The completion of the new Astana Negara (later renamed Istana Iskandariah) at Bukit Chandan was ahead of schedule. The istana was built during the reign of Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Shah and this was the article describing its completion in The Straits Times 17.12.1932:
“Construction of the new Astana at Kuala Kangsar which was started last year progressed very favourably according to a report which we have received and is now completed ahead of contract time.
“This important State building was designed by the Chief Government Architect F.M.S. and the contract was awarded to Messrs. Brossard and Mopin who were responsible also for the design of the reinforced concrete, skeleton and domes. Large quantities of materials such as concrete, bricks, marble, glazed tiles, foundry and decorative unit are involved in this building.
“There are five domes, one of them being 120 feet above ground level. Marble columns on the verandah give the imposing elevation and other marble features add distinction to the building.
“Entering the main porch facing the river there is a big ante-room in front of which is the main staircase the treads and dadoes which are of Italian marble artistically designed. On either side of the ante-room is the State Dining-room and the State Drawing room respectively, both of which rooms have a covered verandah facing the river.
“On the side of these rooms, facing the rear is another covered way giing access to the other rooms on the ground floor, such as H.H.’s private secretary’s office. On both wings secondary porches give direct access with staircases leading to rooms on the upper floor.
“On the mezzanine floor are the bedroms and a covered way runs along the main building and wings. On the upper floor is the Throne Room and the State Ball Room. Provision has been mad in this latter room for fixing the illuminating apparatus in ceiling recesses. Above these rooms is a flat roof from which a magnificent view of the surrounding country is obtained.
“Behind the main building and between the wings are to be the palm courts with a covered way running through the centre and another connecting the wings.
“Careful supervision has been given to every detail and all materials and apparatus intended for the building are of the finest quality.”
1. The Straits Times. 17 December 1932. p1.
2. Photograph of the new Astana Negara as published in The Straits Times 17 December 1932. pg 2.
[This newspaper article is published with permission from Singapore Press Holdings ©www.sph.com.sg.]