Lee Rubber Building
Bangunan Lee Rubber
Lee Rubber Building (front view).JPG
General information
Architectural styleArt Deco
LocationKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Coordinates3°8′39.1″N 101°41′46.8″E / 3.144194°N 101.696333°E / 3.144194; 101.696333Coordinates: 3°8′39.1″N 101°41′46.8″E / 3.144194°N 101.696333°E / 3.144194; 101.696333
Completed1930
OwnerGF Land Sdn Bhd
Technical details
Floor count5
Floor area988 m2
Design and construction
ArchitectArthur Oakley Coltman

The Lee Rubber Building (Malay: Bangunan Lee Rubber) is a historical building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Architecture

Lee Rubber Building is located at the corner of Jalan Tun H. S. Lee and Jalan Hang Lekir (known as High Street and Cecil Street during the British colonial era).[1] The building was designed by Arthur Oakley Coltman of the British architecture firm, Booty Edwards & Partners company. Its grey façade sports the Modernist Art Deco design as its architectural style, with striated lines and mouldings complete with differentiated corner treatment topped with an essential flag pole. Its five-foot way is broken by solid wall-like pillars.[2][3] It has a strong geometric shape with a corner set at a 45° angle. Like most urban Art Deco structures, the original building has a flat roof with no cornice or overhang.[4][5] It also has a pediment that portrays the building's original name in English and Chinese.[6]

History

The building was constructed in 1930. Upon completion, it was the tallest building in Kuala Lumpur at that time.[7] In 1942-1945, the building was used by the Japanese government as the headquarters of Japanese secret police during World War II. In 1950s, an additional floor was added to the structure, making it a five-story building. In 2003, Popular bookshop opened for operation in the building.[8] The building was put up for sale in 2015 by its former owner, Lee Rubber Group; the Popular bookstore and the Kasturi tuition centre upstairs vacated the building several months later as a result.[9] Nevertheless, Kuala Lumpur City Hall by-laws prohibit the demolition or significant structural alteration to the heritage building.

In 2016, the then-85-year-old structure, was sold to Singapore-based GF Land Sdn Bhd whom set out to convert the historic building into a new landmark. The Lee Rubber Building was turned into a small luxury hotel,[10] named Else Kuala Lumpur featuring 49 guestrooms and suites[11] and opened for the public on August 11, 2022. On top of the original four-storey structure, a new podium and an additional two floors are constructed. The building also sports a series of atriums to bring in natural light and ventilation .[12]

The building is preserved under the National Heritage Act and is listed as a heritage structure category 2 by Kuala Lumpur City Hall. This entails a preservation of the entire façade.[4]

Art Deco detail of northern wing of Lee Rubber Building.
Art Deco detail of northern wing of Lee Rubber Building.

Transportation

The building is accessible within walking distance northeast of Pasar Seni LRT/MRT station.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Southgate, Audrey; Bracken, Gregory Byrne (2014). A Walking Tour Kuala Lumpur (2 ed.). Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd. ISBN 978-9814516945. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  2. ^ Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (Malaysian Institute of Architects) (2007). "N2". Architectural Heritage: Kuala Lumpur – Pre-Merdeka. Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (Malaysian Institute of Architects). ISBN 9789834049379.
  3. ^ "The former Lee Rubber Building in KL City will reopen as a boutique hotel this July". New Straits Times. 22 February 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Historic Lee Rubber Building put up for sale". Edgeprop.my.
  5. ^ Faculty of Built Environment, University Malaya (3 February 2009). "Final Lee Rubber Assignment". Retrieved 7 June 2014. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Southgate, Audrey; Bracken, Gregory Byrne (2014). A Walking Tour Kuala Lumpur (2 ed.). Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd. ISBN 978-9814516945. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  7. ^ Faculty of Built Environment, University Malaya (3 February 2009). "Final Lee Rubber Assignment". Retrieved 7 June 2014. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "Bookstore in centre of Chinatown closes its doors for good". The Star Online. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b Chew, Rachel (23 November 2015). "Historic Lee Rubber Building put up for sale". The Edge Property. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  10. ^ Cheong, Brian. "First Look: New Boutique Hotel Takes Up Residence at Lee Rubber Building". Tatler Asia.
  11. ^ [www.elseretreats.com "Else Kuala Lumpur"]. 5 July 2022. ((cite web)): Check |url= value (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "From heritage to downtown chic". The Edge Markets. 3 April 2022.