Architectural conservation is a cycle of which the material, historical, and design integrity of any heritage is drawn out through carefully arranged intercessions. It manages issues of drawing out the life and honesty of an architectural character and integrity, for example, structure and style, and its constituent materials, for example, blocks, glass, metal and wood.

Conserving the architecture of Kuala Lumpur
Architectural heritage of Malaysia ©Southeast Asia Globe

Saving a heritage building can be unnerving. In any case, the conservation of a heritage building is something that we owe to the people in the future something we must do to achieve.

Being a developing country, the idea of ‘Heritage Conservation’ is moderately new in Malaysia, instead of the West, where the possibility of patriotism had risen since the nineteenth century.

In Malaysia, the development and enthusiasm for rationing Malaysia’s social heritage started over twenty years back with the arrangement of the Heritage of Malaysia Trust in 1993. Nonetheless, with respect to authoritative reports, the usage of conservation Acts and rules are still new in Malaysia. Malaysia just executed its first Act that was identified with the assurance of heritage property in 1976. One in 2005, the primary heritage Act2 was presented. The hole in lawful viewpoints, particularly in the plan and gazettement of a thorough Act is one of the primary reasons why there is an absence of mindfulness in securing heritage structures in Malaysia. The ‘absence’ of fitting rules to moderate heritage structures has caused the partners required to adopt various strategies to monitor heritage. Activities have taken at present incorporates either sparing the property from being wrecked or disregarded. However, albeit a structure might be ‘safe’, the environmental factors of the structure, which used to be important for the structure’s set of experiences, might be destroyed or seriously undermined.

The effect of the British colonialism in Malaya was not just reflected in the new metropolitan type of the roads and shophouses in the old town of Kuala Lumpur, it additionally reached out to the development of the new government workplaces started in 1893. This new “European colonial city” on the west of the Klang River was both “truly and emblematically a model” of a socializing outlook which at that point changed the picture of Kuala Lumpur. The development of the structures incorporated the administration place of business (the Sultan Abdul Samad Building), the Sanitary Board Building, the General Post Office Building, the Public Works Department Building, the Chartered Bank Building, the Government Printing Office Building, the Royal Selangor Club Building and the St. Mary’s Church Building. Further south of the fundamental focus of Kuala Lumpur is the Kuala Lumpur Railway station building and the Malayan Railway Administration Building. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, 1894-97 presented Mogul architecture which was received for new structures along the Padang (Merdeka Square) for the following twenty years. There is no denying that the rambling Moorish style gives a beautiful uniqueness to the city of Kuala Lumpur.

Other than the town improvements in Kuala Lumpur, including the sentimentality of the shophouses and the extraordinary architecture of the ‘Raj-style’ structures, there are ‘covered up’ spaces which were previously the soonest open spaces for every network in Kuala Lumpur. A large portion of these spaces is framed by the roads that limited these zones. There were three noteworthy regions for each extraordinary network: the Kampung Rawa for the local Malay people group, the Old Market Square for the Chinese, and the Padang for the British. These spaces had just existed for over 130 years they “actually conveyed the signs of the network grouping that had to some degree underlain their creation and, thusly, fortified racial generalizing by their significant contrasts”.

In 1986, the adaptive re-use of the Central Market working in Kuala Lumpur opened the eye of all Malaysian to nearby heritage building conservation. As per the fundamental conservation standards of least mediation, this wet market worked during the 1930s Art-Deco style was fruitfully changed over into a brilliant handicraft and social focus.

From the 1990s until 2000, the legislature through the Department of National Heritage has taken activities to secure and moderate the heritage structures, bringing about the conservation and restoration of in excess of 30 buildings and monuments.

Heritage conservation in Malaysia got a jump being developed in 2005 through the order of the National Heritage Act by the Parliament. It covers all the issues identified with preservation, restoration, reconstruction, rehabilitation and adaptation, or any combination of the aspects. In 2008, the historical urban areas of Malacca and Georgetown were recorded as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Notwithstanding such acknowledgments, the recovery activities should proceed to be acquainted with reestablishing the abundance of the renowned past of the memorable urban areas and to improve the way of life of its populace, as the dynamic quality of a heritage site is just critical when its unique network remains.

The Malaysian public is frequently known for their brilliant heart in good cause and gifts which give a wide image of their degree of comprehension and affectability. 

It is important to recognize the public’s discernment on heritage building conservation in Malaysia before they were later enquired on the significance to save them. It is a fundamental movement to confirm the public’s essential information on conservation substances and whether they have any enthusiasm for the issue.

Sana Paul
Author

Sana, an architecture undergrad at Jamia Millia, is a staunch believer that the world owes it's beauty to architects. The ever-expanding concrete jungle is aesthetics, from the thoughts of an architect behind it. Foodie by nature Sana loves traveling, music; and an empty canvas is all that makes up an ideal day for her. She can binge-watch documentaries in sweatpants nights down. She aspires to live a life less ordinary.

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