C’arch Architecture + Design
Serpihan Laman is an attempt to understand what our common ground as Malaysians might be by juxtaposing recognizable local architecture typologies and the insertion of fragments of symbolic representations that shape our collective and individual experiences within the overlapping spaces. As architects, we design in a multi racial/cultural/religious/ethnic realm so we began by questioning our understanding of 'Malaysian-ness'. While we have a shared history, there are different perceptions of it, depending on perspective. Similarly, common threads between the kampung house, the Cheong Fatt Sze Mansion and di dalam istana maziah beyond their architectural expressions were apparent : i) a certain decorum in the treatment of public to private spaces; ii) a response to the hot humid climate in the use passive solar strategies of courtyard and verandah to ventilate and buffer. The resultant convergence of these indoor-outdoor spaces within the rich cultural contexts of each typology in the model is simultaneously appealing and absurd against the backdrop of history and religious diversity. Such contradictions can be confusing, at times provocatiove or merely awkward; but occasionally, there are moments of beauty in the melange.