And now, 21 years later, his passion has paid off - his concept for a more efficient form of living won
the Gold Award at the 16th International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology
Exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur from May 19 to 21, while the Korean Invention Promotions
Mazlin says terrace housing has long been considered the densest form of property development and
in Malaysia it has become the stereotyped form to accommodate the masses, with the exception of
comes into the picture. Akin to the laying of tiles, Mazlin, who is regarded as an authority on social
housing, says it also describes the honeycomb pattern used in beehives and which was the basis for
his Honeycomb System of Housing.
Here, a small triangular tile that he calls the \u201cmother tile\u201d is the basicbuilding block to create a layout that can contain three requisite elements of a township plan, which Mazlin colour codes as yellow for roads; red for houses and gardens; and green for public green areas and parks.
Conjoined house and garden tiles form the basis of new house types. Linked honeycomb houses are
ideally joined back-to-back and are accessed through different cul-de-sacs, as is the case with the
duplex and triplex layout plans that Mazlin has patterned out.
An access road runs by each unit, on the perimeter of its courtyard space, to form an efficient
circulation system. This design allows for the creation of a spatial boundary - a central area that can
become the communal focus: There is a sense of entry into the space, and there is a clear, common
perception of the neighbourhood.
To create a bigger neighbourhood out of this, the courtyard neighbourhood tile is tessellated. This causes the roads to be linked, creating cul-de-sac neighbourhoods without any loss of efficiency in land use.
Since houses are built around a small park with plentiful shady trees, this communal garden is easily
accessible to all in the cul-de-sac, allowing it to act as a social focus to promote small, friendly
It is a defensible space as well, as it acts naturally to reduce crime in the sense that strangers are
quickly spotted. The short winding roads put a stop to speeding traffic, and certainly dissuade snatch
thieves on motorcycles - therefore becoming safe for children and pedestrians as well.
The network of roads in honeycomb housing consists of looping cul-de-sacs and short connecting
roads leading to distributor roads. This pattern slows traffic down naturally, while the short, connecting
roads with no access to the houses provide space for visitors to park.
It is very easy to get lost when looking for a house in a typical Malaysian township. Petaling Jaya is a
fine example: Make one wrong turn and you will easily compound this mistake with other mistakes,
taking you further and further away from where you want to go.
For example, in a 100-acre site, the main access road can be 66ft-wide linked to smaller 50ft-wide
distribution roads. The houses are accessed from cul-de-sacs in a hierarchical fashion with each cul-
de-sac related by name or number to the distribution road it is linked to.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?