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Tiang Seri Malaysian House

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Project Typology:

Design / Residential


Kuala Lumpur







For the maximum religious festivals, it observes an open-door policy in which people invite friends and relatives regardless of their faith. The multi-ethnic and multi-religious facets of the country are best seen in thecelebration of various festivals that are observed with whole-hearted festivities.


Tiang Seri as the Root of Building

Traditional houses in Malaysia especially Malay house has a main pillar in the middle of the building called the TIANG SERI on which it is believed inhabited a “spirit house”; Different races & ethnicity has different practices yet similar culture. As with the Chinese bagua and the guardians of Jambudvipa in Indian culture, Malay astrology and geomancy also uses eight points of divination for space planning. In short, the construction of any building would begins with this central post. Therefore, this design proposal reinterpret TIANG SERI as the cultural nodes and starting point for the building. It also served as communal space that can cater different activities for everyone.


‘Tiang Seri’  is flexible and adaptive where it also provide social logic of space. It allow various ways of expansion into different house types in different areas in terms of spatial organization and modular construction method.


“Tiang Seri”  reinvent the construction system by using lightweight steel structure. The structural framework for the house consists of posts braced by floor joists and roof girders. Using prefabricated construction methods where all the components are made and assembled on site allows the house to be dismantled and reassembled elsewhere in different locations. The construction elements are light steel framed structures, forming elevated floors, sloping long roofs with large overhangs, louvered windows, timber cementboard or mansory walls and screenings (on the upper walls).


“Tiang Seri”  is specially crafted for the family of 6 to utilize space efficiently by modifying their living space according to their own needs. Besides, a flare of own identity is created for the family to participate in personalizing their own home through customized design of local materials like weaved bamboo, rattan, raw brick or mansory, etc on their building façade. Through this, a sense of ownership is instilled in them.


The construction starts by placing the first column, known as a “Tiang Seri” (located in the middle of the house). Meanwhile, other structural components such as posts and girts are laid in their respective positions. After all the posts and girts have been erected and braced, top girts and king posts are then set up at both sides. Following that, the roof ridge supported by king post is placed, and subsequently the roof structures such as principal rafters, purlins and common rafters are put up. Finally, the non-structural components that designed in modular form are placed to make the house an enclosed structure. The modular non-structural components are windows and panels for the floors, walls, stairs and roofs fitted between the frames.