Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building

The Sultan Abdul Samad building is probably the most beautiful colonial structure in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It was built in 1897.

The building resembles the mosques of Cairo with its horseshoe design and sharply pointed arches on the outer walls of the corridors that surround it on both lower and upper floors. The arches on the upper floor are smaller than the lower floor.

The building is constructed of interlocking brightly coloured bricks and blocks of white stones, with the exterior walls left exposed. The doors are paneled and the staircases are almost all spiraled.

The building is perfectly symmetrical and its noble facade has remained unchanging while all around it the city has modernized. The building has been declared as a national heritage and is a focal point for tourists.

The 122m long building was designed by British architect, AC Norman of the public works department. It was constructed to house the state secretary's department, including the accounts department and other government offices.

The building boasts a 43.6m high clock tower with a large dome, which is one of its famous features. I believe some might regard this as Malaysian very own "Big Ben".

There are 2 smaller towers flanking the main entrance, both of which are also domed. The domes are very unique. The 2 smaller towers were built for aesthetic reasons as the clock tower was deemed as too tall in relation to the rest of the building.

The smaller domes were originally made of copper sheets placed over wooden frames and painted black. These were later replaced by proper copper domes that were gifts from the Australian government.

The new domes were not painted but coated with high quality varnish to retain their shine

Smaller domes were also placed at the top of the row of the pillars in front of the building and these are made of white cement.

The building has undergone several renovations. These included building extensions at the back to house officers and canteen and overhauling the wiring system to allow more lighting and the use of air conditioners. Currently it became the temple of justice and houses the federal court, the appeals court and high court.

To locate this building might not be easy for first timer to KL as it was obscure by the many high rise structures around the city. Get off from Pasar Seni or Masjid Jamek LRT station. Head West and try to locate the Gombak River. Get across the river and the building should be visible


soulesscloudy said...

I like urs no. 7 photos... hehehe... great building structure.. but after they re-renovate with the "bawang" shape.. too bad..

foongpc said...

Nice photos! And I love the Sultan Abdul Samad building! : )

escape said...

my little nephew will definitely love this area. he likes towers with clocks like the clock tower in london. ill try to show him this one.

heart said...

the place is awesome overall!