A hundred years old Melaka house.
In Malaysia, if you talk about ‘Tangga Melaka’ or Malacca Staircase everybody will know the decorative tile from China stick to a wide outside staircase. In other Malaysian state, old Malay traditional houses will have a wooden staircase and all part of the house is made by wood. For Melaka traditional house, the main front staircase is made from brick. For your info, traditional Malay houses are build higher than the ground, not at the ground. It use pillars made from logs to stand the house up. The height is like a double storey house just no room below with pillars to support the building.
What specials about Malacca staircase are the strong brick and decorative tile imported from China. Tile are arranged creatively by the craftsmen and the more tile at the staircase represent the house owner wealth. This is because at that time tiles are imported from China and it is expensive.
Melaka staircase build with odd number of steps. The philosophy behind it is odd number represent perfection and a perfection is only for God. Odd number of the step telling that human as a God servant is weak and not perfect. Usually they will build staircase with 3,5 and 7 steps. the highest number of steps found in Melaka house are 9. Normal house will be no higher that 9 step except maybe for mosque or Sultans palace. 7 is favorite number of steps found in many houses. Number 7 means 7 layer of sky, 7 layer of earth, 7 days and other things related to cosmos.
At present house with brick staircase in Melaka are old house age around 100 to 200 years old. No new house built with this kind of design anymore. The existing are gazetted as heritage by state government and has been restored with the heritage fund.
Melaka Trademark staircase with traditional house.
9 Step Melaka staircase.
Old Melaka house usually bring childhood memory becasue nowadays we live in modern houses.