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MODEL RESTORATION PROJECT IN MALACCA

BADAN WARISAN MALAYSIA AND THE U.S. EMBASSY LAUNCH A MODEL RESTORATION PROJECT IN MALACCA

Badan Warisan Malaysia has been awarded a RM57,000 grant by the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia, through the U.S. Department of State’s "Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation". This grant will enable Badan Warisan to carry out the restoration of a Dutch era shophouse built in the 1700s located at No 8 Heeren Street (Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock), in the heritage zone of Malacca.

On 3 August 2001, YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Ahmad Sarji, President of Badan Warisan Malaysia, and H.E. B. Lynn Pascoe, U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, launched the project at the site. YBhg Datuk Hj Nasir bin Hj Manap, Deputy Chairman of the Malacca Museums Corporation (PERZIM) represented the` Chief Minister of Malacca at the event. Also present was Dr Ee Tiang Lock, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cheng Hoon Temple, the owners of the site.

Malacca was once one of the most significant entrepots in this region, and by virtue of its history and location on the Straits of Malacca, it is heir to rich multicultural heritage of various ethnic groups including Malays, Chinese, Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and British. The shophouse at No 8 Heeren Street forms an integral part of the early city’s vibrant commercial sector.

Now No 8 Heeren Street is open for public as an interpretation and resource centre for the heritage zone.

No 8 Heeren Street, Melaka

Site of a model conservation project by Badan Warisan Malaysia
Official Launch on 3 August 2001
Views of the building


Rationale of the model conservation project

The model project is in response to the rapid loss of this particular building type in the conservation zone of Melaka.

It aims to demonstrate how early shophouses can be restored to high levels of authenticity yet also be adapted successfully to new uses.

It is a direct response to Elizabeth Vines’ report which specifically recommends that a model project be initiated.

It aims to be a positive contribution to Melaka’s bid for World Heritage Listing.

The restoration team

The team involved in this project is not static. It involves a team of professionals who are members of Badan Warisan Malaysia including:

Illustration by Lim Huck Chin


History of the house

1. No 8 Heeren Street is a typical shophouse is built on a long narrow lot, extending back 20 or 30 metres between parallel walls with successive roofed portions around an open courtyard to provide light and ventilation. It has an open front with a pedestrian way for a shop on the ground floor and a residence above with simple plaster walls, an overhanging roof, a tile-roofed porch and a timber window at the first floor.

2. This house has characteristics which identify it to have been built in the Dutch period including:

The ground floor frontage has a single door with an extant shophouse window whose design dates back to the Dutch period.
The brickwork of the drainage system is characteristic of this period.
The material used for the steps at the main entrance and at the thresholds of the passage leading into the airwell, was indicative of the social standing of the original owner.
The hood which would have existed above the kitchen are (similar to that found in the kitchen in the Stadhuys) was probably made of wood.

3. There is a well which is shared with the neighbouring unit (No 6 Heeren Street) which probably indicates that the two houses were built at the same time.

4. The title search shows the original tenure was for 17 December 1790.

5. No 8 Heeren Street is owned by the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Trust. It was given to be held in Trust by Tjan Tian Quee before WWII.


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