Malaysia has always been open to ideas and influences from both East and West. It is thus blessed with an architectural heritage of great diversity, artistry and sophistication, showing many cross-cultural influences, and ranging from the simplest built shelters to the mega projects of the late 20th century. Malaysia's architecture is a mosaic of vernacular houses, palaces, mosques, temples, shophouses, mansions, public buildings, mass housing, high-rise office blocks, and state-of-the-art projects.
The first three sections of this volume introduce the reader to the vernacular houses of the indigenous communities—the forest dwellings of the Orang Asli, the various types of Malay houses and the longhouses of Sabah and Sarawak—and to the traditional architecture of the immigrant Chinese and Indian communities, particularly their temples. The architecture of Malay palaces, mosques and tombs is also discussed. The next three sections focus on British colonial influence in opening up the land in response to tin mining and the large-scale planting of rubber, and paving the way for modern, urban infrastructure, including imposing administrative and commercial buildings, many in the Western Neoclassical style. The final two sections deal with the rapid post-Independence developments, including the search for a Malaysian architectural identity and the adoption of innovative construction techniques.
Some 800 full-colour illustrations, including specially commissioned cutaway drawings of architecturally significant buildings, complement the text, which is written by distinguished academics and practising architects.
Visit the The Encyclopedia of Malaysia website.
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