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The Grandeur of Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion

Posted on October 24 2018

Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion exterior

Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion

 

Our Blue Mansion design reflects my fascination of the ever so majestic and elegant indigo-blue Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang, named after the successful merchant and diplomat who built it. It is an eclectic building with 38 rooms which serves as both a home and office space. The building personifies a harmonious union of the sophisticated Chinese Teochew and Hakka styles with Western architecture.

Nonamu Blue Mansion Scarf in Indigo Blue Nonamu Blue Mansion Scarf in Indigo Blue on a model

Blue Mansion Silk Scarf

Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion Exterior

Photo: Penang.ws

 

This architecture has a mélange of diverse influences and mastery in craftsmanship. Artisans from Southern China were shipped for the build and uses the best materials from around the world; encaustic clay Victorian floor tiles from Stoke-on-Trent, decorative cast iron works by Macfarlane & Co. in Glasgow, English Art Nouveau stained glass, Cantonese timber lattices, Venetian mirrors, Gothic louvered windows. 

Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion - Courtyard view up

Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion

 

The mansion is constructed with meticulous consideration to the principles of Feng Shui. It has an open courtyard allowing rain through which is then collected with a step in the middle, as water is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. This is also a cooling feature. The exterior is finished with lime wash which has properties to absorb moisture and cool the house in tropical weather. As lime wash dries white, a colour that represents death in the Chinese culture, an addition of natural indigo dye has been added to give the distinctive blue colour. The blue also popular in the Colonial era as the dye was imported from India to Penang by the British. Since this dye is not easily available, it is highly valued by all communities, increasing the mansion’s prominence.

Decoration on the façade of the mansion covered in Chinese style motifs were made with labour intensive techniques. The artisans break off pieces from coloured ceramic bowls to create curved mosaic pieces which was then meticulously put together, creating the masterpiece.

Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion exterior

Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion

 

Georgetown in Penang island of Malaysia is one of the few cities that have preserved its vibrant, sophisticated and historical heritage. In 2008, the oldest part of the city was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

With its great cinematic settings, the mansion has featured in multiple films:

To read more about the grandeur of this mansion, its restoration and history please see:

 Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion featured in Crazy Rich Asians movie

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion as featured in Crazy Rich Asians movie

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