Spatial Configurations of Malay Traditional House in Kedah and Pulau Pinang
A comfortable home is one that can meet all of a person's needs. However, house users, their needs, and the surroundings change rapidly over time. Flexible modular construction and the open configuration of Malay traditional houses provide the capability for the spaces and layout to adapt to these changes. Such a modular system influences the overall spatial configuration of the houses. Moreover, Malay traditional houses in different regions of the Malaysian Peninsula have to accommodate varying local functional, social, and cultural needs, which might impact the spatial configurations. These needs include local cultural and religious ones, particularly the need for privacy as well as domestic social interaction. Therefore, this study aims to deepen our understanding of the spatial configuration that could be found in the different traditional houses. Space Syntax theory and methods were used in this study to analyse the relationship between spaces in traditional house types in two locations in the northern region of the peninsula. The traditional houses of Kedah and Pulau Pinang were selected as they illustrate variations in their spatial components and configuration. The findings of this study show that the differences in the two traditional house layouts, particularly the location of nested spaces and the multiple entrances, enable the houses to create different spatial configurations that affect the spatial depth, connectivity, and integration of the spaces in the houses differently.
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