This book is a historical and descriptive narrative of Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) through the lineage of the various PAM Centres, beginning in 1969 at the Merlin Hotel to the present one at Jalan Tandok in Bangsar. Some of the facts are referenced from a previous book, some from PAM files as well as articles from Architecture Malaysia and some from the author’s own experience and memory from over the years.
For decades, the PAM Centre has been, to Malaysian architects over the years, a sanctuary of calm and a home to go to, a place to recollect and make civil exchanges with fellow architects, while outside can be a battleground, a world of ‘otherness’ that sometimes contradict the architects’ sensibilities. Among the scientists, the architect is regarded as an artist; among the artists, the architect is seen as a scientist; in a cultureless surrounding, the architect is sought out as a culturalist – the person of reason in an irrational, and often unfair world. The PAM Centre is where the paradoxical person, the architect regard as home and the centre of it all. It quickly became one of the last bastions of conservationists’ resistance against unfettered development in the city. There was a development storm outside of the place of calm, which became a reference point of conservation in Kuala Lumpur.