Roof Design Malaysia: Unveiling the Elegance of Kelantan & Terengganu Roofs

Roof design plays a pivotal role in reflecting the cultural and environmental nuances of a region. In the eastern states of Malaysia, particularly Kelantan and Terengganu, the intricate and elegant roof designs of traditional Malay houses hold a special place in the hearts of the locals. These remarkable structures are not only functional but also narrate a story of the region’s rich heritage, climate, and way of life. In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of Malaysian roof design to understand the artistry and functionality behind these architectural gems.

Kelantan Flag

The Significance of Roof Design

The roofs of Malaysia transcend their role as mere protective coverings; they are symbolic of local culture and traditions. Historically, the intricate carvings and designs on these roofs served as status symbols and showcased the skill of the builders. The motifs and patterns etched into the wood panels often have deep-rooted meanings, inspired by nature, folklore, or Islamic art. For example, the “Bunga Pecah Lapan” (eight-pointed star) motif represents the eight doors of heaven in Islamic tradition.

Adapting to the Climate

The East Coast of Malaysia experiences a tropical climate with heavy rainfall, making it crucial to design roofs that can withstand the elements. The steep, gabled roofs of Malaysian houses are crafted to effectively channel rainwater away, preventing water damage. The eaves extend far out, providing shade and protection from the sun, while allowing ventilation to keep the interior cool. Traditional materials like thatched palm leaves or wooden shingles complement the climate, readily available and providing excellent insulation.

traditional malay building roof

Artistry in Woodwork

One of the most captivating features of Malaysian roof design is the intricate woodwork. Skilled artisans hand-carve elaborate patterns into the wooden panels, adding an element of artistry to the structural design. The carvings not only showcase craftsmanship but also tell stories and convey local traditions. The contrast between dark wood and white or cream-colored walls enhances the visual appeal of these traditional houses.

Preserving the Heritage

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of preserving the architectural heritage of Malaysia. Efforts have been made to maintain and restore traditional Malay houses, ensuring that unique roof designs are not lost to time. Government agencies, NGOs, and local communities have collaborated to promote the conservation of these cultural treasures.


The timeless beauty and cultural significance of Malaysian roof design in Kelantan and Terengganu reflect a unique blend of artistry and functionality. As we celebrate these architectural marvels, consider bringing a touch of this elegance into your own space. Explore bespoke roof design solutions with OKG Unihome and embark on a journey to craft a home that resonates with Malaysian heritage. Contact us today to transform your roof into a work of art that stands the test of time.




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