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Challenges faced due to commercialisation in preservation of the authenticity

of Melaka Shophouses on Hang Jebat Street.

TEAM MEMBERS TUTOR: MR. KOH JING HAO


SIRAJEDDIN SULAIMAN 0322399 MODULE: ASIAN ARCHITECTURE (ARC60403)
OOI WENN YEAW 0332760
PROJECT 1: RESEARCH IN ASIAN
WATANABE KOHEI 0332172 ARCHITECTURE

NUR IMAN JEZDMEEN 0325440

SUMEDHA SINGH 0327555


ABSTRACT

Malaysia’s national population has been gradually increasing which is the cause of severe commercialization of old sites.
Melaka shop houses have also been a prime target of commercialization and as they are currently undermined by civil
expansion it has caused transformation of the old and historic city of Melaka. The reconstruction and revitalization of the
historical structures has also negatively impacted the community around the chosen site severely and has lead to loss of
heritage value of the site.

The aim of this study is to address challenges faced due to commercialisation in preserving the tangible cultural heritage
assets in Melaka shop houses located on Hang Jebat Street (Jonker Street), which is the authenticity of the shop houses in
Melaka.
DEVELOPMENT OF MELAKA
OVERVIEW
ZONING OF MELAKA
INTRODUCTION TO MELAKA SHOP HOUSES

Melaka is the historical state in Malaysia that’s famous with its heritage and colonial structures. It was here that colonial
forces first made contact with Malaysia, which eventually shaped the country into its current economic and political system.
The main attraction here are the traditional Melaka shophouse, which normally have two or more storeys, evolved from a
utilitarian commercial structure into sometimes ornate residential terrace houses. The chinese elements blended with
classical European decorations and a lot of Malay touches, such as wooden screens carved with Islamic-inspired themes.
The tenants usually use the first floor for commercial purposes, and reside in the upper floors. The building is not free
standing, it is connected to several other shophouses, which create a shophouse block. This shophouse is repeated to form
streets and town squares.
CONCEPT MAPPING
METHODOLOGY

1. Literature review
- Understanding the subject of research through references and research questions.
2. Identifications
- Identifying the issues and scope of studies related to the research topic.
3. Analysis
- Analysing the findings by illustration diagrams, drawings, pictures and publications.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1. How are the original architectural elements of shophouses in Hang Jebat street different from 1600s to present day ?

2. Why has he usage of buildings on Hang Jebat street changed over the period of time?

3. How does the difference in construction material affect the heritage value of the Buildings across Hang Jebat street?

4. How has the belief of Feng Shui affected the architecture on Hang Jebat street?
CASE STUDY: HANG JEBAT STREET
INTRODUCTION TO HANG JEBAT STREET

Hang Jebat street, or famously known as


Jonker street is situated at the western bank of
Melaka River. It's a five hundred meter long
street with row houses dating back to 17th
century. The street traces back to the times of
Dutch colonisation where the street served as a
residence for many merchants and officials and
servants of the Dutch Masters. During the
Reign on Dutchman, the street progressed as a
booming business area due to the influence of
the rich families around. It was the most eligible
area to start business ventures. Over the years,
the Chinese influence became apparent on the
street and it became informally known as the
Chinatown of Melaka. Today, it's a very famous
tourist attraction.
DEVELOPMENT OF HANG JEBAT STREET

Home to the servants of the Businesses belonging to the Busiests street as it directly Home to many commercial
Dutch masters and wealthy Babas and Bibiks connects to Town Hall activities, especially
noblemen during Dutch are established here across the river antiques, crafts and artworks
period
1. How are the original architectural elements of shophouses in Hang Jebat
street different from 1700s and 1800s to present day ?
HANG JEBAT STREET - 1700s (DUTCH STYLE)
The original construction dating back to the 17th century, were Dutch style houses. The shophouses at Hang Jebat Street had
high roofs. The floors and corridors were lined with intricate tiles, teak front doors were carved with family names or mottos in
gold calligraphy. Most windows were decorated with motifs while some homes had decorated roofs with image of dragons,
birds and flowers. They had open courtyards to provide ventilation and light, while some even had small wells to draw water or
ponds to collect rainwater from the roof.
DUTCH STYLE
17TH CENTURY: DUTCH STYLE

