An influence of colonial architecture to building styles and motifs in colonial cities in Malaysia
Ho Kah Chun (
Associate Professor Dr. Ahmad Sanusi Hasan (
Dr. Norizal M Noordin (
School of Housing Building and Planning
Science University of Malaysia, Penang
The colonists had adopted their architectural styles in building modified to the climate
context (warm and humid climate). These colonial buildings in Malaysia also have
combinations of the styles from other cultures such as Indian and Chinese due to
migrations and from the local Malay traditions. This paper will discuss about the
development of architectural styles that have been experienced in Malaysia since the
colonial era. These unique architectural styles and motifs have heritage values, many of
which are being conserved until today. Apart from that, we will also look into their
influences in a smaller scale as well as in a larger scale – as this has formed an identity
for Malaysia’s architecture. We have been arguing for some time about the true identity
that represents Malaysia’s architecture, and this matter has recently become a main
factor to consider when deciding the style of architectural decorations to be integrated
into building design. On the contrary, there is also an urgent need to develop new
appropriate design linked with the past and present. A synchronised awareness by both
the architects and the planners of the historical and cultural perspective of a place and
its architectural precedence provides a firmer basis in the pursuit to relate new designs
with the local technology and sosio-economic development.
Keywords: architectural, colonial cities, decorative component, culture, influence
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