The architecture all around Malaysia today displays almost every imaginable architectural category and style of Asia’s main cultures and religions. Yet while the old architectural heritage is preserved, Malaysia looks forward and creates its own new towering heritage in the world.
Today most Malaysian cities and towns are a milieu of old and new. As exemplified by the capital Kuala Lumpur, where traditional houses and colonial edifices stand together with mosques, temples and churches; all within walking distance under the shadow of a new heritage, the Petronas Twin Towers, the world’s tallest twin buildings. This architectural evolution is the result of historical influences on the nation over the centuries. It began from the ancient forest-born native dwellings to Hindu-Indian and Arab-Muslim influences followed by the arrival of the Chinese as the Asian part. Then came the series of European colonial periods from the Portuguese,Dutch and finally the British but which was tempered by local sentiment throughout; finally to the independent modern Malaysian vision yet still rooted in traditional spirituality.