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Penang 
Shophouse Styles
This is an educational and non-commercial slide. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in 
whole or part withou...
Early Penang Style 1790s-1850s 
Indian and Chinese artisans were 
brought in to build the early shophouses, 
initially wit...
1790s ~ 1850s 
Early Penang Style 
Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio 
Photo: Arts-ED 
Terracotta 
U-shaped 
r...
“Southern Chinese” Eclectic Style 1840s-1900s 
Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Kh...
Low wall with 
Chinese ceramic 
air vents 
Wooden louvred 
shutter windows 
Butterfly-shaped Chinese 
air vents 
Timber wi...
“Early Straits” Eclectic Style 1890s-1910s 
Education and exposure to European 
culture resulted in the import of 
decorat...
Row ridge with a variety 
of Chinese gables end 
Full-length louvred 
windows (Venetians) 
Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & ...
“Late Straits” Eclectic Style 1910s-1940s 
Material catalogues and shipping allowed 
the import of decorative building 
ma...
Granite edge block & step 
10 
Terra cotta 
U/V-shaped 
roof tiles 
3-dimentional 
decorative plaster 
wall with intensive...
Art Deco Style 1930s-1960s 
The hybrid Shanghai Art Deco Style was also 
popularized by Chinese cinema. 
Some commercial s...
Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio 
Strong horizontal 
& vertical lines 
Date of building 
in the center 
Step...
Early Modern Style 1950s-1970s 
Influx of European and overseas-trained 
architects who were influenced by 
functional sty...
Horizontal & vertical 
R.C. shading fins 
Flat/pitched roof 
hidden behind 
parapet wall 
Five-footway 
without pillar 
Se...
Researched and produced by: 
Community-based Arts & Culture Education 
and 
Copyright © 2009-2014 
No part of this present...
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Penang Shophouse Styles

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Penang Shophouse Styles

  1. 1. Penang Shophouse Styles
  2. 2. This is an educational and non-commercial slide. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the producers. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct at the time of publication, the producers shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions, inaccuracies or accidents which may occur. Academic sharing encouraged, please acknowledge Arts-ED and CHAT in full. New or updated research is welcome. The research on historic shophouse styles is copyrighted to Tan Yeow Wooi and Dr. Gwynn Jenkins. Research on the style of the shophouses is continuing. Any theorization is contingent upon the level of understanding at a particular moment. For more about Penang Shophouse, see www.penangshophouse.com.my
  3. 3. Early Penang Style 1790s-1850s Indian and Chinese artisans were brought in to build the early shophouses, initially with timber and attap, later using timber, brick, lime plaster and clay tiles. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Early town was predominantly settled by Indians and Malays. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang
  4. 4. 1790s ~ 1850s Early Penang Style Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio Photo: Arts-ED Terracotta U-shaped roof tiles Continuous row of timber paneled or louvred shutters & solid timber windows Overhanging pitch roof Wood panel doors & square timber window granite edge block & step Research on the style of the shophouses is continuing. Any theorization is contingent upon the level of understanding at a particular moment.
  5. 5. “Southern Chinese” Eclectic Style 1840s-1900s Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Southern Chinese architectural details and building materials introduced by Chinese masons began to make an impact on the cityscape. Influx of Chinese labour from South China to work in George Town and tin mines in Perak, Malaysia. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang
  6. 6. Low wall with Chinese ceramic air vents Wooden louvred shutter windows Butterfly-shaped Chinese air vents Timber windows with iron bars Carved timber ventilated door Terra cotta U-shaped roof tiles Brick wall Granite edge block & granite step 1840s ~ 1910s “Southern Chinese” Eclectic Style Terracotta floor tiles Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio Research on the style of the shophouses is continuing. Any theorization is contingent upon the level of understanding at a particular moment.
  7. 7. “Early Straits” Eclectic Style 1890s-1910s Education and exposure to European culture resulted in the import of decorative styles and materials of Western architecture. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Wealth from the tin boom enabled occupants to upgrade their decorative facades. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang
  8. 8. Row ridge with a variety of Chinese gables end Full-length louvred windows (Venetians) Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio Terra cotta U/V- shaped roof tiles Chinese air vents Carved timber ventilated window with iron bars Carved timber ventilated door Geometric pattern cement floor tiles Plaster arches and central keystones 1890s ~ 1910s “Early Straits” Eclectic Style Granite edge block & step Research on the style of the shophouses is continuing. Any theorization is contingent upon the level of understanding at a particular moment.
  9. 9. “Late Straits” Eclectic Style 1910s-1940s Material catalogues and shipping allowed the import of decorative building materials such as glazed tiles and cast iron from Europe. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Rubber boom further encouraged more elaborate decorative façade. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang
  10. 10. Granite edge block & step 10 Terra cotta U/V-shaped roof tiles 3-dimentional decorative plaster wall with intensive use of both Chinese and European decoration Full-length louvred windows (Venetians) with fanlights Carved timber ventilated door Majolica ceramic wall tiles on dado facade Geometric pattern cement floor tiles Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio Overhanging eave and ceilings (soffit) 1910s ~ 1940s “ Late Straits” Eclectic Style Research on the style of the shophouses is continuing. Any theorization is contingent upon the level of understanding at a particular moment.
  11. 11. Art Deco Style 1930s-1960s The hybrid Shanghai Art Deco Style was also popularized by Chinese cinema. Some commercial shophouses replaced their facade with the fashionable Art-Deco style. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Wealthy local businessmen influenced by their overseas schooling and exposure to Western popular culture (cinema) popularized Art-Deco style architecture. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang
  12. 12. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio Strong horizontal & vertical lines Date of building in the center Stepped parapet wall Metal frame panel door V-Shaped/Marseille roof tiles Flagpole Shanghai plaster wall finish Sea-green glass windows with metal frame 1930s ~ 1960s Art Deco Style Research on the style of the shophouses is continuing. Any theorization is contingent upon the level of understanding at a particular moment.
  13. 13. Early Modern Style 1950s-1970s Influx of European and overseas-trained architects who were influenced by functional style of the modern movement. Introduction of new building technology and materials enabling corner buildings and balconies to be curved. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Post-war economic recovery resulted in a building boom. To meet popular demand, Early Modern Style was simple in design, economic in materials and fast to build. Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio | Illustration: Tang Yeok Khang Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio
  14. 14. Horizontal & vertical R.C. shading fins Flat/pitched roof hidden behind parapet wall Five-footway without pillar Sea-green glass windows with metal frame 1950s ~ 1970s Early Modern Style Photo: Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Research Studio Research on the style of the shophouses is continuing. Any theorization is contingent upon the level of understanding at a particular moment.
  15. 15. Researched and produced by: Community-based Arts & Culture Education and Copyright © 2009-2014 No part of this presentation can be reproduced without permission from Arts-ED and CHAT Email: penangshophouse@gmail.com Website: www.penangshophouse.com.my

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