the Hindu goddess Sri Maha Mariamman. Historically, it catered to the
tamil community of traders and stevedores originating from South India.

The Malay Settlement
Crowned with onion-shaped domes, Kapitan Keling Mosque is the
largest historic mosque in George Town. Founded in 1801, the original
mosque was a rectangular building with a hipped roof, built on a site
granted by the East India Company. The mosque has been enlarged
several times. Henry Alfred Neubronner, the German Eurasian architect
gave the mosque its British Raj Moghul revival appearance and an
elegant minaret in the 1910s.

Further south is the Malay town which evolved between Prangin River
and the southern portion of Chulia Street, with the Acheen Malay
Mosque as its community centre. This mosque was founded in 1808 by
Tengku Syed Hussain, a wealthy Arab merchant prince who became
Sultan of Aceh. In the old days when the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca
was made by ship rather tan by airplane, Acheen Street was the centre
of haj travel. Pilgrims came from North Sumatra, Southern Thailand and
the northern states of peninsular Malaysia to purchase their tickets, shop
and attend religious classes while waiting for the Haj ship. Acheen Street
Malsy Mosque has an octagonal-shaped minaret following the 16th
century Moghul architecture common in old mosques in Aceh. The 1798
Popham map marked this mosque and tomb as a landmark of the Malay
township, it was the first Muslim urban parish and the earliest centre of
spice traders and malay entrepreneurs on the island.

The Urban Pattern
The urban pattern of the site is an overlay of buildings set within open
spaces and regular row development with vestiges of the urban village.
The early buildings were set in large open spaces or compounds, with
ancillary buildings added on as the need arose. Among important
examples of such a building layout are the St. George Church, the
Supreme Court, the Kuan Yin Temple, Kapitan Keling Mosque,
and private mansions on Light Street and between the Convent and the
Esplanade, most of which were destroyed during the war and have since
been redeveloped. The elegant mansions set within spacious compound
along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (formerly Northam Road), which are
within the designated buffer zone, are examples of the legacy of the
lifestyle of early entrepreneurs who accumulated great wealth and left
their marks on society.

As development in the town became more intensive, rows of residential
and shophouses were built on available land fronting the street,
eventually hiding the earlier buildings and their compounds. Examples of
this overlay can be seen in Chulia Street where the early bungalows can
be found behind the later shophouses, this building layout was followed
by the Chinese kongsi, where the temples were set within an open
space surrounded by shophouses. For the kongsi and temples, this
arrangement of buildings provided a screen of privacy for members of
the clan or society in the early days, to assemble or hold meetings out of
view of the police and others. The Kongsi is a Chinese association based
on clan, particular dialect group or people rom the same district in their
original country, or an occupational or mutual benefit society. The Kongsi
institution is a distinctive outcome of the 19th century migration of the
Chinese to Southeast Asia (nanyang). For more than a century these
institutions have influenced to a great extent the social-economic life of
the Chinese community in George Town and created important landmark.

The Warehouse and Godowns
The warehouses and godowns near the waterfront extend from Beach
Street to weld Quay with two street frontages. The warehouses are
located behind the offices that front the main street. Stone paved
through the warehouse cum office buildings connect Beach Street and
Weld Quay. The streets extend from the waterfront jetties (ghauts) into
the town’s commercial centre. The clan jetties represent a unique form
of settlement unlike similar “water villages” elsewhere as each
community from each jetty comprise members of the same clan with the
same surname, such as the Lim, Chew, Tan, Lee and Yeoh jetties. Since
1969, the residents have been given special permission to occupy the site
in the form of “Temporary Occupation Licence” for each of the premises
they occupy.

The Timber Jetty Housing
The timber jetty housing, numbering some 249 premises, are built on
stilts on the sea shore and are spread over an area of approximately 16.8
acres. The houses are arranged in a “fishbone” layout with the jetty built
of timber planks serving as the major spine for access and
communication. Typically a temple, housing the deity brought from the
clan’s home village in China, is sited at the front or rear of the jetty. Each
of the jetty clan communities has set up a system of self-management to
look after the security, maintenance of common areas and movement of
heavy vehicles.

