The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is among Kuala Lumpur’s earliest Moorish-style buildings.

 

This remarkable edifice, built in 1897, was named after the State Ruler and served as the government administration building during the British era. Boasting a Mahometan or Neo-Saracenic style, the building is constructed entirely of brick. It was the largest building of its day and was said to be the finest in the Malay states.

The distinguished landmark originally served as the secretariat for the colonial British administration. Designed by AC Norman, the architect responsible for Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque), the historically-significant building used to house the superior courts of Malaysia: the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals and the High Court of Malaya, before they moved to Putrajaya.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building is now home to the Ministry of Information, Communications andCulture of Malaysia and sits beside the old KL Railway Station. Though it no longer serves anofficial purpose, it remains one of the city’s most important tourist attractions and a historical landmark in the city.

Constructed entirely of brick, the building features strong gothic, western and Moorish-style influences with an imposing porch, graceful arches, curved colonnades topped with shiny copper cupolas and a domineering 41.2m- high clock tower. It is frequently seen as the backdrop for Malaysia’s annual Independence Day parades (which take place past Dataran Merdeka).

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building remains an enduring attraction amidst a rapidly changing cityskyline. There are several more structures in this area (to the east of Dataran Merdeka) designed byboth Anthony C. Norman and A.B. Hubbock: these clusters of buildings form a large part of KL’s Colonial Core and provide a striking counterpoint to the looming Menara KL and stylish PETRONAS Twin Towers.