The Sultan Abdul Samad Building (named after the then Sultan of Selangor) was built in 1894-97, stretching 400 feet along Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur .
The building was originally constructed to house the Secretariat offices of Selangor. Later, it was occupied by the Selangor State Government Treasury, the Accountant-General’s Office and the Marriage Registry.
This building was also used to be occupied by the then Apex Court of Malaysia, the Supreme Court which was subsequently renamed the Federal Court. The Court of Appeal was also housed in this historic building.
The Federal Court and the Court of Appeals have since moved to the Palace of Justice located in Putrajaya, the new Federal administrative capital. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building now houses the Commercial Division of the High Court of Malaya and the Textile Museum.
The KL Big Ben
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is located in front of the Merdeka Square and the Royal Selangor Club, by Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur,The unique Mughal-styled building is topped by a gleaming copper dome and a 40m high clock tower, dubbed Big Ben by the locals. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building serves as the backdrop for important events such as the National Day Parade on August 31 and the ushering in of the New Year.
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is definitely the centrepiece of the colonial architecture in Kuala Lumpur. This heritage building was constructed of red bricks with imitation stone dressing with a titled roof. The exposed red brick with the white plaster lined arches and striped courses became known as the blood and bandages style.
The Most Unique Building
The plan of the building is asymmetrical with a F-shaped plan form. The verandahs which surround the building are arcaded and several forms of arches were used such as pointed arch, ogee arch, horse-shoe arch, multifoil arch and four-centered arch were all emphasized by the imitation stone dressing.
Indian patent stone with Islamic geometrical patterns was used in the flooring. The building has three towers, that is the central clock tower which is square in plan and two shorter circulation towers with outer stairways that climb the towers in a spiraled fashion. All three towers have onion shaped domes with copper coverings.
Many historical events had been held in front of this building. Among them was the declaration of independence of Malaysia (Malaya then) on 31 August, 1957 and the lowering of the Union Jack Flag. On 1st January 1982, the clock tower became the venue for another historic event when the time between West Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were standardized.
Located at the heart of the city, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is facing the Merdeka Square, just a walking distance from Central Market. This building is beautifully illuminated at night.