Kuala Lumpur is an amazing city to those who have lived here their whole lives, and tourists that are here for a shot of our Petronas Twin Towers.
However, there’s more to it than fancy shopping malls, galleries, swanky hotels, and hip bars, Kuala Lumpur is surrounded by buildings and works of architecture with a lot of story behind it.
Here are some to look out for when you’re out:
1. Central Market @ Jalan Hang Kasturi
A walk at Jalan Hang Kasturi is like going back to old KL, where old buildings are still well-kept but with a little bit of chipped paint here and there (despite going through several renovations) for that sense of antiquity. Commonly known as ‘the place’ for Malaysian culture, arts and crafts, Central Market began as a wet market in 1888 that was turned into a handicraft outlet in the 1980s.
2. Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
Before the emergence of KL Sentral, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (accessible by KTM Komuter) was the main stop to the city. Completed in 1910 but some of the best British colonial architects, which includes Arthur Benison Hubback, the man behind many other iconic buildings in the country like the Masjik Jamed Kuala Lumpur. Drop by KL Railway Station if you may for a serious throwback to the past.
3. Sultan Abdul Samad Building @ Dataran Merdeka
Another piece of architectural art by Arthur B. Hubback alongside Anothny C. Norman, the Sultan Abdul Samad building was built in 1897 and originally housed the superior courts of Malaysia before Putrajaya became the justice and political hub. Now, the building is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its all-brick construct, shiny copper dome and a distinct high clock tower.
4. Church of the Holy Rosary
Constructed by a French missionary named Father Francis Emile Terrien, the beautiful gothic piece stands proudly since 1904. In former times, the roof of the head was flat but modifications were made in 1950, where wings were added to the building’s structure. Contained within it is elaborate ornaments and great attention to detail. It’s never a bad thing to drop by for mass just to be mesmerised by the church’s beauty.
5. Carcosa Seri Negara
Live like a queen or king in a day at this heritage hotel, surrounded by 16 hectares of lawns and gardens smack in the middle of the city. Originally a mansion built in the late 1800s, it served as home to the British High Commissioner for Malaysia until 1987. Expect to be pampered by the high-life (I mean the majestic interior is cool enough), and enjoy colonial luxury in modern KL.
6. Istana Budaya
You can’t say you love the arts here if you don’t know Istana Budaya. For quality theatre, classical shows, opera and musicals, the stage at Istana Budaya is central to local and worldwide performers. It’s also where the National Theatre Company and the National Symphony Orchestra is based, if you aren’t aware. This building fits over a thousand people, and its design is inspired by our traditional moon kite, a spectacular from the outside and in.