Monday, October 22, 2012


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 22, 2012

1. I believe people must have noticed a certain architecture associated with Putrajaya. The brown colour of the buildings set it apart from other major development in the country. The design of the buildings also differ from those usually found in this country.

2. Then there are the mosques which reflect Islamic features while not being reproductions of those in other Muslim Countries. The five-domed Court building is perhaps the most impressive (some people think it is a mosque). Each Ministry building has its own design with each having some distinct shape so that they are different from the others.

3. The mosques too are unique with one being more traditional and the other ultra modern. Yet they blend with the architecture of Putrajaya.

4. Unfortunately a new building has been added which is made up of glass, with no architectural features. It is not very imaginative as it looks like match boxes stacked on each other. It would be fantastic for New York but it is not Putrajaya. It is not very Malaysian or Islamic. It is in fact entirely out of place.

5. Of course this is only my opinion. Others will think otherwise.

6. I was in London recently. There you may do anything you like inside the house but the facade must remain as it was when it was built. You immediately know you are in London when you are in London.

7. It is the same with Paris. The roofs of the buildings in Paris are unique to Paris. And you immediately feel you are in Paris and nowhere else when you are in Paris.

8. I would like to think that a century from now people would know they are in Putrajaya because of the uniqueness of the city architecturally.

9. Every country has its own architectural feature. Spires and steeply sloping roofs are common in East Asia but each country has its own particular shape. Thailand, China, Korea and Japan all have the gracefully steep sloping roofs which terminate with upturned corners and edges. But still they manage to be unique for their countries through the variations in details.

10. For that matter every state in Malaysia has its own unique architecture. We never had high rise buildings. For a time we did not know what to do to make these skyscrapers look Malaysian. But now we have brought back the Malaysian roofs to top our high rise buildings.

11. They are actually utilitarian. We had flat roofs before. But somehow rain water manage not only to form puddles which refuse to evaporate, but often they find some cracks in the cemented roof to leak into the room below.

12. But with the roofs there are no more puddles and the water does not leak into the room below anymore. I am sure somebody will tell me that the leaks are still there.

13. The high rise flats in Putrajaya also have roofs. But the buildings are not enclosed entirely in glass like in America. They are different from the main boulevard with its ministerial building but they do not stick out like a sore thumb like that pile of glass boxes sticks out.

14. Please Putrajaya Holdings, please keep the uniqueness of Putrajaya’s archictecture.