Ren i Tang




The Building: Then & Now

Ren i Tang retains the main characteristics of South-East Asian Shophouse where core structures such as air wells, corridor ways, five foot walkways, wooden staircase and Chinese roof tiles have been retained , restored and reinstated. The original main entrance into Ren i Tang which had been sealed for decades, was uncovered during the restoration process. Rooms too are built into the original space of the Shophouse, and because of this, all Ren i Tang rooms are unique…several rooms encompass the air well area as their main feature; another with balcony space overlooking the courtyard (which used to be a herb cooking room); others with loft space that is inspired by how the roof space was originally used for storage.

We take great pride that recycled wood has been used throughout the restoration of Ren i Tang. During the restoration process, we scoured scrap and timber yards in the Northern Territories for old timber to replace roof trusses, beams, wooden floors etc. Most furniture including chairs, beds, cupboards and sofas were either left behind by the previous tenant or handmade by our carpenters from old hardwood found within the building.










Conservation work on the building also brought together a number of experienced old artisans such as the window glass maker, the wooden floor installers, wood and bertam blind makers, rattan maker, furniture restorer, gutter maker and more.

The final touches to the building involved applying energy saving systems to the modern amenities such as Inverter Air Conditioning Systems, Hybrid Hot Water Systems, LED / Energy Saving Lighting and retaining ingenuous building applications such as open air wells and the courtyard, to ensure maximum air flow throughout the building. The air wells were added to the building for the purpose of allowing for natural light to pierce into the middle section of the building as well as to create convection ie hot air accumulated within the building to rise up and at the same time draw cool air from the sea breeze into the building through available lateral open spaces so that equilibrium is achieved. Hence there is no need for air-conditioning in the shared, public areas.

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