architecture in Malaysia


And I dont mean those stupid Pelli towers.

I'm going in about 2 weeks and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. I'll be in Kuala Lampur for about 2 days, and then in Borneo for a week and a half.

Sep 9, 04 6:20 pm

Hmm,.. Do visit the old collonial buildings. They are nice. And do go to Putrajaya, a somewhat 20 minute drive from Kuala Lumpur if you want to visit the most confused city with architecture ever.

Sep 9, 04 10:28 pm

Erm yes, I lived there for a year and there is actually a decent amount to see. Putrajaya is worth a visit - it is a new city, designed by an architect and many of the buildings there are way over the top. It is (like the twin towers) a statement of Malaysia's development and there are various governement buildings and a convention centre and other stuff. Also an absolutely massive bright pink mosque!

In KL itself there are various towers and shopping arcades to see (none of which too exciting. Check out Hijjas Kasturi's website and also Ken Yeangs site for some info on buildings to see.

There are some great examples of old chinese shop-houses around the central market area and petaling street. I hope they are still there and not destryed just yet. The architecture in KL is not too exciting truth be told, you will find more interesting stuff around here.

Have a look in some of the antiqu shops around cenral market and Bangkok Bank area (people know this area as there are many bus stops). There is also a small chinese temple hidden behind some shops here, worth finding.

You could go to see the Bank Bumiputra building for a laugh at the vularity of when eastern and western architecture come together badly. It's entrance hall is an oversize replica of a traditional Malaysia house attached to a western style concrete office tower, it is strange to say the least. It is very close to Masjid Jamek station, Masjid Jamek itself is also close by (unsurprisingly) and it is a mosque, worth seeing.

Also the government buildings at Merdeka Square are worth a look, the colonial cricket pavillion accross the turf and, apparently, the worlds tallest flagpole (?!). Give all this a miss if time is short.

My favourite architect in Malaysia was Jimmy Lim, I don't think he has a website. He designs in a traditional way, using timber and traditional techniques with modern designs. It is really cool how he designs for the climate, his architecture is really interesting. Unfortunately most of his stuff is private houses I think but maybe you could look him up on the internet and see if there is anything of his you could find the comapny name is CSL. Pay hima visit maybe, he is pretty friendly and very exciting to talk to about architecture!

If you need anything else lemme know. This is off the top of my head, maybe I will remember more as I think about it.

Sep 9, 04 10:54 pm

There is actually a lot to see. However, I think you'll be able to do it in 2 days.

Old architecture along Petaling Street (Chinatown) is a stop not to be missed. There's also the old and new train station, both standing side by side. The National Mosque is around the same area as the train station, check that out, but if you want to go in, remember to wear longs sleeves shirt and long pants. No shorts, t-shirts or singlets.

The new Islamic museum across from the National Mosque is worth the visit. WithI believe the only inverted dome around the south-east asia region.

Of course there are newer building as mentioned.

Here's a site you can visit for more info and pics.

Sep 9, 04 11:32 pm

Great info. jeok- were you in Borneo at all while you were there, or just in KL? I've come across information on the longhouses, which looks really interesting. Anything else?

Sep 10, 04 1:26 pm

Borneo was a place I always wanted to go but never had chance, so I don't have any experience over there. I always longed to get overt here to climb mount Kinabulu in Sabah, apparently a reasonably easy climb but with a spectacular sunrise view if you time it right and stay in one of the mountainside huts. I guess this info will come from guide books so you can easily find all this out...

I did a bit of research into traditional Malay houses while I was there. It wasn't in Borneo (and wasn't focused on the Longhouses) but I used to hire motorbikes and explore islands this way and I found it to be a really cool way to see real Malaysian life. Kids will run alongside and shout 'hello's at you and I was lucky enough to be invited into a house for dinner after asking to photograph one mans house. The Malays in general are extreemly friendly people and in rural areas have a kind of open house culture. It is not unusual to be invited in, obviously be a little careful, but be polite, smile and have fun.

I am thinking this would be a good way to see some of the places in Borneo, you could even take some small gifts from your country. Haha, this is not a place where people have never seen foreigners or anything like that but you might find people open up to you if you bring a small gift. Enjoy it.

Sep 12, 04 9:43 pm

oh and eat the fried rice (nasi goreng) and the malasian favourite, nasi lemak - spicy (REALLY SPICY) sauce with rice and small dried fish wrapped in a banana leaves - it is hot but addictive.

Eat at the street stalls, these are the best places to get really good food - very cheap, a decent meal and drink should cost no more than 6RM, probably much less - around a pound in the UK, about a dollar and a half?

Sep 12, 04 9:47 pm

what about ken yeang, he has an office there, although i am not sure he has built anything...

Sep 12, 04 10:13 pm

He has built many (a few at least) skyscrapers - office blocks in KL and yes, they are pretty interesting. There is also a house designed by him (his own I think called Roof House). His books are very interesting - he is very much a 'theory' guy and talks (endlessly) about the 'green' skyscraper. The gherkin in London reminds me of some of Ken Yeang's work, what with the twist and stuff... Ken Yeang built open space into his tall buildings in that spiral shape to allow air to circulate natually (or something like that).

If you walk down from Lot 10 (shopping centre by Hijjas Kasturi) along Jalan Sultan Ismail, you will find one of Yeangs more interesting buildings on the right hand side.

Sep 13, 04 2:00 am

mmm.... just register...
i agree with u joek..."His books are very interesting - he is very much a 'theory' guy and talks (endlessly) about the 'green' skyscraper."
just wanna to add something...
just visited his building>>mesinaga building ( twice!)
unfortunately, most of d palnter boxes r empty...
maintenace prob or ?? no comment...
anyway, talking abt landscape in Malayisa...
I prefer Ng Sek San's Projects..
Kl Pac... sentul west.. sibu mist garden... seri maya condo, mont kiara damai condo..

Mr nik malik lip oso one of d top malaysian landscape architect...
his approach quite differents... more to senses... i like Complex Al Bukhary in Kedah...
anyway,... i'm not d expert... doing my thesis now..thesis topic...
Case study: Sentul West Development Project
still lack of info...
 Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (2003) states that “Kuala Lumpur as A WORLD CLASS CITY, as a strategy to create a complete living inner city environment that provides the very best business and working environment together with a vibrant commercial and entertainment center” (p17-1)

...why singapore so success in integrating landcape in their urban planning/design?/ :)

Sep 11, 05 6:08 am

Hello - I am travelling to KL later this year and am interested in Ken Yeang.  I have seen pictures of his Roof House (as described above in this forum).  Can someone tell me where it is located so I can go see it?  I have not been able to find its address online.  Thanks!

Jan 18, 16 5:36 am

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