Hillside Bungalow

Vintage furniture to match the building's colonial style
Vintage furniture to match the building's colonial style

Penang Hill boasts bungalows in various styles including the colonial, the Asian and the modern minimalist ones. Hillside Bungalow is one of the classics that showcases the British colonial style and the use of high-quality materials.

Built in the early 1900s, the bungalow is one of the oldest on Penang Hill and is classified as a Category II heritage building in the Penang Hill Local Plan 1998 and Penang Hill Special Area Plan 2016. The house was once used as a rest house for British government officers. After independence, it was turned into a rest house for public servants, but was left vacant thereafter.

The main objective of the restoration was to turn the building into a comfortable bungalow while preserving the classic design. The designers spent a lot of time researching vintage furniture and combing second-hand shops. Antique pieces and elements were curated carefully to conjure up the eclectic taste.

Every piece was vintage, often handmade by skilled carpenters so they were of a high quality. Rich dark brown furniture against chalky white plastered walls creates good tonal variation that becomes a focal point of the colonial style.

Restoration of a building with historical and cultural significance means preserving its heritage and charm, hence this means maintaining the original structure and fabric as much as possible. As originality is at the heart of the design, the interior and exterior of each space were carefully assessed to determine what to retain and remove. In the end, additional walls, ceilings and other recent features were torn down so that the original features could be highlighted.

Another important aspect to consider was the conditions of the old structure. Proper assessment of the roof structure was conducted to check if there was a damage. Termites appeared to be the main problem that deteriorated the wooden blocks. Therefore, roof rafters, associated eaves and gutters were replaced with new ones.

Project Name: Hillside Bungalow Restoration
Location: Lot PT34, Bandar Bukit Bendera, D.T.L,  Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Completion Date: 8 January 2020
Site Area: 2,887 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 373.10 square metres
Building Height: 1 storey
Number of Units: 1
Client: Perbandanan Bukit Bendera & Pembinaan YSBT
Architecture Firm: Mei Ee Architect + Thesis Architects Sdn Bhd
Principal Architect: Ar. Loh Mei Ee
Interior Design Firm: Mei Ee Architect + Thesis Architects Sdn Bhd
Principal Designer: Ar.Loh Mei Ee
Designers: Ahnaf bin Samsury; Nur Amalina binti Faud; Tan Megan Alexandra; Lee Thean Choon; Lau Kai Xin; Nurardini Raihana binti Rosmadi; Muhammad Zahid Anwar bin Shukri; Khor Yong Yin
Civil & Structural Engineer: Perunding GT Sdn Bhd
Main Contractor: Pembinaan YSBT (M) Sdn Bhd
Interior Fit-Out Contractor: Sanpo Retreat Venture
Images: Ahnaf Bin Samsury; Leow Tirng Weei; Ken Yeoh; Ar. Loh Mei Ee

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