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 weddings 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 auditorium
The "rumah dapur" (kitchen) as the stage and rehearsal hall.
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