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Can old buildings be dismantled and rebuilt?

 | July 11, 2014

Gerakan is baffled as to how a developer is going to rebuild a dismantled heritage building in Penang.

Misc058_300GEORGE TOWN: Penang Gerakan has asked the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) how is it possible to dismantle and reassemble a UNESCO-listed heritage building with the same materials.

Its secretary, Oh Tong Keong, questioned when the council started using this new technique to rebuild heritage buildings after tearing down the structure.

Oh was commenting on Tropicana Macalister Avenue (Penang) Sdn Bhd’s move to dismantle a pre-war building in Macalister Road and rebuild it elsewhere.

He said the developer should publicly show the council’s permit allowing the company to do so and where the dismantled parts were being kept.

Yesterday, Gerakan office received a package from an unknown person that contained information on the multi-storey Tropicana Avenue project.

The proposed project has several high-rise buildings comprising multi-level car parks, a hotel, office lots and apartment units.

However, when Oh and Gerakan officials visited the heritage site this morning the building had already been torn down.

It is learnt that the building was flattened in May.

Oh told newsmen that according to a vernacular press report on July 10, the project’s civil and structural architectural consultant company, Arup Jururunding Sdn Bhd, had pledged to rebuild the heritage building with the same raw materials.
The report quoted the architect as saying that the project would be the first heritage preservation project using the “dismantle and reassemble” technique.

Oh said it would be difficult to rebuild a heritage structure to its original status once it has been knocked down.

“The heritage building has been torn down to pieces and how they can reassemble the building.
“If the developer did not keep the dismantled parts, where is the company going to find similar raw materials to rebuild the structure?” he asked.


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