The Core Area expresses the formal identity for Putrajaya. It is the main part that provides Putrajaya its structure. The Core Area has a total area of 3,232.5 acres. Of this, about 82% or 2,643.9 acres (1069 hectares), is developable land. The rest being the lake. The Core Area of Putrajaya is divided into five precincts linked by a distinctive 4.2km/2.6mi long boulevard. The precincts are identified by their predominant economic activities.
This core area establishes the overall identity of Putrajaya. While all precincts are equally important in the overall scheme of Putrajaya, the Government Precinct is spatially prominent, consistent with its role as the administration centre for the Federal Government.
This Precinct is located at the northern end of the Core Area. Most of the Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are located here. This precinct occupies a peninsula bounded by the lake and wetland on the west and the east, with the Prime Minister's Office (Perdana Putra Building) overlooking the Dataran Putra.
The Government Precinct (Precinct 1) is a dedicated area for the bulk of the Federal Government administration offices, including that of the Prime Minister's Office Complex. The Prime Minister's Office Complex is located at the head of the Dataran Putra thereby establishing a spatial and symbolic presence at the most important node within the Government Precinct and Putrajaya as a whole.
All other government and government-related facilities are distributed around this node. In summary, the Government Precinct, as part of the Core Area of Putrajaya, is the primary government-use area in Putrajaya. It is set in and around green open spaces and waterways and will become a macrocosm and a reflection of the 'City-in-a-Garden' concept that defines Putrajaya as a whole.
The Government Precinct consists of the following major elements:
- Government Parcels (A, B, C, D, and E)
- Persiaran Perdana
- Masjid Putra
- Dataran Putra
- Istana Melawati
Precinct 1 also has three bridges:
GOVERNMENT PARCELS AND PERSIARAN PERDANA
The Government Parcels house the bulk of the Federal Government administrative offices. These parcels are demarcated into Parcel A, B, C, D and E, each on a hill spur of its own. The distinction is made clear by the series of linear parks between each parcel.
Links to Government Complexes:
Parcel A (Perdana Putra - Prime Minister's Office)
Parcel B (Prime Minister's Department)
A ring road, which is called Persiaran Perdana, connects all the government parcels in this precinct. Landscape buffers provide necessary shade, screening, definition and contains an LRT reserve land.
PERDANA PUTRA BUILDING (PARCEL A)
At the center of the Putrajaya lies Mahathir's palatial office, a green domed six-storey granite edifice the size of several city blocks looming over manicured hills with green glass windows and surrounded by artificial mangrove lakes filled with bulrushes. The office is lined with wood-paneled interiors, with its marble-walled foyers and high tech conference rooms. Mahathir's palatial residence, just five minutes' drive away, is also topped by a green dome and built at a cost of RM 17.5mn (US$4.6 million). Additionally, adjoining facilities cost another RM 57.5mn (US$15.1mn), including state rooms, a banquet hall, meeting and guest rooms. The entire complex - perched atop a hill overlooking the lake - covers about 40 acres (16 hectares).
The Perdana Putra Building, at 50m above sea-level, overlooks the Putrajaya Lake and is the Prime Minister's Department Complex. The natural stone clad building with its green pitched roof and onion-shaped main dome, surrounded by four smaller domes forms the distinctive land mark of Putrajaya. Perdana Putra is a six storey building comprising the Main Block and flanked by the East and West Wings. The Prime Minister's Office is located at the Central Main Block and is distinguished by the distinctively topped main dome design that resembles the Zahir Mosque in Alor Setar, Kedah.
The West Wing consists of offices of the Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers and Deputy Ministers as well as Parliamentary Secretaries in the Prime Minister's Department. The Malaysian Industries-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and Advisory Board are also located here.
The East Wing houses the offices of the Chief Secretary to the Government, Cabinet Divisions and the Implementation and Coordination Unit (ICU).
Dataran Perdana (pic1, pic2) is where the Prime Minister welcomes the Head of States and Head of Governments from other countries. During the welcoming ceremony, the National Anthem will be played followed by the inspection of the Guard of Honours. Laman Perdana is where the guests are introduced to the cabinet ministers, foreign dignitaries, government and public officials.
Level 1 - General Admin & Financial Division
Level 2 - Information Technology Division
Level 3 - Meeting Rooms
Level 4 - Special Offices, Press Division, Special Function Officer to Prime Minister, Special Officer to Prime Minister, Press Secretary to Prime Minister.
Level 5 - Prime Minister's Office, Principal Private Secretary.