The Penang Harbour
The Penang harbour in its heyday, had a
number of piers: Victoria Pier (1888), Church Street Pier/ Railway Jetty
(1897), Swettenham Pier (1904). The Raja Tun Uda Pier (Ferry terminal)
was opened only in 1959. During the 1880s, a stretch of seafront was
reclaimed and named after Sir Frederick Weld, Governor of the Straits
Settlements (1885-87). Offices and godowns were built on the new
waterfront in the distinctive Anglo-Indian style typified by colonnaded
arcades. They housed the offices of European firms like Boustead, Behn
Meyer, Macalister & Co. and Peterson Simons that were shipping agents,
general importers and tin refiners. During the Second World War, many
of the fine buildings near the harbour were bombed and destroyed,
including Government offices at Beach Street and Downing Street (a
section of it survived), Victoria and Railway Pier.

While the Penang harbour continues to be an important waterway, the
harbour front activities have changed due to relocation of cargo handling
and containerization to the expanded port facilities on the mainland at
Butterworth and Prai. The Penang Bridge from the island to the mainland
spans 11.5km over the southern channel, carrying its full capacity of
vehicles. However the ferry is still an important transport link to the
mainland, carrying both vehicles and passengers from George Town to
Butterworth, both Swettenham Pier and Church Street Pier will continue
to be used and developed as passengers cruise terminal and marina
respectively.

Weld quay extends from Swettenham Pier to Prangin River, linking
ghauts that provided jetties at each end. A ghaut is the stone or wooden
jetty along the water front that is constructed as an extension of the
street that runs inland from the shore. Several Chinese clan jetties later
sprouted along Weld Quay. These jetties served as landing bases for the
traditional entreport trade, that is, trade dealing in import, redistribution
and re-exporting of products from the hinterland and neighbouring
countries. This trade was normally handled by small scale Asian traders.
Today, the traditional cargo-handling business by the Weld Quay jetty
community has dwindled considerably due to the use of containers at the
Butterworth port on the opposite side of the channel.

The Goverment Offices and Administrative Buildings
Immediately west of Swettenham Pier and south of Fort Cornwallis
are the government offices and administrative buildings. This area was known as the
“Government’s Quadrangle” or King Edward Place. King Edward Place
ends with the Victoria Memorial Clock tower, built in 1897 by a
prominent Chinese business man, Cheah Chen Eok, to commemorate
Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. The Tower now stands on a small
roundabout that opens to Beach Street on its south, Light Street on its
west, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakhbah on its north and King Edward
place on its east. A 12-storey government office built by the Public Works
Department replaced the former building destroyed during the Second
World War A remaining section of the government quadrangle now
houses the Syariah Court. Among the major public buildings are the
State Legislative Assembly building (formerly the Magistrates
Court), Municipal Council buildings, Town Hall and City Hall (at
the Esplanade), Supreme Court Building at the end of Light Street;
Dewan Sri Pinang (Penang’s first auditorium) and Bank Negara (National
Bank) b. The Esplanade, an open field facing the north beach, and its
promenade was George Town’s main social and recreational centre.

Historic Commercial Centre
The original grid laid out in the late 18th
century, is framed by Light Street, Beach Street, Chulia Street and Pitt
Street, the first two converging at Fort Cornwallis. The grid covers an
area of approximately 18.6 hectares (46.1 acres) and is subdivided into
18 rectangular blocks, all of unequal dimensions. The historic commercial
centre is segmented into the banking and trading areas related to the
port activities which include shipping companies, import and export trade
and the wholesalers who dominate the southern section of Beach Street.
In the northern section of Beach Street are neo-classical style buildings
that house the Standard Chartered Bank, the Algemene bank Nederland
(ABN Bank) and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Corporation which was
reconstructed after the Second World War in a late Art Deco style.
At the turn of the 19th century, the northern section of Beach Street and
its adjacent Bishop Street were the “high streets” where European stores
and stores selling exclusive goods were patronized by the European
community and the elites in Penang. The Logan Building stands as an
outstanding example of a 1880s commercial block.

The remarkable number of corner coffee shops catering to the office
workers reflects the role of this quarter as a business district. Another
distinct segment of the historic commercial centre is the shopping area of
Tamil Indians who are mainly Hindus. The Indian shops are centred at
Market Street and adjacent Penang Street. This area was called “Little
Madras” but today referred to unofficially as “Little India”. China Street
and King Street are respectively the main commercial street and social
centre for the Chinese community within this commercial quarter, as
described earlier.

