2012-08-12

Pudu Jail, 1895. Tracing Past for Present

Pudu Jail, 1895, Jalan Hang Tuah, Kuala Lumpur, demolition work began since 2010.

Heritage building is neither just a hereditary artefact nor history but a trace of narrative of the past that one place would needs to relate for his present presence. The sequential events through historical timeline of one heritage building gives meaning and narrative quality to the people who perceives it. As it ages, it forms dialogues with its neighbouring context that one would like to know in order to give a meaningful relationship of its position. It is a memory for people who grew up with it. In 2010, since the day when Pudu Jail was subjected to demolition for mixed development by the government due the idea of it being conceived as insignificance for the city being something that is not to be proud of, the erase of the memory has marked an uncivilized thinking of the country leader. Adaptive reuse, material retention and reuse, retention of building component, 'spolia', these vocabularies were never existed in the context when reflection on desire rules over contemplation in the development process. Architecture remains a totally branch new discourse for Malaysian. (See Proposal for Conservation Development of Pudu Jail)