The Malay Women and Terrace Housing in Malaysia
Being of one of the major aboriginal groups in Malaysia, the Muslim Malay women differ socio culturally from women of other religious and cultural background. Malay women have particular spatial requirements especially within the domestic environment. However, these requirements are rarely considered when it comes to the design of modern urban living environments. Terrace housing is the dominant form of urban housing in Malaysia. Since the 1970s, it has catered to the mass housing needs of ‘rural-to-urban’ migrants. Associated with the lack of considerations for traditional, cultural and religious aspects, the design of terrace housing fails in terms of intimacy, privacy and safety for Malay women as well as environmental performance and adaptability. The traditional rural Malay houses evolved in response to the unique cultural needs of the Malay women and her family and offers solutions for contemporary urban housing for Malay families. As contextually appropriate housing solution, their spatial organization and construction system can inform how best to design for the occupants and the environment. The research studies the Malay women, traditional housing environments and the shortcomings of terrace housing. The thesis aim is to identify an architectural solution to the current issues in Malaysian terrace housing. The study proposes a flexible prefabricated construction method, modular screen-wall panelling and a timber flooring system as a design solution to the socio cultural and religious needs of the Malay women and her family.