Pulai Spring Resort, Johor Bahru

This project was conceived with the owners’ dream of having a resort reflecting the richness of the local Malaysian culture and heritage that at the same time, caters to the needs of the members of the resort.  Situated within the natural beauty of Gunung Pulai’s surroundings on an elevated platform, the clubhouse commands a majestic view of the golf course and is the focus of the whole development.

The resort is a showpiece of Malaysian architecture which reflects the cultural elements of the multi-ethnic population of the country.  Resplendent on a plateau and commanding a view of emerald green fairways, the entire clubhouse is reminiscent of an ancient royal Malay palace.  The clubhouse celebrates nature while reinterpreting traditional Malay architecture into modern functionality.  Based on the concept of a Malay house, the whole clubhouse is a series of buildings which accommodate the functional requirements of the entirety.  The hierarchy of the buildings is reflected in the scale and proportion of the buildings and further enhanced by the amount of architectural details reflected in the individual buildings.

Vaulting roofs, huge exposed timber structures, soaring ceilings and 42 king posts blend with traditional motifs in the interior design such as marble floors in a batik layout and wooden lightboxes carved in a “lada hitam and gambir” design and echo the graciousness of days gone by.  Through an extensive network of covered breezy verandahways; one is able to walk under shelter, from the main clubhouse which is the Social Centre, to the Sports and Golf Centres, all amidst beautifully landscaped gardens and water features.

The main architectural focus of the buildings is the prominent roof form which is the adaptation of the traditional “rumah limas Bugis” found in the state of Johor.  It is basically a hip-gable roof with flat clay roof tiles laid in scaled patterns to simulate the traditional usage of the shingle tiles.  The richness of the local traditional culture is reflected in the elaborate timber decorative panels found around the buildings.

At the tip of the gable end of the roofs is the “balung ayam” timber feature terminating the end of the roof, another common feature in Malay houses of Bugis origins.  The degree of the carvings found on the decorative features varies from the Social Centre to the other buildings and is the least elaborate at the entrance arches.  The built-form of the Multi-purpose hall was adopted from the Malay “wakaf” building found mainly in the paddy fields serving as a communal shelter.  Terminating in the pyramidal roof is the “mahkota atap”, or the roof crown, an elaborate carved timber spire.  The traditional bamboo shoot motif or the “pucuk rebung” found around the roof eaves was retained but modified with the use of floral motifs. Internally, the scissors-shaped trusses terminate with a king post which is again carved with a floral menu.

The “gambir and lada hitam” floral motifs were chosen as the main theme for all the timber carvings found within the buildings as these spices were the main items traded in Johor during the old days.  These hand-crafted timber carvings are of two types, viz. the bendsaw carvings and the timber carvings proper.   The bendsaw carvings are found mainly at the gable end of the roofs and above the doors and around the lower part of the beams.  Their main function, apart from decorative purpose, is to allow cross-ventilation of the spaces.  The other type of timber carvings are mainly decorative wall features.  Complimenting the elaborate timber artworks are the timber decorative balustrades and handrails as well as the antique furniture and fittings.

Pulai Springs Resort is a reflection of the owners’ vision of a fine piece of art transformed into reality and in the process, exhibiting the richness of the local culture and heritage.  By interpreting the Malay architecture and adapting it to accommodate the modern functional requirements, the said built-form and culture can be preserved and appreciated by others in the future.

Pulai Springs Resort Sdn Bhd
Completed 1997
Pulai Spring Resort, Johor BahruPulai Spring Resort, Johor BahruPulai Spring Resort, Johor BahruPulai Spring Resort, Johor Bahru
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