When I was working at the MOF Building, I was always thinking that I am working in the tallest building in Brunei. When you think about it, you can see the building high on the hill overlooking down on almost anybody who drove past it. The building is around 60 meters tall. The MOF was completed at the beginning of the new millennium and it was used about a couple of years after that. I was told that the civil aviation authorities used the height as the maximum that anybody can build as any higher, it would affect air flights.
Yesterday, I was talking to a senior PWD architect friend who came over to my office to have a look at what can be done to my office. My office, believe it or not, has no windows. I used to have a bird's eye view of Bandar Seri Begawan, Gadong and Berakas from my 17th floor MOF office and I really missed having a view of Brunei. What surprised me was in the next room to mine was this aircond housing unit with its own window overlooking the airport. When I jokingly told one of the architects whether he can move the AHU, he looked at me horrifyingly. Hmm... [Note to self: Remember, PS of MOD cannot talk about moving infrastructure to serious looking architects even if meant as a joke.]
Anyway, back to my senior architect friend. He told me that the MOF building is not the highest building structure in Brunei. I just could not imagine any taller structure than the MOF Building. But he said that there are taller structures and not many people realised it.
Anyway, .... drum rolls ...., according to my architect friend, the tallest building structure in Brunei is the minaret, not of SOAS Mosque but of the Lambak Kanan Mosque. In fact, the Lambak Kanan Mosque which is situated on top of a hill has two minarets, so there are two tall structures in Brunei. The Lambak Kanan Mosque has a twin - the Kampong Pandan Mosque in Kuala Belait with exactly the same design which also meant that it has 2 minarets. So there are 4 minarets in Brunei Darussalam which hold the title for the tallest building structures in Brunei.
These 4 minarets are about 60+ meters tall each. Remember, when measuring heights of tall buildings, everything is taken into account, including the pinnacle and what nots connected at the top. The SOAS Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan has a tall minaret but not as tall as the one in Lambak Kanan and Kampong Pandan. The SOAS Mosque minaret is around 52 meters.