Facades and shopfronts, Kuala Kubu Bharu

In an earlier post about  Kuala Kubu Bharu, I wrote about a lovely old man I met, but today I’m going to provide irrefutable proof of my geekiness.

I have always been fascinated by the origins of things, such as ideas, words and strangely enough, structures or structural elements. I have a weakness for interesting facades and doors, which KKB has its fair share of.

One feature of old buildings in KKB are these louvre windows, which go back a long, long time:

The Ilmio Cafe


Windows such as these, ie. those with glass or wooden louvers in a frame, originated in Britain from as far back as the Middle Ages (circa 1400). Think about how long ago that was, and how long this particular design has survived over the centuries.

These windows became popular due to their practicality and ease of use. There was no necessity to open or close them; all that was required to ventilate a room or let out rain or snow was to adjust the slats accordingly.

Many of the buildings in KKB are over 70 years old, so clearly we have the British to thank for introducing louvre windows to us.

Here are more examples:






Another feature present in a number of the buildings in KKB are swing doors, also known as ‘saloon doors’. I wasn’t able to find much information about them other than that the origin of the words ‘swing doors’ can be traced back to 1795-1805 (source: Random House Dictionary).  That’s not much to go by, but the year in which the term came about can be an indication of how long swing doors have been around.




Not everything about Kuala Kubu Bharu is old and faded, though- here’s a photo which shows what an interesting town it is:

Just in case you need to know how to get to some really far-off places

 This signpost shows the directions and distances of a few landmarks in relation to KKB, but look closely and you’ll see that these locations are in Adelaide (5,770 kms away), New York (15,125kms) and Cape Town (9,610km). If you’re wondering about the significance of these places, the landmarks in question are garden cities, just like KKB.

Who says old towns are boring?


*This is the third of five posts for #TSBreakAway. This post is also intended for the Canon Photo Storytelling Challenge.


© 2013 – 2014, Anis. All rights reserved.

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4 Responses

  1. Joyce says:

    hehehe i love shopfronts too! nice info. 1440s? whoaa.

  2. Khai says:

    Saloon door! Like in cowboy town aite?? Hehehe. Classic! Suddenly I remembered Django!