Archive for kuala

R.I.P. MH17

Posted in Breathtaking News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2014 by vincentloy

‘Before writing further, I would first like to express my heartfelt and deepest condolences to the families, relatives and friends of all the 298 victims on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on 17th July 2014. And my sincere thoughts and prayers to the deceased. Rest in peace, and may God be with you.’

The world is currently overwhelmed with news of a Malaysian plane found to have crashed at Ukraine, near Russian border yesterday. What’s further shocking from that saddening statement is that the plane went down not because of any technical failure or accident but is now believed to be shot down by military. This has been widely called as an act of cruelty and terrorism. While the Ukrainian and Russian governments are now blaming on each other for the crash in this time when there has been dispute and war at the borders between these two nations, an international investigation has been called on by United Nations to find out the exact truth behind this.

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The plane is a Boeing 777, and carried 283 passengers and 15 crew members (over 10 nationalities). It was believed to be shot down when it was cruising at about 30 000 ft altitude. Some local people witnessed and even captured videos showing moment when the plane crashed onto the ground with thick plume of smoke coming off seen far away on a field. I was deeply saddened and traumatized after seeing some of the images and watching some of the clips showing the crash site. Highly disturbing. If it is indeed confirmed that the plane was shot down, the perpetrators should be brought to justice without any question. All involved or affected nations (Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom) should cooperate to get to the bottom on this matter.

This is the second aviation tragedy for the Malaysia Airlines in this year alone, as this crash came not long after an incident on March 8 this year when another Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared. The plane was presumed to have crashed on the Indian Ocean,but till now, no wreckage or any sign of the plane has been found yet, and everything remains a mystery. I hope the truth will be revealed very soon to both MH370 and this recent MH17 tragedies as the world needs the answer, particularly the next-of-kin of the passengers on board the two doomed flights. Malaysia Airlines is in very deep trouble this year.

I couldn’t believe this happened. Another tragic aviation-related news in this already tragic year for Malaysia. This is horrifying and shocking. Now, unfortunately, Malaysia is becoming the headlines of all major news organizations around the world for the second time this year alone for something this devastating again. This Friday and weekend is no longer happy for all of us. We felt the pain, we felt the sadness, we felt the tragedy. Now, we share a moment of silence for MH17.

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Rest in peace, MH17. 

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Went to ARCHIDEX 2014 on its last day today.

Posted in Awesome Buildings, Structures, Skylines or Architecture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2014 by vincentloy

The 15th International Architecture, Interior Design and Building Exhibition (ARCHIDEX) 2014 took place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (usual spot every year) this year from 25th to 28th June. Organized together with the exhibition are the DATUM Design Conference, Eco-Building Exhibition, some forums and also a newly held congress themed ‘Rejuvenation’. This is the annual event I have been continuously attending, and this is my fourth time visiting the exhibition.

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So, I’m quite familiar with what I shall do in the exhibition; going around all the booths in the exhibition halls and getting all brochures and catalogues, and if possible, together with goodie bags and some free gifts like pens or note books. It has also been made easier for me to enter as I do not need to complete any registration as I already received express tag earlier. This year, I think there are more companies involved in the event, and hence the greater number of booths and also bigger areas of halls covered for the exhibition. Here’s the official website of the exhibition: http://www.archidex.com.my/.

As usual, there are booths promoting doors, windows, glass, hardwares, softwares, outdoor and indoor elements, tiles, finishing, wood, roofing, paints, sanitary fittings, books, and all the other related products or technologies related to architecture, interior design, building construction and engineering fields. Me and my colleague were getting tired as time passes as we took more and more bags and brochures. Now, I’m taking some time to read through those catalogues we have taken and to check on which ones are interesting. However, the most delighted thing would still be the free gifts we can find from those bags.

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We spent about two hours for the exhibition. Hmm…many booth’s staff approached to us trying to brief us on their products but we just don’t have time for most of them. Sorry…Lastly, we also managed to glance through some of the presentation works (finalists of some kind of architecture competitions) displayed outside several exhibition halls before leaving. Then, only after that, we thought of going for movie ‘Transformers 4′ (just out yesterday) at Suria KLCC. You can check out my movie review of that particular film in my previous post. And for all that, the worst thing is that I have spent RM30 alone for the parking fee. That’s shockingly high and unreasonable. I’m not like parking my car there for whole day!

