The Architecture

Muntri Mews was the second project undertaken by Chris Ong back in 2009. It was created from what was a former communal parking for horse carriages. Under Ong's skilful touch, the collection of Edwardian era buildings, that were in various stages of disrepair at that time, were transformed into contemporary accommodation, complete with original wooden windows, doors and roof trusses. 

  The Grade II heritage building was originally the mews meant for the row of grand terrace houses built along the street during an era of affluence. The rooms upstairs were originally built as quarters for drivers and syce at that time. The long verandah that connected the rooms have remained, lending a feel of communal living amongst the workers during that period. This led to a common set of bathroom and kitchen that serviced the people that lived there.

The Interior

Keeping to the utilitarian lines of the building, Ong kept the interiors as original as possible with a touch of 20th century feel to it. Materials such as marble flooring and wood salvaged from other houses, schools and even a hospital were put together to create a simple and yet comfortable interior that harks back to the era. 

  Framed old photographs and portraits taken in the late 19th to early 20th century decorate the walls while old enamel trays and drinking glasses complete the whole feeling of bringing guests back in time. In keeping with its past as the stables, equine saddles, harnesses are also displayed.

  The plantings that created the lush gardens with three large outdoor pavilions has resulted in a tropical resort feel.

The Precinct

Muntri Street is one of the oldest streets and the first sub-divisions outside the original settlement that was bordered by Pitt Street. It was the first middle class housing development built in the late 19th century sometime between 1880 and 1900. The road was named after the then Menteri of Larut, Ngah Ibrahim, in which Menteri was spelt as Muntri. 

  The architectural style of most of the buildings are Straits Eclectic. These terraced houses were larger and had a feel of grandeur. They were not used as places for business on the ground floor and living quarters on the upper floor. Instead, these are grand homes at the height of the Peranakan period. These houses featured imported tiles and cast iron lace work from the UK and ornately carved and gilded doors and screens from China, a sign of the owners' prosperity. 

  Early regional and provincial associations, guild and trade halls are also clustered around this area with a Mazu Temple at one end and the Goddess of Mercy Temple at the other. 

  Today, the area has emerged from a period of neglect and disrepair to one that is full of vibrance and life where the locals mingle with travellers alike. Gentrification has dusted away the years of dereliction to reveal the beauty and elegance of the buildings lining the street. 

Muntri Mews's gallery