The stylish modernity of Ipoh owes it to some landmark buildings by B M Iversen, a Danish architect who came to Malaya in 1928 and started his own practice in Ipoh in 1936. Over a period of 40 years, except during WW2 when he and his small family took refuge in Australia, he has created a significant body of work, what we may see as a treasure of Malaysian architecture. Among his better known projects are Federal House, Denmark House and Loke Yew Building, all in Kuala Lumpur. Once you have learned his trademark features, looking out for his architectural creations will be a rewarding experience.
His work includes Ipoh’s cinemas: Majestic, Ruby, Rex, Cathay and Lido.
As for the Geosains Complex (Geological Department Complex) in Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah (Tiger Lane), we lament the new entrance to its museum which destroys the integrity of the architectural facade. We should preserve the best of Iversen in their original form. PHS would like to form a special interest group to study and document them. A meeting will be called. Please spread the news, involve our architects!
Iversen’s daughter, Ruth Iversen Baxter Rollitt, born in Batu Gajah, declares herself a second generation Malaysian. Even though she lives in London, she returns regularly to the country of her birth.
If you would like to know more about the Perak Heritage Society or help them with their Iverson project (above) they may be contacted as follows: