Peranakan Houses: Malaysia and Singapore

Pre-renovated Peranakan Houses in 2005

Don’t be fooled by their ramshackle appearance, these terraced homes, known as Peranakan Shophouses, are unique, highly sought after and historically significant pieces of property.

Popping up in the cultural and commercial melting pot that was the Malacca Straits around the mid-1800s, they were (cheekily) built narrow to avoid a prohibitive property tax that was calculated on the width of a dwelling rather than the length.

With their trademark colourful facades, floral plasterwork and wooden shutters the homes are a striking, intriguing mix of Chinese, Malay and Dutch colonial, which is not unlike the Peranakan people themselves.

Renovated, less rustic Peranakan Homes.
Photo by Amos Lee on Unsplash
wk 227 ramshackle

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