The Residential Neighbourhoods
Outside the main historic
commercial centre, are largely residential quarters of terrace houses
and shophouses, interspersed with bungalows. On particular area at the
southern section of Beach Street stands out for the network of clan
houses (kongsi) which include the Cheah Kongsi, two Khoo Kongsi,
Lim Kongsi, Tan Kongsi and Yeoh Kongsi, representing the five
Hokkien kongsi. These kongsi buildings are set within a courtyard or
compound by residential or shophouses. The layout and network of
narrow alleyways, a legacy of the 19th century, are reminiscent of the
feuding secret societies of the olden days. This urban geography of clan
temples and houses is a unique feature of the historic island port
settlement of Penang. Yap Kongsi, located at the junction of Armenian
Street and Cannon Street, for example, was founded in late 19th century
building was completed in 1924 blending eastern and western
architectural influences. It is made up of two halls separated b a central
air well, fronted by a three bay façade,as typical Chinese layout while
columns and external features are in Neo-Classical style.

Residential Quarters
Another residential quarter is located behind the Goddess of Mercy
Temple and Chulia Street, where Stewart Lane, Muntri Street and Love
Lane intersect. Lying just outside the historic commercial grid, these
streets are relatively narrower, irregularly aligned and appear to be less
formal in their planning. The temple of Carpenters Guild (Lo Pan
Hang), Goldsmith Association Guild Temple and the Hainanese
Association and Temple are located in this area, dating from 19th
century.

Nearby at Acheen Street are the first Muslim urban parish and the
earliest centre of spice traders and Malay entrepreneurs on the island.
The shophouses fronting the Acheen Street Malay Mosque printed the
Quran and Islamic religious books. The mansion of Syed Mohamad
Alatas, a 19th century Malay leader, is at the corner of Armenian Street
and Acheen Street. The building was restored and is now used as the
Penang Heritage Centre. The building was restored in a government
sponsored pilot restoration project by French conservationist in 1993, and
had won a ‘National Conservation Award’ in 1996. This double-storey
bungalow in Indo-Malay Palladian Style at No. 128 Armenian Street was
built in the mid19th century by Syed Mohamed Alatas, a leader of the
Muslim community of Lebuh Acheh and the secret society called “Red
Flag”. The facade has a series of closely spaced windows, full length
framed by moulded architraves with keystones.

Chulia Street is another major street of unique character with a strong
Indian Muslim history, a rich and varied urban form and a still vibrant
community of traditional trades and occupations. The street extends from
Penang Road to Beach Street after which it continues to Weld Quay as
Chulia Street ghaut.

The Indian Muslim community is centred around the Kapitan Keling
Mosque (founded circa 1800). There are a number of smaller Indian
Muslim shrines and mosques on Chulia Street; the oldest is probably
Nagore Shrine, a fine example of early Indian masonry which is in
highly original condition. The existence of original Anglo-Indian
bungalows dating from the early 19th century is another unique feature of
Chulia Street. Chinese institutions like the Teochew Kongsi and the
Chinese association temple known as the United Cantonese Districts
Association (Ng Fook Thong) have outstanding buildings built in the
19th century. Shophouses from different periods add to the character of
Chulia Street.

The Prangin Canal
The Prangin Canal forms the southern limit of early 19th century George
Town. The canal was built from the site of the original Prangin River
which was filled in the 1880s. The Prangin Canal is joined to another
drainage canal at Transfer Road which was appropriately named
“Boundary ditch” in the 19th century. The two canals thus logically form
the southern and western limits respectively of the nomination site of the
Hiistoric City of George Town.

The Shophouses and Townhouses
Like the Historic City of Melaka, George Town also have large collection
of shophouses and townhouses within its Core and Buffer Zones
numbering more than 1700 buildings in different styles and types. All of
these buildings normally have similar plan configuration as well as
materials used. What makes them look different is their façade. These
shophouses extend to the street without any forecourt. From the outside
one can see only the concrete walls with long rectangular windows for
the upper level and the roof which was made of tiles. The upper floor
projects out to cover the verandah in front of the main entrance. The
façade is often designed in a symmetrical organization in which the
entrance is located in the middle with windows on both sides. There are
several different architectural styles of shophoouses on the street. Some
have stylistic trends of the different periods on the front façade.
Architecturally, the shophouses and townhouses in the Historic City of
George Town can be grouped into seven categories, depending on their
façade designs. The seven groups are:
􀂃 Early Shophouse Style 1800 – 1850’s
􀂃 Early Transitional Style 1840 – 1900’s
􀂃 Early Straits Eclectic Style 1890 – 1920’s
􀂃 Late Straits Eclectic Style 1920 – 1940’s
􀂃 Neo-Classical Style 19th – early 20th century
􀂃 Art Deco Style 1930 – 1950’s
􀂃 Early Modern Style Post war

Ipoh Old Streets, Perak, Malaysia

Source: Vicinity Perak

Kuching's Heritage, Sarawak, Malaysia

Source: Virtual Malaysia