One of Selangor’s most treasured heritage buildings is the subject of the Brought To Delight exhibition, which features the recently conserved Sultan Suleiman Royal Mosque in Klang. The show is part of a collaboration between Badan Warisan Malaysia, Linea Architect Sdn Bhd with KL Architecture Festival (KLAF) 2018 and Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM).
Brought To Delight, curated by Badan Warisan Malaysia, is on at the PAM Centre in KL till Sept 8.
The Sultan Suleiman Royal Mosque was officiated as the Suleiman Jamiur Rahmah Mosque when it was completed in 1933. The building was designed as an octagonal garden pavilion-like structure at the foot of the old Astana Mahkota Puri in Klang. It was the largest concrete structure in Malaya in 1933 – quite an engineering feat at a time when reinforced concrete was relatively new.
The mosque, an art deco marvel, stands as one of the most unique religious architecture sites in the country. The ambitious project involved close consultations with the fifth Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Alaeddin Suleiman Shah, who selected the site and vetted through the design and planning details. Design credits go to the architect, Leofric Kesteven (chairman of the Malayan Institute of Architects from 1931 to 1933); John Thomas Chester, the reinforced concrete specialist attached to United Engineers Ltd; and Rodolfo Nolli, the Singapore-based Italian sculptor who worked on the ornaments of the building.
The mosque has stood for over eight decades, but not without transformations to its interior and Ablution Pavilion, affecting its original design intentions. Jabatan Kerja Raya Negeri Selangor, with assistance from the Jabatan Warisan Negara and Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor, had successfully completed the restoration of the mosque last November.
The building has been brought back to its original 1933 appearance (as closely as possible), which includes the uncovering of colourful bas-reliefs adorning its upper walls and its original sunken ablution pond.
As consultants to Jabatan Kerja Raya Negeri Selangor, Linea Architect and Badan Warisan Heritage Services had worked together in recording the original architectural details and the construction process involved in the restoration of the Sultan Suleiman Royal Mosque from 2015 to 2017. These records serve as references to understand Malaya’s architectural scene in the early 1930s and are displayed at PAM Centre. The Sultan Suleiman Royal Mosque was placed under the National Heritage list in 2012.
Brought To Delight is on at the main lobby of the PAM Centre, Jalan Tandok, Bangsar in KL till Sept 8. Opening times: 10am-6pm.