A Study About Rumah Kelantan, Malaysia

Diya Hanun | 12:00 PM | Tuesday, March 8, 2016 | 8 Awesome Comment's
لسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُl‎

**First of all, correct me if this study of Rumah Kelantan had mistakes in it.
We in a group of 7 had been given a task to do a study about Rumah Kelantan for our History of Architecture 1 subject, so here are the compilation about what we got for the study.

1.0 History of Rumah Kelantan

Kelantan architecture is heavily influenced by the architecture of Siam brought by traders through Sungai Golok. Due to the lack of influence of the West, the progress was very slow.
There are two types of long-roofed houses in Kelantan:

                1. Rumah Bujang (Single House)
                2. Rumah Tiang Dua Belas (Twelve Post House)

Rumah Bujang or also called single house is the simplest house made by normal and poor Kelantanese people. It is said that Rumah Bujang was the earliest house inhabited by them in Kelantan. Meanwhile, Rumah Tiang Dua Belas (Twelve Post House) was built by the rich people and for the elite. Intricate carvings in the wall symbolize the high status of the owner of the house. The ownership pattern implies the fact that the feudal system was practiced by the people of Kelantan long time ago. The architecture of both does not differ greatly. The Rumah Tiang Dua Belas is found in several villages and in Kota Bahru and aged 100 years. The Houses however are becoming extinct.

Comparison between column of Rumah Bujang and Rumah Tiang Dua Belas
Rumah Bujang consist of 6 main post while Rumah Tiang Dua Belas consist of 12 Main post without including other supporting column.

Human Body as a symbol in Kelantan House
Kelantanese house use human body as a symbol in building their house.

2. 0 Rumah Bujang (Single House)
This type of house is a general term for the people of Kelantan, which refers to the type of house that has inverted V-shaped roof layer. Built as a simple building that can be seen in terms of the division of space and materials of construction.

Rumah Bujang (Single House).
Only consisting of 1 unit of house with 6 main post. Having only Rumah Ibu (Main House) and Rumah Dapur (Kitchen). They are not separated by any walls partition, but only using the barrier of cloth called a curtain

Structural arrangement of the Rumah Bujang.
3.0 Rumah Tiang Dua Belas (Twelve Posts House)
This particular traditional house consist of 12 main post for the main house. 6 verandah posts and 6 long posts. Therefore it is called Twelve Posts House. 

Structural arrangement of the 12 main post in Rumah Tiang Dua Belas
It has a long roof where the ‘tebar layar’ (gable end) are fixed with ‘papan pemeleh’ (fascia boards). The top pair is called ‘pemeleh ibu’ (main fascia ibu) and the bottom pair is called ‘pemeleh serambi’ (verandah fascia board).
The roof of Rumah Tiang Dua Belas consist of 2 layered of roof
3.0.1 Floor Plan of Twelve Posts House

The twelve Posts house in its original form is made up of three main sections. That is, the rumah ibu (main house) which has serambi (veranda), the rumah tengah (central section) and the rumah dapur (kitchen). The central section and kitchen are not sub-divided into rooms.

i. Serambi (Verandah)
Anjung is a Malay term that refers to the space fusion (external and internal space) in Kelantan traditional Architecture.

ii. Rumah Ibu (Main House)
Named after the great responsibility of a mother who plays an important role in the house. Acts similarly to the living room found in the modern day.

ii. Rumah Tengah (Central Section)
Place for resting of the whole family & function as welcoming guests.

iv. Rumah Dapur (Kitchen)
Divided into 2 parts, 1 part for cooking and the other part for eating place for the whole family and close guests. Cannot be used for guests with higher status in which their place to eat is at the living room in Rumah Ibu.

v. Selasar (Passageway)
Connection in between spaces in the house & place of gathering on a normal day for the family to rest and socializing with each others. There is also the wet floor are or unroofed passageway that divides the main house from kitchn. If this are is fitted with a roof, it is then called a selasar.

vi. Jemuran (Laundry)
Unroofed space connected with selasar (passageway). Place for drying clothes, paddy, asam gelugur (dried tamarind), fish, tapioca. Also act as resting place as it is an open air.

3.0.3 Photographs of the Twelve Posts House in Melaka.

Front Elevation of Rumah Tiang 12 in Taman Mini Malaysia (Rumah Kelantan)
Rear Elevation of Rumah Tiang 12 in Taman Mini Malaysia (Rumah Kelantan)
Left Elevation of Rumah Tiang 12 in Taman Mini Malaysia (Rumah Kelantan)
Right Elevation of Rumah Tiang 12 in Taman Mini Malaysia (Rumah Kelantan)
3.0.5 Building Materials.

i. Roof
The roof provide shading from the sunlight also act as the ventilation and protect the occupant from heat and rain. It has a steep and tiered roof with curved gable ends. The tiles are made up of singgora tiles. Almost all twelve posts houses in Kelantan have roofs made from atap singgora. The tiles were imported from Senggora in Southern Thailand. Some however, are made in Kelantan itself.
Singgora tiles
ii. Walls and Floor
In houses of this type , belonging to wealthier Malays, the walls are carved or are made of special planks known as papan kembus. The carvings shows geometry motifs that is harmony and organized. The walls and floor are fully made up of wood so that it can achieve thermal comfort from wall ventilation panels as wood is a low conductor of heat, so it doesn’t store any heat making the house cold during a hot weather
Walls made out of woods with carvings engraved on it.

iii. Stairs
The stairs are made out of wood with a concrete pad on the bottom of the front house.
The wooden stairs
iv. Foundation
This type of house used pad foundation. The wooden columns are supported by the concrete stump.

3.0.6 Jointing Methods

Similar to other Malay traditional houses, the Kelantan house also relies for its strength on a complex jointing system made rigid by the use of timber wedges. This jointing system enables the house to be disassembled easily and reassembled elsewhere. The Kelantan traditional house, like other Malay traditional houses is also built off the ground using the post-and-beam method.

They use mortise and tenon jointing system with timber wedges (Baji) that allows the house to be easily taken apart and reassembled. It help to connect the structure. Most of its jointing doesn’t need a nail or screw.

Bendul in English means specially designed wooden beam. The beam (bendul) is one of the elements in a Kelantan traditional house that secures the structural framework of the house. Without the beam, the pillars would not be stable. The beam also has other functions which are to encircle the house and to separate the different portions of the house (verandah, main house, passage way and kitchen).




1. Muhammad Afandi Yahya. (1995), Simbolisme Dalam Seni Bina Rumah Kelantan(1st ed.). Malaysia: Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka.
2. Mohamed Anwar bin Omar Din & Mohd. Ghazali Addullah (1997), Rumah Tradisional Melayu KelantanKuala Lumpur: Kementerian Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Pelancongan Malaysia.
3. Abdul Halim Nasir & Hashim Haji Wan (Wan.), (1996), The Traditional Malay House, Fajar Bakti.


  1. even study dkt kelantan nak masuk 4 tahun pon x tahu pasal benda ni...good sharing

    1. ahahaha..sy pun x kan tau kalo x kena stdy bnde ni..

  2. kita baru tahu, padahal kampung belah ayah dekat kelantan sana jugakk. haha

  3. salam. saya nak tanya. rumah kelantan dgn terengganu sama ya ?

  4. Hi...boleh berkenalan? Masih single?


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