Riau House. In traditional Malay societies, the house is an intimate building that can be used as a family dwelling, a place of worship, a heritage site, and a shelter for anyone in need. Therefore, traditional Malay houses are generally large. In addition to the large size, the Malay house is also always in the form of a rumah panggung or stage house, facing the sunrise. The types of Malay houses include residential houses, offices, place of worship and warehouses.
The naming of the houses is tailored to the function of each building. In general, there are five types of Riau Malay traditional houses, namely the Balai Salaso Jatuh, Rumah Melayu Atap Lontik, Rumah Adat Salaso Jatuh Kembar, Rumah Melayu Lipat Kajang and Rumah Melayu Atap Limas Potong.
The Balai Salaso Jatuh is usually used for consensus decision-making and other activities. It is rarely used for private homes. In accordance with the functions of the Balai Salaso Jatuh, this building has other local names such as balai panobatan, balirung sari, balai karapatan, etc.
Presently, the function of this building has been replaced by a house or a mosque. The building has an alignment, and has a lower floor than the middle room. In addition, Balai Salaso Jatuh is also decorated with various carvings in the form of plants or animals. Each carving in this building has its own designation.
Rumah Melayu Atap Lontik or Lontiok House can usually be found in Kampar Regency. It is called so because this house has a decoration on the front wall of the house in the form of a boat. When viewed from a distance, this house will look like boat houses that are usually made by the local residents. Besides being referred to as lancing and pancalang, this traditional house is also called lontik, since this house has a roof paring that is soaring upwards.
This house is heavily influenced on the architecture of the Minangkabau rumah gadang, since Kampar Regency is directly adjacent to the province of West Sumatra. A unique feature of this traditional house is that it has five stairsteps. The reason they chose the number five was because this is based on the Five Pillars of Islam.
The shape of the pillars in this house also varies, there are rectangles, hexagons, heptagon, octagon and triangles. Each type of pole contained in this traditional house has meaning believed by the people of Riau. A rectangular pole can be interpreted as four corners of the wind, just like an octagon, and the hexagon symbolizes the number of pillars of Islam.
Rumah Salaso Jatuh Kembar was declared an icon and symbol of the province of Riau. The architecture of this house is similar to the Balai Salaso Jatuh, but this house tends to be used for private homes.
Rumah Melayu Lipat Kajang can usually found in the Riau Islands and the coastal part of Riau. It is called Lipat Kajangbecause the roof of this house has a shape resembling the shape of a boat. The top of this building is curved upwards and is often referred to lipat kejang or pohon jeramban by the locals.
This traditional house is rarely or even no longer used by Riau residents. One reason for the loss of this culture is because of the increasing influence of western architecture, and people consider their building forms to be simpler and easier to build.
Rumah Melayu Atap Limas Potong is the a Malay traditional house that can usually be found in mainland Riau, but rarely in the Riau Islands. This house has a roof that is shaped like a cut pyramid.
Like other Riau traditional houses, this house is also included in the rumah panggung group. The stage of this house has a height of about 1.5 meters above the ground. The size of the house depends on the ability and desires of the owner.