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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

CM gives public 3 options for Dewan Sri Pinang upgrade


Think City executive director Hamdan Abdul Majeed (right) explains the proposed plans to upgrade Dewan Sri Pinang to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (second from right) today.
GEORGE TOWN: The Dewan Sri Pinang, a venue synonymous for almost five decades with the conferment of Penang’s state honours and cultural shows, is set to get an upgrade.
The multipurpose auditorium, which was once the Penang state library, will be upgraded by George Town Conservation and Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (GTCDC) next year.
GTCDC, a company jointly owned by Chief Minister Inc, Think City Sdn Bhd and Aga Khan Trust for Culture, will work on the 47-year-old building known as the centre for the arts and theatre.
GTCDC chairman Chow Kon Yeow, who is also chief minister, said the type of upgrade would be determined by public feedback through selection from three options which will be put on display next week.
The first option will be a minimal facelift by rearranging and expanding spaces within the building, including a flexible auditorium space and the reopening of a sea-facing balcony restaurant.
The second option is to expand the ground and first floors for larger function space, a flexible auditorium space with an experimental theatre with box seating, a digital library, a food court and a foyer linking the adjacent City Hall and Town Hall.
Think City executive director Hamdan Abdul Majeed (right) briefs the press about the Dewan Sri Pinang upgrade project.
The third option is an expansion of the second option, where the building will be extended towards the seafront, including a larger performing arts space and a third-floor space for office tenants.
Chow said the upgrade of Dewan Sri Pinang, which stands on George Town’s northern seafront, is part of a larger master plan to connect the seafront here to the eastern seafront, where the clan jetties are.
He said restoration work is being carried out on the seawalls from Dewan Sri Pinang to Fort Cornwallis and that this will be extended to the entrance of the Swettenham Pier. Later, Chow said, GTCDC will work on connecting the eastern seafront to the northern seafront.
The Dewan Sri Pinang, built in 1972 by the Public Works Department, has been regarded as a “tropical modernist architecture” in the state.
The significance of the site stems from its ongoing use as the state’s premier cultural and civic centre and the fact that it sits on the historic Ranong Ground donated by the Khaw Sim Bee family in the 1890s.
Khaw, of Phuket, is remembered as the father of the Thai rubber industry and was governor of the Trang province in 1890.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (middle) with state executive councillors Jagdeep Singh Deo (left) and Zairil Khir Johari (right).
The Dewan Sri Pinang has also seen two state funerals, with an elaborate lying-in-state ceremony for the late chief minister Lim Chong Eu, and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh.
Those interested in giving their feedback can visit the plans put on display at Dewan Sri Pinang from next week. -FMT

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