Iversen: Architect of Ipoh and Modern Malaya
Iversen: Architect of Ipoh and Modern Malaya, is a biography of the Danish architect B.M. Iversen (1906–1976). It is illustrated with hundreds of original photographs, building plans and original paintings by the architect.
Perhaps more than any other architect of his generation, B.M. Iversen (1906–1976) introduced modern architecture to Malaya. From his award-winning Federal House and the landmark Loke Yew Building in Kuala Lumpur, to the 38 cinemas he designed for the Shaw Brothers and the Cathay Organisation, Iversen’s buildings remain icons of Malaysian Art Deco and Modernist architecture. Arriving in Malaya in 1928, the young Danish architect worked for Booty & Edwards and then Keys & Dowdeswell before moving to Ipoh. There, he settled down, founded his own practice and began to experiment with variants of tropical architecture. He was joined by his Dutch friend Henk van Sitteren after the war. By the time Iversen retired in 1966, the partnership of Iversen & van Sitteren had grown into a large firm with 14 architects of Danish, Dutch, British, and Malayan nationalities. The firm was responsible for the design of thousands of buildings in Penang, Perak, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Written by the architect’s daughter, Ruth Iversen Rollitt, this warm, richly illustrated biography sheds new light on the life and work of Iversen, whose career spanned almost four decades in Malaya.
Iversen: Architect of Ipoh and Modern Malaya by Ruth Iversen Rollitt, features a foreword by Dr Jon Lim and an epilogue by Dr Lai Chee Kien
Born in Batu Gajah, Perak in 1938, Ruth Iversen Rollitt grew up in Ipoh and was educated in Denmark. In 1962, she returned to Malaya after marrying the Scottish rubber planter Donald Baxter. She was widowed the following year when her husband was murdered in a pay-roll robbery. She returned to Denmark in 1966 and married the British diplomat Philip Rollitt in 1969. Joining him on various postings, she lived in London, Singapore, Islamabad, Bonn, and Tokyo before retiring to London. She is the mother of three sons.
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