Putrajaya’s inspiring architecture

PUTRAJAYA is one of those places where once you drive through the area, it welcomes you with its majestic building structures and wide clear roads. Known officially as the Federal Territory of Putrajaya, it is the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. It is important to note that while Putrajaya is the federal administrative centre of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur still remains as the national capital and the country’s commercial and financial centre.

There are three Federal Territories in Malaysia — KL, Putrajaya and Labuan. Putrajaya was originally part of Selangor until 2001. The name Putrajaya was given in honour of Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. In the Malay language, the word “putra” means prince while “jaya” means success. Some of the government offices located here include the Prime Minister’s Department offices, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Palace of Justice.

Malaysia Energy Commission Headquarters: This building is also known as the Diamond Building because the shape of the building resembles a diamond. First designed in 2005 and completed in 2010, it is built to showcase the use of sustainable materials and green technologies to cut down energy and water wastage. The building has been given multiple accolades including being recognised as a Green Building Index (GBI) Platinum- and Green Mark Platinum (Singapore)-certified building.
Malaysian Islamic Development Department Complex: Located in Precinct 3 of Putrajaya, this complex on 2.28ha of land was completed in March last year but was only open earlier this year. There are a total of four buildings sitting on three plots of land. It houses 11 agency offices. The owner of the building is Lembaga Tabung Haji.
Menara Prisma: This 13-storey Grade A MSC-status office building is in Precinct 3 and is owned by Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd, a real estate investment holding company and a subsidiary of Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera. It also comes with one level of retail space and two basement car parks. Among some of the tenants in the building are the Ministry of Health, the Razak School of Government and HSBC Amanah Putrajaya.
Palace of Justice: Located in Precinct 3, The Palace of Justice or Istana Kehakiman is home to two Appeal Courts and six Federal Courts. Previously, these courts were located at the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in KL before they moved to Putrajaya in the early 2000s. One might immediately associate this beautiful structure with the Taj Mahal.

Aside from offices, there are also places of worship such as the Putra Mosque and Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque. Beautiful bridges are also one of the prominent features in Putrajaya including the Putra Bridge, Seri Gemilang Bridge, Seri Saujana Bridge, Seri Setia Bridge and Seri Wawasan Bridge. Other buildings in the area include the Malaysian Islamic Development Department Complex, Malaysia Energy Commission Headquarters and Election Commission of Malaysia. Most of the buildings here are often noticeable from their unique architecture — for example, the Malaysia Energy Commission Headquarters is shaped like a diamond and the Palace of Justice resembles the Taj Mahal.

According to the official portal of Putrajaya Corp, an agency under the Ministry of Federal Territories, construction of the 4,931ha new city began in August 1995. It is approximately 25km south of KL and located within the Multimedia Super Corridor. For those using public transport, the city is accessible via the KLIA Transit. If you are planning to take a drive there, you can be connected via the Maju Expressway, South Klang Valley Expressway, Damansara-Puchong Expressway and North-South Expressway Central Link. Putrajaya is divided into precincts from Precinct 1 to Precinct 20.

Putrajaya is also developed as a “City in a Garden” whereby 38% of the area is made up of parks, lakes and wetlands. The remaining areas are for offices, commercial and residential developments, public utilities and amenities. There is also a 600ha man-made lake that serves as a climate moderator as well as for lake activities such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

One can also visit the Botanical Gardens, Putrajaya Equestrian Park and Alamanda Shopping Centre — the first shopping centre in Putrajaya — in Precinct 1. Another shopping mall in the vicinity is IOI City Mall, which opened end-2014.

Putrajaya Corp: Putrajaya Corp or Perbadanan Putrajaya is the local authority for the Federal Territory of Putrajaya. It also promotes, stimulates, facilitates and undertakes commercial, infrastructure and residential developments in the area as well as the economic and social growth of Putrajaya.
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia: Heriot-Watt University is a UK-based university that has set its first Malaysia campus in Putrajaya. The campus costs £35 million (RM193.85 million) to build and can accommodate up to 4,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Sitting on a 4.8-acre stunning lakeside, it also has the first living-grass roof which shades the naturally ventilated spaces below, reduces thermal transmittance and acts as an observation deck, accessible by glass lift. According to the university’s official website, other environmentally friendly, passive design features include the campus’ lighting which is “powered” by the maximum use of natural daylight, a rainwater harvesting system, and optimised air-conditioning and thermal control systems.
Election Commission of Malaysia: The Election Commission of Malaysia is a 10-storey office tower with three basement levels. It is located in Precinct 2 of Putrajaya. The commission is set up to ensure fair and equitable operations in undertaking the Malaysian general elections and falls under the Prime Minister’s Department. The engineer who worked on this project, Jurutera Perunding Primareka Sdn Bhd, designed it using post-tensioned flat-slab for speedy construction and efficient ceiling space. Taking into account energy efficiency, the façade and roof elements are designed to minimise the impact of temperature and the use of electricity.

If you are looking to stay the night in Putrajaya, there are some hotels in the area including Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside, Marriott Putrajaya, Palm Garden Hotel and Shangri-La Putrajaya.

Most of the residential developments here are occupied by the government servants who are working in this area. Some of the residential developments here consist of condominiums, terraced houses, semi-detached houses and detached houses. EdgeProp.my saw condo listings on an average asking price of RM668,333 while terraced houses saw an average asking price of RM937,166 as of October 2017. Meanwhile, semi-detached houses and detached houses have an average asking price of RM1.8 million and RM2.9 million respectively in the same period.

However, residents and visitors to Putrajaya admire the place most for its attractive buildings — each unique and individually designed.

Natalie Khoo / EdgeProp.my(*)

(*) This story first appeared in EdgeProp.my pullout on Oct 13, 2017.