● Simple facade design


● Limited openings on upper floor.
● One central window or two symmetrical windows
● Symmetrical facade design of centralised doors
and two windows.
JONKER STREET
● Five foot way not connected to adjacent buildings
EARLY SHOPHOUSE STYLE
18TH CENTURY: EARLY SHOPHOUSE STYLE

● Recessed ground floor


● Simple pitched roof
● Upper floor facade supported by squat pillars
● Continuous row of parallel or louvered shutters

JONKER STREET
HANG JEBAT STREET-PRESENT (ART DECO STYLE)
ART DECO STYLE
PRESENT 2000s - ART DECO STYLE

● Strong vertical or horizontal emphasis to


structure
● Windows are arranged in groups and use of
metal frames
● Date of construction on facades of the building
● Cantilevered sunshades
JONKER STREET
PRESENT 2000s - EARLY MODERN STYLE

● Radically ornamented
● Simplified approach towards architecture
● Clean cut openings
● Aesthetics derived from simplicity
JONKER STREET
● Preservation of the genuine shophouses along the street was difficult as people developed the structures over time
to meet their needs, which resulted in the loss of the original heritage of Dutch and Chinese migrant people.

● The houses on the street are rather narrow and small when viewed from the outside but are long and spacious
inside.This is because the house owners then were taxed on the width of the buildings instead of the total area.

● Over the years, the architecture elements featured in the shophouse construction have been changed due to the
abundant influence from different groups of people that resided in the area such Chinese influences, Dutch
influences, Portuguese influences and so on.

● As years advanced, the outlook on aesthetic sense of the facades developed to a more simplistic and elegant form
rather than heavy ornamentations seen in the previous generations.
2. Why has the usage of buildings on Hang Jebat street changed over the
period of time?
LAND IN USE: 1700-1800s

RESIDENTIAL
LAND IN USE: PRESENT 2000s

HANG JEBAT
STREET

Mostly
commercialised
USAGE OF BUILDINGS: 1700-1800s

In 1700-1800s, Hang
Jebat street was a
residential area.
Due to the baba and
bibiks businesses it
was also considered
a mix-use
commercial area.
USAGE OF THE BUILDINGS: PRESENT 2000s
1700-1800S
PRESENT 2000S
Hang jebat street
● While Jonker Street (from the Dutch Jonker) was named after a place for “young noblemen” who had not quite made
it to the upper level of nobility. The residential townhouses were occupied by wealthy traders, merchan, officials and
servants of the Dutch Masters, as their residences. The Hang Jebat street was known for the rich people.

● As the structures were catering the local residents back in the days they were residential. Due to the growing needs
of the people over the years, and the tourism in Melaka, the shophouses were developed further into commercial
blocks across the street, as a capital generating factor. They still are a portrayal of the heritage of Melaka.

● Today, the street has been excessively commercialised with many museums, hotels and restaurants, resulting in
the loss of the heritage value of the place . The original usage of the shop houses has become irrelevant as they
have been skillfully converted to hotels commercial blocks.
3. How does the difference in construction material affect the heritage value
of the Buildings across Hang Jebat street?
17TH-18TH CENTURY: DUTCH STYLE

MATERIALS

Walls: Dutch bricks plastered with Lime

Roof: Timber
18TH - 1850S - EARLY SHOPHOUSE STYLE

MATERIALS

Walls: Masonry dividing walls

Floor: Timber upper floors

Roof: Tiled roof


ART DECO STYLE

MATERIALS

Reinforced concrete masonry


EARLY MODERN STYLE

MATERIALS

Reinforced concrete
SIGNIFICANCE AND AUTHENTICITY

Authentic and significant factor of the shophouses in Melaka are -


1. DESIGN: Two stories high
2. WORKMANSHIP: Decorative elements like doors and windows in two halves.
3. MATERIALS: Dutch bricks: rectangular in size, quite light, not so high and not
very thick. The plaster on the walls the hardwood framing of the windows, wall
anchors and hinges of doors and windows.
4. SETTING: Historic city of Melaka.

Authenticity has not limited the consideration to original form and structure but it has also
included all the subsequent modifications and additions, over the course of time, which
also poses artistic and historical essence.

