The Malay heritage centre, occupies the former royal palace of the Malay sultans in Singapore. It is in the Arab quarter just by the side of the Sultan Mosque.
The architectural style is different to the shop houses and the mosque. It is a modern looking building in large open grounds. It has an orange Roman tiled roof. The sides of the building are painted in pale yellow and the details of the Brown, windows and doors picked out in white surrounds.
In front of the colonnaded entrance there is a large circular Pool with small fountains. The landscaping is very formal and well-kept, there are palm trees, tropical bushes and large amounts of grass to give a tranquil feeling to the gardens. Near the mosque is a visitors centre where you can learn about the Royal family's of Singapore and also go on a guided tour.
The land on which the Malay heritage centre now stands used to be where the sultans Palace stood. The land went down to Beech Road and the waterfront. In 1999, the Malay heritage foundation started a major restoration project to construct a heritage centre that would showcase culture and history of the Malay people in Singapore.
The original building was constructed in 1819, by Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor. It was a wooden structure built on stilts and occupied twice the area of the modern compound. The present concrete structure that you see today was built between 1836 and 1843 by the Sultan's eldest son.
Although built with modern materials, the colonial architect George Coleman still used architectural features such as the large wooden shuttered windows of the surrounding shop houses to blend in with its surroundings. They were also practical as the windows could be left open at night and during the rainy season, but with the shutters closed, allowing cool breezes to drift through the rooms.
The estate became state land when Singapore gained independence. The house has been restored faithfully to the instructions in the original architectural drawings made by Coleman. The Malay Heritage Centre compound and Museum is closed on Monday. You can walk around the compound from 8 am to 8 pm. The museum opens at 10 am