Iban Visitor Center


Eco-tourism: sustainable + preservation of culture? The goal of this project was to create an creative sustainable way of culture preservation of the Iban people, since these people are a tribal village that are self dependent on farming and are isolated away from the urban civilization of Malaysia. However with the growing encroachment of civilization and urbanization of the area, many of the past children are leaving the villages to become educated and re-urbanized into the cities and this creates potential problems for the village to be self sustainable because of the missing youth population.
Currently, the village and other villages have been adapting new ways of generating income through the expansion and interest of tourism, these villages have become a tourist attraction to experience the life of the Iban people and their ways of their people. The main interest of the project is to propose a way of developing a eco-tourism program that would help the preservation and promotion of the Iban culture.

Site Location:

GPS Location: unknown (not sure)

Ngemah Ili Longhouse on the Lemanak River in Lubok Antu
Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo Island)

Design Team:

Ryan Chen + Mason Ng

Design Intent:

Enhancement of Ritual: The arrival of the tourist into the Iban Long house was a progression of us walking from the boat dock up long house and it provided an opportunity to enhance this experience through improving the landscape and views as we walked up to the existing longhouse

Expansion of Tradition: The typology of the longhouse are individual houses that are built along side of each other and this type of typology creates a long hallway called a "billet" or common-space for the long house. However, due to the expansion of the long house, the second expansion is a separate building the original long house and this provides an opportunity to relink the broken circulation of the longhouse

Flexibility of Utility: Provided that we are building new spaces to accommodate tourist, there is an opportunity to create new spaces to help fulfill the needs of the village, such as new boat equipment storage, new areas to dry rice and more common space and a
takraw court, a sport that is played by the villagers takraw reference