Carving Motifs in Timber Houses of Kelantan and Terengganu : Sustaining Malay Architecture Identity

Said, Ismail (2010) Carving Motifs in Timber Houses of Kelantan and Terengganu : Sustaining Malay Architecture Identity. In: Conference on Technology and Sustainability in the Built Environment, 3rd-6th January 2010, King Saud University.


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Prominent timber house of Kelantan and Terengganu are adorned with decorative carved components depicted in motifs of flora, geometry and Arabic calligraphy. Consistency in patterns of motif, particularly flora motifs, results to establishment of identity to the vernacular architecture of north-eastern region of Peninsular Malaysia. This paper presents an analytical study of the visual forms of motifs of carved components in the house of Kelantan and Terengganu which denotes its significant attributes and uses. Carvings of nine houses in Kelantan and four houses in Terengganu were analyzed by interpreting 13 sets of carving measured drawings of houses. The drawings were obtained from Centre for Study of Built Environment in the Malay World at the Department of Architecture in the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Interpretation of motifs is based on meanings described in the texts accompanied the drawings and literature of Malay woodcarving, and triangulated with narrations from the two woodcarvers. The analysis of the documents revealed that several types of carved components with distinctive motifs in two and three dimensional compositions were placed in certain orders within the fabrics of the houses. Wall, door and window ventilation panels, railings, gate panel and stringers are types of components characterized by the shape of perforation and incision with relief or non-relief carvings. These components were crafted in relation to the house form and architectural elements such as wall, door, window, stair and gate. The significant aspect of the placement of the carvings in the houses is that in enhances beautiful ambiance and signifies regional identity to the vernacular architecture of these two states. To sustain the woodcarving as Malay architecture heritage, this paper presents a framework for the existing craftsmen to continue making carved components for urban housing markets. The suggested components are ventilation panels of door, window and wall, door leaves and window railings. The frameworks suggests a network of production and purchasing of the carved components; the former comprises of association of woodcarvers in Kelantan and Terengganu, and the latter comprises of association of architects and housing developers.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Faculty of Built Environment > Landscape Architecture
Depositing User: FAB IR Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 05:47
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2013 05:47

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