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The Dutch style is the earliest influence that can only be found on the buildings around the Historic City
of Malacca, mainly on Heeren Street. Most of the surviving buildings that are built by the Dutch in the
17th century portray the mixed influences over the time where the more obvious features can be seen
from the interior of these preserved buildings such as Puri Hotel. The beautiful blend of preserved
features and detailing from different influences such as the Dutch and British with modern touches
makes the whole ambience and experience of the Puri Hotel a unique one. One of the original
characteristic of the shophouses and townhouses along the Heeran Street is the height of the buildings
which is either one or two storey high with simple façade design and limited openings on the upper floor,
normally with only one centralized or at the most two symmetrical windows.

Spaces in Puri Hotel

Space flow in Puri Hotel

Private entrance


Courtyard 1 Hotel rooms on upper floor

Restaurant Reception

Outdor cafe Gallery History Room

Cafe Courtyard 2 Hotel rooms on

ground floor
and upper floor

Puri Hotel has its own private entrance porch because it is disconnected from the five-foot walkway of
the adjacent buildings. The ground floor consists of the lounge, reception area, gallery, outdoor café,
historical room and a few hotel rooms while the upper floor is all the hotel rooms. The interior plan is
centered around an air well which is both a service area and the focus of the building’s circulation; the
air well have evolved from extensions made into open yard and serves the need for ventilation and light.
Ground floor plan

The existing well still remains in the

building but it is not in use anymore and
functions as historical purposes in the
history room.

New toilets were built to cater for
increase of customers visit to the hotel.
The gallery in the hotel is connected by
covered passages.
Ground floor plan

A new staircase was built for access to

the rooms at upper floors.

The dining room is converted into a small

exhibition hall where the old furniture
and a horse carriage were display there.

Ground floor plan

The study room is converted into the

office and the altar into the reception
counter. Meanwhile the ancestral room
was change into lounge or waiting area.

Courtyard is being conserved all the

while as the policies do not allow
demolition or close up for courtyards.

Ground floor plan

Spiral staircase is being remained as it is

one of the ornament and unique features
in these shophouses.

The lounge considered a public area is

separated from the reception of the
hotel by an airwell and decorative carved
OLD 1st floor plan CURRENT

Change of function: the bedrooms on the

upper floor were converted into hotel
Once a
mini zoo
The hotel garden and the L-
shaped new wing stand today
was an open area. The
compound was used as a stable
for the Tan family horses and
parking area for horse
carriages. In addition, it also
Once a parking housed a mini zoo said to have
area for horse included a tiger and several
carriages deer.

An open side lane where it was

used as the entrance for the
horse carriages and it is still
remained till today.

Sketch shows the current ground floor plan of 4 lots in Puri Hotel (old
& new wing)
Interior detail

The building from the front to the inner court or the Ancestral Hall was carefully reinstated preserving
the original structures together with its carved doorways, windows, partitions and interestingly
sculptured airwell. Chinese couplets of good fortune, health, and happiness adorning doors, windows
and entrances just as the Chinese residences in China, were meticulously restored. The mosaic floor and
wall tiles and marble were arduously cleaned and polished. The mosaic and wall tiles were imported
from 19th century England, hence the similarity to those in the old houses in England of the same period.
The section of the building from the inner court unfortunately had to be demolished as it was in an
irreparable condition. However, new structures were designed to blend in with the old wing to reflect
the original architecture as much as possible. The interiors are discussed in a few aspects as follow.

1. Structure

The roof is supported by timber structure. The whole structure of this building is made of the
combination of timber post with concrete columns and beams. Certain areas still preserve its timber
beams which can be seen in the restaurant and the upper floor which act as an aesthetic feature at the
same time.

The upper floor which is characterized by its

preserved timber beams at the
restaurant give an impact into the design of timber beams and high ceilings.
the interior
Some parts of the building still preserve the structures of the original timber beams which contribute to
the aesthetic value of the ceiling. The areas where the ceiling is preserved blends together with the
added feature on the ceiling such as at indoor café while others such as the reception area develop a
new look.