DEPARTMENT (PARCEL B)
Parcel B, consists of eight blocks of office buildings housing the following agencies of the Prime Minister's Department:
Malaysian Administrative Organization & Management Planning Unit (MAMPU)
Economic Planning Unit
Public Complaints Bureau
Administrative & Finance Division
Legal Affairs Division
The Ministries and agencies that will be occupying Government Complex Parcel C are
Department of Environment
Government Projects Task Force
Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
Public Service Commission
Public Service Department
Built on an area of 38.3 acres, Government Complex Parcel D consists of total 10 blocks of multi-story office buildings. All the building blocks are clustered around the central plaza, which is extensively landscaped. Nine of the ten blocks which form the overall development at Parcel D are arranged formally around a central plaza with the tenth block located below ground. This tenth block, which contains common facilities such as the canteen and multi-purpose hall, has direct access to the sunken portion of the central plaza. The nine blocks are linked together at Level 4 and connect direct to the tenth block via twin service towers, that will visually enclose the entire Central Plaza.
Parcel D has been acclaimed to be unique amongst its contemporaries due to its outlook and construction technology. It is probably the first of its kind in this country on the large scale where a total of approximately 11.2 millions pieces of bricks have been used to clad the buildings. The project involved the design and construction of the modern government office buildings complete with the latest state-of-the art mechanical, electrical and plumbing services. The building facades were designed and constructed using facing clay brick masonry as a distinctive architectural feature.
The Ministries and agencies that will be occupying Government Complex Parcel D are:
Department for Islamic Advancement
Ministry of Human Resources
Ministry of Internal Affairs
Ministry of Rural Development
Ministry of Transport
National Audit Department
Road Transport Department
Syariah Justice Department
Parcel E is targeted to house five ministries namely:
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications & Multimedia
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Housing & Local Government
Ministry of Unity & Social Development
Putra Mosque stands out in the city of Putrajaya with its two distinctive features: its color and its site. Three quarter of the beautiful desert pink mosque floats on Putrajaya Lake, at a choice location that can be easily accessed by congregants and other visitors.
The pink-domed Masjid Putra is a major focal point that terminates the Persiaran Perdana axis and adds visual interest to the Government Precinct. The mosque consists of three main functional areas - the prayer hall, the "Sahn" or courtyard, learning facilities and function rooms. The prayer hall is simple and elegant, supported by 12 columns. The highest point below the dome is 250 feet above ground level. The "Sahn", landscaped with several decorative water features and bordered by colonnades, provide extended prayer space. An impressive minaret built in five tiers, stands 116m tall - the tallest minaret in the region. The mosque, which can accommodate 15,000 worshippers at any one time also houses a VIP room, library, Al-Quran Manuscript Museum, auditorium, exhibition foyer and a seminar room.
Putra Mosque reflects the evolution of mosque design in Malaysia, with its Islamic-inspired architecture taking into account traditional design elements and craftsmanship, local materials and weather conditions. The mosque is modeled after Persian Islamic architecture of the Safavid period with several elements derived from other Muslim cultures.
As with all mosques, the Putra Mosque faces Kiblat, the direction of Mecca. The main entrance to the mosque is patterned after gates to public buildings in Muslim Persia. The building was constructed mainly with rose-tinted granite, which is offset by brown-stained cengal woodwork to enhance the decorative features on the doors, windows and panels. Pic1, Pic2, Pic3
The Prayer Hall
The Prayer Hall rests on Putrajaya Lake, which is approximately three to six meters deep.
The prayer hall is simple and elegant. It is an airy space with no internal walls; instead it is supported by 12 columns that prop up the 36 metre-diameter main dome. The highest point, which is below the dome, is equivalent to a 25 storey building.
The plan of the prayer hall comprises three multi-tiered shapes:
- the outer square, from which the four walls rise;
- the octagon, at the corner of the square; there are eight octagons that form the base of the eight mini domes surrounding the main dome.;
- the innermost circle, which represents the circumference of the main dome
The cavernous hall has no fans or air conditioners and is ventilated by land and lake breezes wafting across the verandah, mashrabiyah or vertical grills, ventillation ducts on the columns and openings above the stained glass windows. These features combine to provide a cool and comfortable prayer area. The 'hoods' surrounding the dome and the covered verandah, meanwhile, help reduce glare and driving rain which are commonplace in Malaysia's tropical climate.
The focal points in the prayer hall are the mimbar (pulpit) and the mehrab, the niche denoting the direction of Mecca. Both are adorned with khat (Islamic calligraphy).
The hall has a capacity for 8,000 men on the ground level and 2,000 women in the gallery, where they sit behind a finely crafted timber screen. Lobby lifts transport female congregants to the gallery overlooking the main prayer hall.
