Muddy confluence or better known as Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. The city’s history can be traced back to 1857 when it was first open for tin mining. From then on it has spurred to become the national economic hub and cultural centre. Its vigorous growth has also helped the city become one of the most beautifully decorated cities in Southeast Asia with a breathtaking skyline and iconic landmarks. A design lover’s dream; here’s a guide to the most beautiful buildings in Klang Valley.
Petronas Twin Towers
This is probably the most famous building in Kuala Lumpur. Standing at 451.9 metres tall, the Petronas Towers are the world’s tallest matching pair of buildings. Construction for the 88-storey towers began in January 1992 led by distinguished Argentinian-American architect Cesar Pelli. Inspired by Islamic culture, the plan of the towers is in the form of an octagonal star. In Islamic symbolism it represents order and harmony. Another noteworthy architectural element is that the Petronas Towers do not use steel structures for its foundation, but instead it uses concrete. Currently the Twin Towers are home to Petronas and their subsidiaries.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
It’s probably the first building you lay your eyes on when you arrive in Malaysia and what a sight! It has also been named as one of the most beautiful airports in the world, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or more fondly known as KLIA is definitely an architectural gem. Described as a “union of indigenous culture and Modernism’s abstract forms”, the airport was the product of Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa’s vision. His design was chosen due to his concept of symbiosis between architecture and the forest. This feature is most prominent in the Main Terminal Building as it was designed to be an ecological infrastructure by adopting the ‘Airport in the forest, forest in the airport’ concept. Kurokawa also drew inspiration from traditional Islamic-styles and aesthetics especially with the roof design. The hyperbolic paraboloid shell is similar to Islamic domes. KLIA is a validation of how modern and traditional design can blend together.
Malaysian Islamic Development Department Complex
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department Complex is a building you can’t miss when passing through Putrajaya. The most distinct feature of the building is its intricate white wall design based on modern Islamic motifs. Owned by Lembaga Tabung Haji, the complex is divided into four blocks and houses 11 agency offices. It also has an underground auditorium which is accessible via an elevator which doubles as a water feature at the centre of the complex.
Located at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, this historical building definitely stands out with its blue walls. Originally a wet market, it has now been transformed into a centre for traditional and modern arts. It first opened its doors in 1888, built by Chinese Kapitan Yap Ah Loy. Over the years the building has faced many restorations but continues to maintain the nation’s culture, art and heritage, taking into consideration Malaysia multi-racial culture, the shops, stalls and kiosk feature zones highlighting the melting pot of cultures.
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
Built in 1910, this building was previously the centre of Malaysia’s railway system. The KL Railway Station was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback whose other works included the Ipoh Railway Station and the Royal Gallery in Klang. The building is a blend of both Victorian architecture and Moorish inspired designs. It’s most famous for its elegant chhatris (elevated, dome-shaped pavilions used as an element in Indian architecture) along its roof line.