The café next to the second The reception area with its new ceiling
courtyard where the modern ceiling
design blend in nicely with the
original context.
3. Wall

The original wall of this building is made of the Dutch bricks and plastered with lime. One of the obvious
features that shows the influence of the Dutch and British are the preserved brick walls that can be
found in certain parts of the Puri Hotel especially at the courtyard air well that act as a feature wall. The
exposed brick wall shows the different type of bricks being used such as the Dutch and British bricks
which is the current standardized bricks that are being used nowadays. The British bricks are added later
on to cover up the openings of the wall or renovation purposes.

The exposed brickworks that act as part of the design features of the Puri Hotel. It can be found at the
courtyards and the restaurant.

Dutch bricks which is thinner and


British bricks which is thicker and


Figure show the combination of the Dutch bricks and

British bricks
4. Floor

The Peranakan shophouses reached it richest phase with the addition of coloured tiles on either walls or
floors. It is not known wheather it was the Dutch or the Chinese who first brought or introduced ceramic
tiles to Malacca. Coloured ceramic tiles are not only popular in the Peranakan Cina shophouses of the
Straits Eclectic style but they are also used by the Malays to decorate their main stairs. Flowers and
geometrical designs are usually painted on the tiles. Furthermore, coloured floor tiles made of terra-
cotta are commonly seen in the Straits Eclectic style, particularly in the verandah walkway and inside the

In the shophouses, the ceramic tiles are usually placed on walls below the front windows on the
ground floor facing the street.

Figure shows renovations that had been done on the floor tiles as there were different types of mosaic
and old terra-cotta tiles. Most of the old tiles in the building are being preserved if there were not
damaged or too aged.
Floor tiles at the lounge Floor tiles at the courtyard of the waiting area

Floor tiles at the gallery Floor tiles at the restaurant

Figures show the varieties of beautiful ceramic tiles that have been preserved over the years. Some of
the floor shares the same group of tiles but are arranged in different layout to produce a totally
different pattern.

The upper floor of Puri Hotel is

made of timber floors but is
covered with carpet
5. Ornaments

Ornaments in this building can be seen from its timber staircases as well as the openings around the
buildings such as the doors and windows which will be further discussed under the door and window

An ornate timber staircase with

balusters leads to hotel rooms at
the upper level
6. Opening Types

Door style

As can see from the design of door style in Hotel Puri is varied according to the function, ambience it’s
wanted to create and stylistic trends from different periods. The style combines Eastern and Western
elements can vividly see from the opening design to form a strong Peranakan Melacca architecture.

Clear Glass Door

The main entrance show the new

renovation of the door with use clear
glass as the material to increase their
property values and the louvers
shutters area still remained but in
timber grilles were inserted in the
windows. Previously was the carved
ventilated door.

Timber Flush Door

The door at the guest room area used normal timber flush door as
the material without any decoration on the surface.

Decorative Timber Door

The door to go in to the office was adorned with

carving motifs of flora and fauna. Beside the door was
the build in shelf to store the antiques with use
geometrical design to decorate the surface.

Decorative Partition

Partition was beautifully carved to separate the front hall and

reception area. These decorations on the partition reflect not
only the wealth of the owners or tenants but also their status or
position in the local community. One of the main differences
between a Peranakan Cina shophouse and a pure Chinese
shophouse is the presence of these highly intricate ornaments
and carvings. This decorative partition creates a unique
combination of its building architecture.
Window style

One may realized that the early design of the window actually adopt Western architectural styles with
an emphasis on full-length French windows with a pair of full-length timber shutters. This showcase
strong influence from the Straits Eclectic Style.
Casement window with top hung above and
louvers window.

The main intention for using louvers window is

to have good ventilation and control the direct

Sliding window with timber frame.

The window along the corridor to outdoor café

use same type of window style which can see
this kind of window is actually undergone
renovation and used modern materials.

Casement window with top hung above and louvers window

Normally the traditional shophouses have a continuous row of

windows. The front walls made of masonry which becomes more
decorative with either plaster figures or ceramic renderings.

Casement window

By looking at the picture, actually this is

the modern design of window and
shown this area undergone renovation.