Rumah Kechik

Kaizen Architecture

Located in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Malacca, Malaysia, Rumah Kechik is a conservation and adaptive reuse intervention within three, 200-year-old shophouses, extending from an existing hotel with a restaurant, function rooms and gym. Through insertion and subtraction, the project seamlessly accommodates programmatic requirements while paying homage to its history.

“Rumah Kechik” derives its name from traditional Malaysian residential settings, where secondary houses attached to main residences were termed as such, signifying their subordinate scale.

The original layout comprising three distinct shophouses inspired a linear arrangement of spaces, leading from the front to an open rear courtyard. As part of the restoration, an insertion of steel framing was undertaken to bolster the existing structural integrity. A double-height internal courtyard was reintroduced into the central shophouse by subtracting a part of the existing second-storey slab, giving way to a dramatic entrance experience. Internal fenestrations and portals were carved into party walls to promote visual connectivity and daylight permeation, enhancing interior illumination.

Original 200-year old brickwork was showcased by removing plaster to address high-water table absorption prevalent at the site. Local materials such as decorated tiles, pebble-wash, and timber, including repurposed clay roof tiles for feature screens, were utilised, supporting sustainability and craftsmanship.


Lighting: iHome Lighting. Finishes: Decorated Tiles (Peranakan), Terracotta Tiles Centre, GNG Tiles Malaysia. Fittings & Fixtures: TOTO.


Photography: Finbarr Fallon.