The Sahn or Courtyard, with the minaret
When the prayer hall is full, congregants gather in the sahn or paved courtyard. It is in front of the prayer hall and can accomodate up to 5,000 congregants. The open courtyard is landscaped and contains several decorative water features. The remaining sides of the sahn are bordered by colonnades with the umbrella-shaped roof found in Malaysia's Masjid Negara, the national mosque.
The high point here is the 116 metre minaret, which is influenced by the design in the Sheikh Oman mosque in Baghdad. It has five tiers representing Rukun Islam or the Five Pillars of Islam and five times daily praying ritual of Muslims. The cross-section of the minaret is based on the Islamic style of rotating a square to create a star. This star pattern is also found on the floor of the sahn.
Learning Facilities & Function Rooms
These facilities are found in the basement floors, which comprise three wings. The North Wing is the religious learning centre, with lecture rooms, seminar rooms, a manuscript room and an administration office. The South Wing contains the living quaters of the caretakers and the Jenazah room. The East Wing houses a 420-capacity auditorium, exhibition foyer and a large dining room for 400 guests. It also contains ablution and rest rooms, which are located directly below the sahn.
This large tree-lined hard-paved plaza is the formal area within Putrajaya and acts as a spatial hinge between the Boulevard axis and the Government Precinct axis. The 300m circular Dataran Putra (Putra Square) adorned with light and water features provides the centerpiece for Precinct 1. It is designed to be the nation's leading centre for staging national events and formal parades. Dataran Putra is bounded by Perdana Putra, Masjid Putra, Putra Bridge and the Promenade. Together they constitute a most impressive showcase of Putrajaya's unique architectural form. This enhances the essence of this formal area as a focal point and one of the most attractive landmarks in Putrajaya.
Designed basically as two concentric plazas surrounded by Taman Putra Perdana, the circular ceremonial area is an open hard landscape encircled by Chahar Baghs, which acts as a transition between the parks and the ceremonial area. Inside the Chahar Baghs is carefully arranged interplay of paths, water channels, flower beds and trees. Beyond the Chahar Baghs is a sea of colourful local flora.
The Dataran is divided into 11 segments, in the pattern of an 11-pointed star. The outer 11-pointed star represents the 11 states of Malaya when the country gained independence in August 1957, the inner 13-pointed star the 13 states that formed Malaysia in 1963 and the 14-pointed star includes the new addition of the Federal Territory. The progressive arrangements of the different pointed stars finally culminate in a circle in the centre of the Dataran. The circle symbolizes the ultimate goal of unity.
As the venue for major events, the Dataran is designed incorporating local motifs and cultural values. The round shape of the Dataran does not only determine the termination of the Boulevard but also acts as a hinge linking the Boulevard axis towards the Mercu Tanda.
Istana Melawati is located in Precinct 1, on the north-western slope of the hill within Persiaran Persekutuan. This is to be the royal retreat for His Majesty The Yang Di Pertuan Agong and his family, the venue for meetings with other Rulers and Yang Di Pertua Negeri as well as the venue for certain official and private functions hosted by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong.
The Istana shall be oriented south-west towards the general direction of the Putra Bridge - Lake area. The elevated position on the hill gives it a strong presence befitting the status of a Palace, cascading down the slope gently from the higher southern level to the lower north-western corner of the hill.
The main fašade of the Istana shall address the scenic views of the Putrajaya Lake, Jambatan Seri Perdana, Seri Perdana Putrajaya, Perdana Putra Building, Masjid Putra and the Mercu Tanda in Taman Putra Perdana.
From the old timber mosques of Kelantan, Melaka and Terengganu to the classical court buildings of other regional buildings in South East Asia, the square-based pyramidal roof forms a very distinctive and prominent style. Its utilization on the Istana Melawati as tower structures or security watch towers further enhances its strong architectural silhouette and character.
Another popular feature of tropical Malay architecture incorporated is the "bumbung limas" or sometimes referred to as "bumbung perabung lima" (five-ridge roof).
Befitting the status of the Istana Melawati as a Royal Palace, the roof forms are arranged on tiered levels - symbolizing the prominent status of the buildings. Decorative fascia pieces further enhance the features of the Istana.
The open-sided verandah is also featured prominently throughout the Istana Melawati, acting as a very important interface between nature and the built environment in vernacular tropical architecture. The verandahs will enable the enjoyment of scented flowers and herbs will be extensively used in the series of "Taman Indera" or Royal Pleasure Gardens of Istana Melawati.