From the Ashes

Located on Jalan Burmah, a major thoroughfare in George Town, Penang, and built in the early 1930s, the shophouse was designed in a strait heritage style. It stood strong for 86 years, but then in 2016, it caught fire triggered by a short circuit. In a normal situation, restoring a heritage house would be a delicate balance between rescuing the historical features and providing modern living spaces. But the fire damage was so extensive that most of the building components had to be stripped down completely.

Picking up the pieces after a fire was a challenging task. The engineer investigated the effects on the interiors and on the condition of the main structural elements. Fire damage tends to be concentrated around window openings and doorways, but may also affect structural masonry. Stone can disintegrate at high temperatures; damage and colour changes at lower temperatures are also irreversible. Even smoke staining is already costly and difficult to treat.

Project Name
From the Ashes
Jalan Burmah, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Completion Date
Feb 2021
Site Area
164.24 square metres
Gross Floor Area
183.06 square metres
Building Height
2 storeys
Number of Rooms
Chuah Hee Pheow
Architecture Firm
Mei Ee Architect
Principal Architect
Loh Mei Ee
Loh Mei Ee; Koay Chiang Teik; Nurardini Raihana Binti Rosmadi; Ahnaf Bin Samsury; Khor Yong Yin; Teh Rouyi; Nur Balqis Bt Mohd Wasri
Civil & Structural Engineer
Teraview Consultant
Main Contractor
GC Heritage Sdn Bhd
Lim Ni Fei; Koay Chiang Teik; Ken Yeoh; Loh Mei Ee