Location: Opposite the Merdeka Square
Built During: 1894-97
Highlights: Big Ben-The Clock Tower
How To Reach: One can easily reach here by hiring taxis, or by
boarding trains, buses from the city.
Since long, Sultan Abdul Samad Building has been a landmark for the
capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Constructed in 1897, the
building was designed by a British architect-A.C Norman. And it was
Norman who essentially studied different aspects of Islamic architecture
and came up with the Moorish design. Its strategic location at the
centre of the old mining town makes it easily accessible from every part
of Kuala Lumpur.
Indeed its Moorish façade duly reflects the cultural set of this
country. The edifice imbibed its name from Sultan Abdul Samad, who was
the ruling sultan of Selangor at the time of its construction. The
building was intended to address numerous important government
departments, during the British administration. Since Merdeka Square
stands just opposite to it, this building has seen some of the most
memorable events in the history of Malaysia like hoisting of the Malayan
flag after independence on 31 Aug' 1957.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building was the largest of its times, constructed
entirely of brick. Its erection started in 1894 and took about 4 million
bricks, 2,500 barrels of cement, 18,000 pikuls of lime, 50 tons of steel
and iron, 5,000 pounds of copper, and 30,000 cubic feet of timber. It
was completed in 1897 at a whopping cost of 152,000 Straits Dollars. Its
frontage is 137.2m (450 ft) in length with a commanding porch in the
centre. It appears absolutely distinctive with its shiny copper dome and
the 40m high clock tower called Big Ben.
Earlier the building used to house the Apex Court of Malaysia, the
Supreme Court (the Federal Court), and the Court of Appeal. Now when
these courts have moved to the Palace of Justice, sited in Putrajaya;
the building is just quarters to the Commercial Division of the High
Court of Malaysia. Some of the important events, like the National Day
Parade, New Year's Eve, etc, are celebrated in its forefront. In brief,
Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a place to see and admire the heritage
structure in Kuala Lumpur.