Just 25km south of Kuala Lumpur is Putrajaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia. The brainchild of Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, Malaysia’s 4th Prime Minister, his vision was to establish a new centralised, modern and world class federal government administrative centre with its accompanying township away from the increasingly crowded and congested Kuala Lumpur. It is named ‘Putrajaya’ in honour of Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, for his invaluable contributions to the nation. ‘Putra’ in the Bahasa Malaysia language means ‘prince’ or ‘male child’, and ‘Jaya’ means ‘success’ or ‘victory’, a very apt name for a federal administrative centre.
Based on the concept of ‘an intelligent city in a garden’ stretching across 11,320 acres of land, 38% of Putrajaya is designated as ‘green space’ i.e. parks, lakes and wetlands, with the remainder earmarked for the construction of government offices, commercial and residential development, public utilities and amenities. The omnipresent 600 hectare man-made Putrajaya Lake is a landscaping masterstroke which moderates and blends the ‘green space’ and concrete elements together seamlessly and beautifully. In line with the government’s newly established e-government initiative at the time, the latest communications and multimedia technologies infrastructure were also specified to facilitate efficient communication and interaction between the Government offices, businesses and the community.
Construction commenced in August 1995, it was Malaysia’s biggest project then and one of Southeast Asia’s largest with estimated development cost of US$8.1 billion. The entire project was designed and constructed by Malaysian companies with only 10% of the materials imported. The seat of government was shifted from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya in 1999, with the pioneer batch of 300 staff from the Prime Minister’s office moving to their new office. The rest of the other ministries followed suit in due course as more and more of the infrastructure were completed and commissioned. At present, almost all the major buildings and landmarks are completed. Current population is estimated at 75,000 residents, comprising mainly of government servants who were encouraged to relocate to the city through a variety of government subsidy and loan programs. Further growth is expected in the near future, as the township is planned for 350,000 residents. Nevertheless, Kuala Lumpur remains Malaysia’s national capital, being the seat of the King and Parliament, as well as the country’s commercial and financial centre.
Putrajaya’s vast, modern, planned and green ‘intelligent city in a garden’ concept is clearly evident as you step within its boundaries. In my opinion, it is most beautiful in the evening/night when its prominent landmarks and structures are beautifully lit, adding depth and a new dimension to their character. The PM’s Office, bridges and mosques are case in point, they are strikingly beautiful in the night. Unlike Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya at present is rather quiet at night, due to the absence of nightlife and the lowish population count mainly made up of government servants and their families.
The Perdana Putra is the Prime Minister’s Office. Located on the main hill with a commanding view of Putrajaya, it is synonymous with the executive branch of the Malaysian federal government. Designed by a aQidea Architect (Ahmad Rozi Abd Wahab as the principal architect) with inspiration from Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the structural design is influenced by Malay, Islamic and European cultures as such Palladian and Neoclassicism architectural styles.
The Putra Mosque is the principal mosque of Putrajaya. Construction of the mosque commenced in 1997 and was completed 2 years later.
The Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque (or Iron Mosque) is the second principal mosque in Putrajaya. Located in Precinct 3 and at twice the size of Putra Mosque, it was built to cater to approximately 24,000 residents including government servants working around the City Center as well as areas within Precincts 2, 3, 4 & 18. The mosque’s construction utilised advanced building technologies at the time with an ‘architectural wire mesh’ construction system imported from Germany and China. A similar system was utilised in the construction of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. The mosque’s main entrance is strengthened with glass reinforced concrete, increasing the integrity of its structure. Fine glass was used to create an illusion of a white mosque from afar and its skyway features landscaping adapted from the ancient castles of Alhambra.
A Putrajaya ‘Signature Bridge’, the Wawasan Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge and the main link between Precinct 2 at the Core Island and the residential area of Precinct 8. The bridge is lit with an array of coloured lights which periodically changes colour, creating a repertoire of moods complementing the bridge design.
The Millennium Monument (Monumen Alaf Baru) is a national monument analogous to the Washington Monument in Washington DC, USA. It is the second national monument to be built in Putrajaya after the Putrajaya Landmark. At 68m in height and constructed of solid metal structures, it’s shaped like an obelisk with etchings denoting important periods and milestones in the nation’s history. At night, the monument serves as a beacon, its 360 degree sweeping lights is visible from various locations in Putrajaya, which also serves to guide the cruise boats.
The Seri Saujana Bridge is Putrajaya’s main bridge. The bridge’s design is a unique cable-stayed arch bridge similar to the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. Seri Saujana Bridge connects the Core Island (Precinct 4) with Precinct 7 and is strategically located at the main entrance to the Core Island from the south. It is a new concept of the cable-stayed arch bridge, its design reflecting a transparent, elegant and futuristic slender looking structure, with an overall single span of 300m and total width of 32m accommodating two three-lane carriageways.
The Seri Gemilang Bridge is Putrajaya’s ‘Ceremonial Bridge’ serving as the main link between the Core Island (Precinct 4) and Precinct 5. Its main span is 120 metres long, with an additional 60m span at each end, for a total length of 240m and accommodating 2 three-lane carriageways. The bridge distinctive features are its tower structures and specially designed lamps.
Hope you enjoy the photos 🙂 .
All photos: Fuji X-E1 and X-E2 with XF 23mm, XF 35mm and XF 55-200mm