The Architectural Heritage of Selangor presents a small collection of heritage buildings in Selangor sourced from the KALAM or Pusat Kajian Alam Bina Dunia Melayu (Center for the Study of Built Environment in the Malay World). The center prides itself as the largest single-center in Malaysia that has more than 400 heritage building documents which were documented through a period of over 30 years by staff and students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. This is a small contribution that the center and university are making towards producing a more conscious effort at preserving Malaysian architectural heritage for future generations. A city without heritage buildings is like a book without its introduction pages. Hence, lacking the knowledge of its beginning and milestone, a nation would find difficulties in charting its way forward.
Selangor is the richest most modern state in Malaysia. Its history saw the intervention of the British into its administration that was the spark for massive urbanization and political legacy. The buildings presented in this book provide a glimpse into much of the colonial legacy directly in the administrative, clubhouses, and offices but also the influence on palaces, mosques, and temples. The architectural landscape of heritage buildings presents an interesting mesh between the western classical tradition against the climatic and cultural contexts of the peninsular. The new characteristic of urban architecture is an important product of the idea of a modern Malaysian identity that reflects the important and positive legacy of the colonial administration.
The Selangor architectural heritage collection presented in the Architectural Heritage of Selangor contains a unique inventory of buildings such as house, palace, mosque, church, temple, club, bank, office, school, and institution that makes up past Malaysian architectural landscape in general. It is hoped that such information presented would unite a nation, particularly among its multi-ethnic people. In a search for national architectural identity, Malaysian must not forget the colonial architecture of the past that has adopted and adapted the traditional vernacular architectural ideas. It is only with the idea of blending structures and language, a real form of identity emerges. Being too ethnic-centered in creating architectural language may stray the effort away from the actual objectives of national unity. Therefore, it is hopeful that this Selangor architectural heritage collection could pave the right attitude for future building designs.
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