Reimagination of Longhouse

The longhouse is considered to be one of the oldest architectural forms in Sarawak and can be found throoughout the Borneo Island. Traditionally a long and narrow structure in form, the longhouse holds its community and a variety of communal activities under one roof. The longhouse typology shows dichotomous pattern of living space. It combines private individual apartments and community space under one roof. From its origins to today, longhouse evolved according to changing demands over time. The development of the longhouse is not restricted under any guideline including Sarawak Building Ordinance. Hence, the residents are free to develop their own architecture according to their own needs within their own boundary. They are free to extend their longhouse backwards and sidewards according to the needs of bilek’s residents and growing of the community. However, this uncontrollable development leads to few issues such as unfavourable living coondition,messy services system and lack of land for the rapid growth of community. Hence, the main aim of this thesis is to reflect on the longhouse developments over the last decades, and to propose a better design model for the future, the mext longhouse. The design model provides several possible ways for their future postive development.

Evelyn Lim Zia Huei

UCSI University