Istana Budaya

The Istana Budaya or also known as the Palace of Culture, is Malaysia's main venue for all types of theatre including musical theatre, operetta, classical concerts and opera from local and international performances. It is located in heart of Kuala Lumpur city, next to the National Art Gallery.

The Istana Budaya was officially opened in 1999 by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Upon completion, the former national theatre, Panggung Negara was relocated to this new building. Istana Budaya is the home of the Residence Artists (Dance);the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and the Orchestra Traditional Malaysia (OTM).

The Istana Budaya theatre hall Panggung Sari, with its unique design of royal boxes inspired by the windows of the traditional Rumah Melayu or Malay house, can accommodate up to 1,410 audiences at a time. Istana Budaya is also rated among the ten most sophisticated theatres in theworld, and on par with the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Istana Budaya aims to raise the standards of performing arts, develop artistic excellence in theatre, popularise high-quality theatre productions and develop a higher sense of artistic appreciation.

The building was designed by the local architect, Muhammad Kamar Ya'akub. The inspiration for the design is based on a traditional moon kite in flight. The turquoise folds on the roof and the intricate design of the foyer are just two of the interesting features of the building. Istana Budaya's architecture has intrigued experts and academics.

The main building takes the shape of the sirih junjung, a traditional arrangement or a present made of betel leaves used during Malay wedding and welcoming ceremonies. As in a traditional Malay house, the building is divided into three areas:The serambi (lobby and foyer)The rumah ibu (main house) as the auditoriumThe rumah dapur (kitchen) as the stage and rehearsal hall.

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