Malaysia’s Architectural Marvel
Malaysia is not only known for its plurality but also magnificent architecture. Bringing the best of both worlds with modern high-rise towers and heritage buildings entrenched in history is part and parcel of the Malaysian identity.
As we are only a day away from Malaysia Day (and the end of our Merdeka/Malaysia Day series!😢), the Good News team highlights some of our nation’s pride in terms of its renowned architecture.
Petronas Twin Towers
Malaysia is home to the tallest twin towers in the WORLD!
Standing tall at approximately 452 metres, the twin skyscrapers were also once ranked the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until it was surpassed by the Taipei 101.
In the world of architecture, the structure of this mighty skyscraper is known as the ‘tube in tube’ design invented by American–Bangladeshi structural engineer, Fazlur Rahman Khan. The building itself features steel and glass resembling motifs of Islamic art. Completed in 1999, the Twin Towers stands tall as one of the greatest landmarks in Kuala Lumpur.
Another magnificent landmark in Kuala Lumpur is Menara Kuala Lumpur. It is a communications tower that was completed in 1995. With its antenna, the tower stands at 421 metres and is the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world.
A regular place for tower-running competitions, many races are held here and it is no surprise that Malaysia has produced the WORLD’s NO.2 TOWER RUNNER – Soh Wai Ching. Over the years, the tower operates as an Islamic falak observatory used to observe the crescent moon which marks the beginning of Ramadan, Syawal and Zulhijjah. Open to the public at large, head over to Menara Kuala Lumpur to experience a panoramic view of the vibrant capital city of Malaysia!
Sultan Ibrahim Building
Before sky-reaching towers, the Sultan Ibrahim Building was the tallest building in Malaya during the pre-Merdeka era. It was then surpassed by the Merlin Tower in the 1970s. This monument represents both British colonial and eastern influences as the former state secretariat building of Johore located at Bukit Timbalan. Built in the late 30s, it was inaugurated by the late Sultan Ibrahim himself. Currently, plans are in motion to convert this building into a museum.
Ipoh Railway Station
If England has London Paddington, Malaysia has the iconic Ipoh Railway Station! This station was officially opened in 1917. It is regarded as the main railway terminal for the state of Perak managed by Keretapi Tanah Melayu in the capital city of Ipoh.
Known as the Taj Mahal of Ipoh, it offers commuting services (ETS) and handles freight trains. A unique feature of this railway station lies in its hotel called the Majestic Hotel with intricate Western and Asian influences. The Neo-Moorish/Mughal style structures can be seen in the chhatris (dome-shaped pavilions) on both sides of the building.
This historical building located in Red Square, Malacca is one of the most popular structures built during the Dutch colonialism era. In fact, its name Stadthuys literally means City Hall in Dutch.
Its vibrant red exterior and the red clock tower nearby stands out as the pride of Malacca. The history of this monument can be traced back to as early as 1650 as the office of the Dutch Governors. Today, the Stadthuys has been converted to a History and Ethnography Museum and remains as the oldest historical building with Dutch influence in Southeast Asia.
St John’s Institution
St John’s Institution (SJI) is one of the oldest public all-boys school in Kuala Lumpur dating back to its establishment in 1904. As SJI was founded by the La Sallian Brothers, it is related to many other La Sallian schools located all over Malaysia and around the world. What makes this school building unique is its impeccable architecture and design. With its red and white brick walls, SJI is one of the few buildings in Malaysia to infuse Grecian-Spanish influences. It was even named a National Heritage Site by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage of Malaysia in 2010.
The school is famous for producing some of the nation’s leading public figures in various fields including the current Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, current Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuiddin Shah, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, former Minister of Defence Dato’ Sri Hishammuddin Hussein, the 7th Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia Zeti Akhtar Aziz and even singer-songwriter Aizat Amdan.
Khoo Kongsi Temple
The Khoo Kongsi Temple is an iconic heritage building that represents the dominant presence of the Chinese in Penang. Located in Georgetown, the clan house was built in the 19th century and features some of the most exquisite artwork. It has detailed stone carvings with beautiful murals of divine deities and considered as a common gathering place for Chinese families with the same surname (Khoo) for ancestral worship.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Built in the 19th century, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is located at Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur. It is situated in front of Dataran Merdeka and the Royal Selangor Club. Historically known to be the centre of British administration in Malaya, in recent times it was known as the nation’s main courthouse with the appellate courts and the High Court located in one building. Currently, this monument is a government administrative centre which houses the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.
Every year on the eve of National Day, a countdown usually takes place and fireworks light the sky by the end of the night. In fact, on National Day itself, the National Day parade and celebrations usually take place along the road in front of this historical building with crowds of Malaysians gathering to witness the event.
Textile Museum Sarawak (Pavilion Building)
Formerly known as The Pavilion Building, the current Textile Museum of Sarawak is an elegant structure that reflects the past British influence in Kuching. Built in 1907, the 3-storey building reflects a colonial British renaissance influence as its unique architecture. It was originally built as a medical centre but later became the office for the Education Department of Sarawak, before turning into a textile museum in 2000.
Featured image sourced from Pixels.com