1896- 1898 Building and completion of Carcosa
There are actually 2 buildings which is the larger and older Carcosa and smaller Seri Negara. Both buildings are built at different time around the same compound.
Commissioned in the year of 1898, Carcosa (It was previously known as Carcosa Kuala Lumpur subsequently renamed to Carcosa Sri Negara 1913 ) is the official residents for British colonial administrator during the colonial Malaya period. The first Malay Peninsular Resident General Sir Frank Swettenham officially resides in Carcosa . Located at hills of Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, Carcosa was overlooking Kuala Lumpur city before the construction of high rise building. It is situated on a 16ha of manicured lawns.
Carcosa is derived from Italian words cara cosa which means “dear place”.
Building and constructions
Sir Frank Swettenham orders the construction of Resident General of Straits Settlements.
Carcosa was designed by English architect soldier Arthur Benison Hubback who is also responsible for designing other popular monuments such as Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur Railway station, Masjid Jamek, Ipoh Railway Station and Kowloon Railway Station. The works begin under the instruction of Selangor Public Works Department Charles Edwin Spooner and Arthur Charles Norman. Carcosa was built at the cost of £25,000 featuring Tudor and British colonial building styles. British was creating a replica of Cotswolds in the heart of tropical Malaya.
The first Carcosa housewarming was held by Sir Frank Swettenham at the August of 1909.
Seri Negara the second building was built and becomes the official guest house for important guest of Colonial Government. It is also known as King’s house.
Carcosa Seri Negara becomes the headquarters of Imperial Japanese Army during the invasion of Malaya.
Malaysian Federal Constitution was drafted at Carcosa Seri Negara. Malaysian Federation agreement was signed at Seri Negara by all 9 Sultans of Malaysia. Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman gave Carcosa Seri Negara to the British Government as goodwill gesture for independence of Malaya. Carcosa Seri Negara and its 16ha lands remains as property of British Government and functions as official residents for important officials visiting Malaya.
British High Commissioner official vacates Carcosa Seri Negara on August 31, 1957 during Malaya’s independence day. Malaya is renamed to Malaysia.
Carcosa is used by the First Yang di-Pertuan Agong as his official guest palace
The 7th Dawn Movie was shot at Carcosa Seri Negara
Carcosa Seri Negara were returned to Malaysian Government due to political pressure from Tun Daim and Anwar Ibrahim.
Carcosa Seri Negara hosted Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Phillip during her visit to Malaysia while attending Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting
1989 – 2015
Carcosa was leased as a heritage Luxury hotel. Serving many weddings and prestigious events. The lease was not renewed after the expiry and Carcosa Seri Negara was placed under Prime Minister’s Department.
Carcosa Seri Negara was leased to Asian Heritage Museum however it was subsequently abandoned.
Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians Yong’s family home set at Tyersall Park of Singapore, was shot at the 2 mansions of Carcosa Seri Negara, Kuala Lumpur. The interior of Carcosa was decorated in Nyoya Peranakan style in the set.
Carcosa fell into decaying state as it is left idle and vacant without maintenance. Its once grand landscape as been taken over by weeds and vines.
Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture takes over Carcosa Seri Negara.