The Renovations without regarded on the


building characteristic make the façade seem
lost to their history.
● The materials used in the construction of Hang Jebat Street, are lime concrete, mortar and plaster.

● As restoration of the buildings took place, it strongly meddled with the aesthetics values of the building. In
context to the materials used in the structure for restoration, Lime concrete which was used in original
construction does not share the same aesthetic values as precast Concrete in the present construction, and so
on.

● Preserving the real structure is a challenge as the structural defects along the main elements are severe
damages and need restoration or reconstruction. Being built a few years ago, its very difficult to find the same
materials used in the 17th century, now.

● Changes in the materials gives a very different visual and touch to the building which is modified from the original
state. Hence, the heritage values of the buildings would not be as appreciated as how it was before, which would
result in the loss of ethnicity and authenticity of the structures and the history of the streets itself.
4. How has the belief of Feng Shui affected the architecture on Hang Jebat
street?
FENG SHUI

● The people living on the Hang Jebat street believed


strongly in following the beliefs amongst the Chinese as
supernatural spirits have been a primary concern in
erecting any building.
● Feng Shui literally translates as “wind-water” in English
and is the Chinese art or practice of positioning objects or
structures so as to harmonize with spiritual forces. It is
based on a belief in patterns of Yin and Yang and the
flow of energies (Chi) that have positive and negative
effects. The practice commonly influences orientation,
placement, or arrangement.
● It is still a practice followed by the people residing in
Hang Jebat Street. It’s a step taken, that helps in
preserving the intangible heritage which is the cultural
aspects to maintain the tangible aspect which is the
authenticity of the facades of Melaka shophouses in the
area.
FENG SHUI ELEMENTS
● The fundamental concepts of the feng shui elements in the Chinese
architecture are the courtyard, emphasis on the roof, exposure of structural
elements and the use of colour. Structurally the walls are of brick and
plastered with lime, the roof structure is of timber.
● The correct re-arranging of Feng Shui elements leads to an improvement in
people’s lives, health, relationship and wealth. This was a belief very
strongly followed throughout the time period as the Southern Chinese style
became an influence on the construction.
● Then and now, renovating a house or moving into a house without
consulting a Feng Shui master on the design and layout of the house or the
"official moving date" is crucial to the residents in Hang Jebat Street.

● Modernized feng shui focuses on the aesthetics of a space almost entirely


to provide benefits to someone’s life. It takes original Chinese feng shui
beliefs and compiles them into one, removing tradition from it.
● In the premises, almost no business or shops in will open for business
without first consulting a Feng Shui master on the layout of the business
premises, the auspicious opening date and the Feng Shui elements that will
work well for the business.
ARCHITECTURAL BELIEFS IN FENG SHUI

● The front entry should be clean, unencumbered and well maintained. The quality of the entry door determines the
quality of the energy entering the home.
● The ideal house proportion is square, followed by rectangular.
● Areas of rest should be kept separate from areas of work.
● There should be a place for everything to be stored and rooms should be clutter free.
● The center of a house should be empty to let the energy circulate properly.
GOOD FENG SHUI BAD FENG SHUI

● The belief has been alive in the construction and renovations, up until the present day. It’s an old tradition
that has been followed for many years and it has proven to be beneficial to the people throughout.
● According to the beliefs, it brings in good energies and the correct placement of elements provides a fruitful
future for the structure as well as the people.
● Feng Shui is still practised today, but not as rigidly as before. The aesthetic value of the building is
synchronized with the beliefs and is altered accordingly, still trying to hold on to the authentic elements of
construction.
CONCLUSION

By conserving and preserving the heritage buildings at Melaka, it helps and plays a significant role in economic
development of human culture and communities. Cultural heritage tourism has long existed, but according to recent
demographics, social and cultural changes in the main sources have lead to an increasing number in the conservation of
old heritage buildings.
By preserving the shop houses, Hang Jebat street would contribute to displaying the history of the area and conservation of
the country's heritage for the enrichment and education of present and future generations is crucial.
The authenticity of the physical cultural elements and the cultural values of the shophouses need to be protected in order
for them to sustain and benefit the future generations. The careful planning of preserving heritage buildings along the street
would lead to economic development. Hence, preserving the tangible heritage of Melaka should be the prime objective of
the governing body and UNESCO in Melaka.
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