From a swanky hotel to a spiral link for pedestrians and cyclists, Malaysian architects are showcasing some inspiring ideas and designs at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2015 held at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands resort complex.
The festival will culminate in a gala awards ceremony on Friday at which over 350 finalists from around the world will vie for architecture awards across various categories, including the coveted World Building of the Year.
In addition, over 50 interior designs will compete for prizes at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, held concurrently with the WAF, and offering the main prize of World Interior of the Year.
Four Malaysian architecture projects and one interior design work have been shortlisted this year. Will they take home an award? Check out who they are below.
G Hotel Kelawai, Penang
Completed – Hotel and Leisure
K2LD Architects, collaborating architect, T.Y. Au
Contemporary and sophisticated, the 24-storey G Hotel Kelawai in Penang boasts the island’s first sky bar at its rooftop infinity pool, offering panoramic views of Penang Hill and George Town.
On the ground floor, a garden acts as an extension of the public park next to it, providing a green space for people to gather.
Looking in from the street and lobby level, one will see a suspended golden cage specifically designed to allow multiple entry points that lead to and connect the lobby, lounge bar, and reception areas.
To reduce heat in our tro-pical climate, the building has been constructed with a dual-layer “skin”, the outer layer consisting of a sun protecting screen made with durable and recyclable aluminium hollow sections on the podium and expanded mesh on the tower component.
Deep concrete overhangs that project out from the building floor plates block direct sunlight plus hold the screening devices in a pleasing geometrical form and pattern.
Come nightfall, the facade screens light up in a display of colours to reflect the many different festivities celebrated in multicultural Malaysia.
The Spiral Pedestrian and Cycle Link, Kuala Lumpur
Future Projects – Infrastructure
Eleena Jamil Architect
A green and healthy-living-based design, this proposed development aims to boost sustainable mobility and improve ecological connections in Kuala Lumpur.
The architect hopes to achieve the latter by linking key landmarks currently separated by different conditions.
The project will allow cyclists and pedestrians of all levels of mobility to move around. The plan includes looking at the possibility of extending the routes around Perdana Botanical Gardens to areas that are currently off-limits.
The journey begins by ascending a spiral ramp at one end, taking cyclists and pedestrians across a slip road. Then the path continues along a sloping green edge parallel to a busy highway.
Going back to ground level will involve circling a spiral garden filled with an array of local tropical plants. Existing mature trees in the area add to a “forest canopy” experience.
Tree Cube, Kota Kinabalu
Future Projects – Education
Kenneth Tan Design Architect (KTDA)
This project’s purpose is to transform a school’s central courtyard into a more functional space for both teachers and students.
Usable floor space is maximised by doing away with walls, creating an open pathway between buildings and offering a conducive space for teachers and students to socialise. This is further enhanced by the strategic placing of chairs and tables.
The plan also involves incorporating two new office floors with staircases built along the side.
The design allows a generous amount of natural light to fill the interior, with a tree rising up towards a natural skylight adding to the serenity of the space (see lead image).
A wooden lattice design – representing the branches of a tree which extends downward from the ceiling – decorates the inner wall of the skylight.
The Bamboo Playhouse, Kuala Lumpur
Eleena Jamil Architect
The Bamboo Playhouse is a public pavilion designed to provide a shaded space for play, rest, meeting points, and performances.
It explores the potential of using bamboo as a sustainable building material in a modular structure and reflects the Malay kampung house style, which features raised decks of different heights.
From the centre of each deck, a column consisting of 100mm-diameter bamboo culms open up like an umbrella to act as the roof structure.
The underside of the roof is lined with a traditional woven bamboo mat.
Inspired by the traditional Malay freestanding pavilions called wakaf, the structure will also see bamboo “baskets”, or treehouses, suspended high above the ground.
Located in the Perdana Botanical Garden in Kuala Lumpur, it will become one of the first formal bamboo structures in the city when completed.
Expressionz The Loft, Kuala Lumpur
Interior Design – Residential
Motto Designs Sdn Bhd
This design exhibits creative use of space, materials, and lighting. The layout is kept clean and spacious against a dark palette background, typical of the interior design firm’s signature style.
In the living room, well-designed feature walls ascend all the way to the top, exuding a solid look.
Furnishing is kept minimal with only key designer pieces to enhance the room while a bookcase lines the wall all the way to the ceiling.
The flight of stairs leading to the master bedroom and en suite bathroom features timber finishes and a drop-down shelf that acts as a side table for the armchair beneath the stairway.
The minimalist look is maintained with a clever use of space for functional aspects like the kitchen and laundry (right).
The master bedroom adopts a monochrome palette that flows into the bathroom as well. There, a standalone bathtub against a white screen and grey tiled walls with his-and-hers basins completes the space.