Malaysia [3]: Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia.

Of course there’s Jalan Bukit Bintang with your Lot 10 and Sungei Wang fantasies, and the Petronas Towers being such an easy icon. But here, we present you with our little guide to a spatially experiential tour. 7 places that you might have missed, or neglected, but makes this burgeoning city intriguing and fun.

1 NATIONAL MOSQUE
Jalan Perdana

Ceiling detailingIt's possible; superornate interior!

(Look at the detailing)

Mosques are not a thing for everybody. But to miss a mosque in a largely Muslim society is akin to skipping the churches in say, Florence. And you will definitely marvel at the ornateness of its interior. Arabesque screens and recessed motifs interact with the afternoon light to create a complex atmosphere of subdued light and shadow. The reflective floor finishing, column detailing and corridor proportions will blow you away into an ethereal experience of incredible lightness of being. (Not exaggerating here) Places of worship really have the most affective spaces.

Pilotis

(Lightness)

2 KLCC Recreation Park
Jalan Perdana

It’s easy to visit KLCC and only remember the shops and towers. We tell you to explore further, into the recreation park that is the real heart of this area, or KL for that matter. Many many playgrounds huddle together in a fantasyland for kids, a large fountain and waterplay area provides endless hours of family fun, and the running track amidst an undulating landscape means you forget about the dense urban thing you live in, and immerse into the recreation itself.

3 CITY WALK along river
via KL Sentral, Masjid Negara, Chinatown, Masjid Jamek

Banksy?Can you see a star?

(Banksy-like graffiti and post office building )

In the weekday, under the humid sunset, enjoy a refreshingly detached pace of life as white-collar workers and students scuttle by, while the urbanscape is transformed by locals setting up semi-permanant and makeshift stalls selling all sorts of wares. Observe the serial vision (frontal view path) and notice the unexpected – Banksy-like graffiti, the overlap of the vernacular and the commercial.

4 PUDURAYA Bus Station

Backpackers would definitely have been here. It’s a bus station, very dodgy-looking. But its massiveness, its dodgyness and its spatial filth just pulls you in. Many dank “hellholes” lead you into the individual bus stalls, and the unregulated corridors and counters and stairways up into the car park all exude a coarse and raw quality about the place. It is the idea of the transport hub and all its pollution congregated in a building. (Wiki)

5 ASIAN HERITAGE ROW
Jalan Doraisamy

Asian Heritage Row

(2nd level exterior space)

Here is a case of adaptive reuse of a vernacular typology – the shophouse. Individual units become mixed and matched – with new frontal extensions like Clarke Quay, and special balcony spaces on the 2nd level. Tucked into an unassuming business district, this is currently one of the more popular nightspots for the locals. (Website)

6 Night MONORAIL ride
via KL Sentral, Jalan Bukit Bintang

What better way to meander through this dense post-modern city than to hop aboard the monorail, which provides a new visual appreciation of the cityscape. Bird’s eye overview in an extensive matrix of lights.

7 KTM HQ
Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin

Arabian Architecture?

(Facade)

Again, something less visited doesn’t make it less important. The old KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) central station, has become a hotel with old world charm (check out the old-style elevator). Across the road, the KTM HQ is also equally underappreciated. A piece of Mughal styled architecture.

qmark.jpgtakes a short break from hectic design.

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3 responses to “Malaysia [3]: Kuala Lumpur

  1. Pingback: Malaysia August 30, 2007 11:59 am | Asia Gift - Travels in Southeast Asia

  2. puduraya terminal was really memorable! (and equally dodgy) and yes hell holes is the perfect description.. it could almost feel like a huge industrial machine at work, with all its mechanisms hidden underground- endless moving, vibrating & puffing of exhausts……. dirty dirty but very much alive.
    the photos themselves already speak so much about the national mosque. anyone who visits KL should really go visit that area. bt bintang is boring.

  3. yes yes your description is so apt – an industrial machine! its like being inside the c240 printer.. haha
    everyone should drop by puduraya too. its soooooooooooooooooooo dodgy

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