Two key ideas guided the construction of Pura Tanjung Sabtu. The first was to salvage and reassemble a number of traditional Malay houses as a unified structure, based on the layout of an 18th-century Malay royal dwelling. The second was to provide a focal point for the revival and teaching of traditional arts and cottage-industries, particularly weaving. The 11 timber dwellings in the complex are elevated three metres above ground, for better air circulation and protection against flooding and wildlife. They have steep, tiered, clay-tiled roofs with curved gable ends. All were assembled using wood plugs rather than nails.