Kampung Teluk Memali Mosque

Abandoned for the past 20 years, the 108-year-old Kampung Teluk Memali Mosque in Ipoh, Perak, has been given a new lease of life through conservation efforts spearheaded by ATSA Architects.

The historic mosque—located near the banks of the Perak River and close to the tomb of a former sultan—is believed to have been built in 1908 and completed in 1910. An additional annexe block, known as balai lintang, was built in April 1948, based on the date carved on its staircase.

Back in 2011, a study was done on the mosque’s distinctive traditional Perak Malay architecture by faculty members of Politeknik Ungku Omar. The dilapidated building was found to be still structurally sound, with a few intact elements, and a proposal was made to relocate and restore it as a house of worship to preserve the country’s built heritage legacy. Permissions and agreements were secured from the villagers and local and religious authorities for the proposed works.

Earthworks for a new platform at the mosque’s new home in Bandar Seri Botani began in 2016. Following timber identification tests and a dilapidation survey by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board and registered conservator consultants, the dismantling and relocation process began.

Preliminary works involved site clearance and preparation, coding and numbering of each wooden component and the transfer of the old mimbar (pulpit) to a safer location. The old kolah (ablution) tank was relocated to the new site using a crane and loader.

Next, the workers carefully disassembled the building components, beginning with the roof structure—consisting of zinc and asbestos-free sheet roofing, fascia boards, purlins, rafters and trusses—the wall panels and tie beams, along with the main and supporting columns. Some of the wood components were brought to a timber workshop in Chemor, Perak, for treatment, while others were stored on site, under a canopy tent. At the same time, new replacement timber components were made to order in a factory in Terengganu.

About two months later, the building components and structures were reinstalled at the new site. The process was done sequentially with 23 chronological steps—from the column bases to the rafters and wall panels. For the final roof finish, the singgora tiles were laid on the roof structure, on top of the roof purlins. The finishing touches included timber ceiling strips, decorative wall panels, painting works, fascia boards, lattice arch, serambi and window balustrade, timber flooring in the prayer hall and the reconstruction of the anjung.

These works, including construction of the new balai lintang and electrical wiring, were finished in March 2017, while the toilet building and landscape elements were completed on site by September 2017. The Certificate of Completion and Compliance was awarded in January 2018.

The conservation of the Kampung Teluk Memali Mosque was made possible through donations and contributions from various organisations and individuals. The restored building can accommodate up to 150 worshippers and is now being utilised by the local community as a surau for daily and special prayers. The gazetting process of Its heritage status is underway from the Department of National Heritage.

“We sincerely hope that our effort will become an eye-opener and pave to the conservation efforts of many heritage and historical buildings and sites in our country,” says Ar Azim A. Aziz, CEO of ATSA Architects. “It shall be our collective and inherent duty to protect and safeguard every built heritage legacies left by our forefathers to be passed down to our next generations.”

Project Name: Relocation, Conservation and Preservation of Kampung Teluk Memali Mosque
Location: Taman Seri Bougainvillea, Bandar Seri Botani, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Completion Date: January 2018
Site Area: 2,023.43 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 236.54 square metres
Client/Owner: Council of Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs of Perak (MAIPk)
Design Consultant: ATSA Architects Sdn Bhd
Principal Consultant: ATSA Architects Sdn Bhd
Architecture Firm: ATSA Architects Sdn Bhd
Principal Architect: Ar Azim A. Aziz
Civil & Structural Engineer: MNH Consultant Sdn Bhd
Quantity Surveyor: FLA Jurukur Bahan Sdn Bhd
Timber Consultant: Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB)
Landscape Architect: ATSA Architects Sdn Bhd
Conservation Consultant: Dr Jaki Mamat, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Main Contractors: PU Profile Sdn Bhd; Shane Global Services; Sohigh Enterprise
Images: Azahari Salleh; Mohd Nizam Mohd Zan; M. Haziq Zulkifli