Xzen Hung Lee

Master of Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)


This project is about statelessness and focuses on the stateless community known as Sea Nomads. This institution scrutinizes the last true marine nomads and achieves the recognition of the Sea Nomads in Sabah, Malaysia. This project will be emphasizing the festival “Regatta Lepa”, a festival that celebrates the traditional single-masted sailing boat of the Bajau Semporna at the end of April. On that day, thousands of Lepas sail into town to compete for the ‘Most Beautiful Lepa’.

At least 10 million people in the world today are stateless, and one-third of the population are children. According to the statistic, Sabah has more than 300 thousand stateless children. Healthcare and Education are the most important institutions that stateless children are not able to get access to, especially early age when vaccinations are being denied.
In this institution, the festival of the Sea Nomads will be the focus of the program, and this project will be sited on top of the water body. The Sea Nomad community are often neglected by the government in Malaysia.  In addition, they seem to be a less known community as well. Nevertheless, this institution will be the beacon of recognition for this community to the world.

Festive 360 is the building that celebrates Regatta Lepa throughout the year. There will be events happening once a month, where visitors be able to purchase tickets for the celebration. Other than the celebration hive, visitors be able to enjoy the exhibition area, the workshops, and the Seaweed Farming area.

This institute accommodates substitution facilities like the healthcare centre, an education platform, and a human rights chamber for the Stateless community.

This design brings forth the ideology of Sea Nomads living patterns. The design mainly consists of wooden structural members that are floating on the water surface.

The design doesn’t deviate much from the typical Sea Nomads living provided it has been altered using various design principles that contribute towards a much better living. The structure symbolizes their culture, for example, the Regatta Lepa Festival, hence, the design includes Active and Passive components which alters their position according to their festival etc.

The design consists of various elements that contribute to different solutions to the ongoing obstetrical that the Sea Nomads are facing. The design mainly consists of wooden structure members which act as wall as well. The exterior roller blind has been incorporated in the design instead of the windows which protect the interior spaces from harsh sunlight and humidity.

This institution creates hope for the community and would benefit stateless children. The suffering of the community needs to come to light and end the misery of statelessness.

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A View of the Building inside a boat
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Transformation happens while the Festival/Boat race is happening
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Active and Passive Component
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View from the Movable Platform to the Performance Stage
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View from Performance Stage
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Seaweed Farming Area