On the other hand, tomorrow marks the beginning of Ramadhan, the fasting month for the Muslims before celebrating Hari Raya. Here, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims (particularly my Malay friends and colleagues) a wonderful Ramadhan! Raya is coming soon….

Around KLCC again spotting construction progress of new buildings.

Posted in Awesome Buildings, Structures, Skylines or Architecture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2014 by vincentloy

Since I was there watching a movie in Suria KLCC shopping mall yesterday, it just gave me a good opportunity to just easily walk out of the mall and enjoy the view of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre and its surrounding. This allowed me to check on some new buildings under construction now around the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, which still stand today as the world’s tallest twin buildings.

First of all is the Le Nouvel. It is a twin tower comprising of a 49-storey and a 43-storey residential buildings connected by a skybridge. It is located besides K Residence and also Petronas Twin Towers across Jalan Ampang. Very strategic location. It is designed by a famous French architect; Jean Nouvel whom had won Pritzker Prize in 2008 (highest architecture honor). Le Nouvel are now topped out and I guess the highest tower should have reached above 200 metres. I was curious why there isn’t any official height data of this twin residential buildings on the internet. The interesting parts of this project are the skybridge (reminiscent of the Petronas Twin Towers’ one) and also the facade treatment. I was quite in shock looking at the original rendering of the buildings that shown them covered up with excessive vertical landscaping. It would makes the building horrible especially when no proper maintenance is done. Looking from the buildings now that are almost completed (very fast construction pace), I guessed those random white boxes are the planters. Hope it will beautifies the buildings rather than turning it ugly. A simple narrow and tall rectangular cube structure can be nice too once interesting treatment is given to its facades. Shown below is the Le Nouvel besides the K Residence (202m).

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Next is the Ilham Baru Tower. This can be considered a tall skyscraper since it has 64 floors and is projected to be built with a height of 298 metres (nearing 300m mark). It is designed by famous English architect, Norman Foster (awarded Pritzker Prize too in 1999) and is located near Citibank Tower and The Troika Tower (also designed by Norman Foster). Its sheer size and impressive height makes it clearly visible from far even when it is not topping out yet now. Should be topping out by third quarter of the year. Shown below is the Ilham Baru Tower behind the Troika Towers (Malaysia’s current highest residential building at 204m).

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Next is the Naza Towers (twin towers again). The Tower 1 (highest) would have 50 floors with the height of 273 metres including the spire. The shorter tower (38 floors) will be owned by Lembaga Tabung Haji. This project is located at Platinum Park, near Felda Tower and Binjai Residences. It is designed by local architecture firm; RSP Architects. The three projects mentioned above are all scheduled to be completed next year. Shown below in the background is the Naza Towers behind the Binjai Residences and besides the Felda Tower (216m) on the left. Also in the image at the front is the construction site of Four Seasons Place (refer next paragraph).

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Last spotted construction (very hard to see this actually because there isn’t any structure rising yet but it is so near to KLCC); Four Seasons Place. It is a 65-storey building comprises of apartments and a hotel. Once completed, it would reach the height of 343m. That’s a tall skyscraper coming soon to dominate its surrounding skyline along with Petronas Twin Towers. After going through several design revision in several years, its construction finally commenced last year. It was once another twin buildings with weird design but then fortunately, it is now converted to a single structure with better design. Very slow progress and nothing rising up yet from the ground. It is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Long wait to go.

Overall view from KLCC Park:

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A visit to this place is never complete without taking this picture (452m tall Petronas Twin Towers and 267m tall Petronas Tower 3 on the left):

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Conclusion: KL still has a lot of space for more buildings to enhance the skyline, but the question is; do we need more office space as it is only a small city of about 2 million population?

(Images in this post are copyright reserved)

Farewell to LCCT, KLIA2 now fully opened.

Posted in Breathtaking News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2014 by vincentloy

KLIA2 (stands for Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2) is finally opened early this month after years of problems like increasing budget, construction delays and multiple defects in the past. This new terminal that could handle 45 million passengers per year (in comparison to 25 million for KLIA and 15 million for LCCT) is specially built to accommodate increasing usage of low-cost carriers locally and internationally. With its biggest user, AirAsia moving in to the new airport today, it’s time to say goodbye to LCCT! LCCT, you are now out of the picture! It will be now changed to a cargo terminal.

LCCT (low-cost carrier terminal) situated nearby KLIA too had been operating for around 8 years. It is more like a huge factory building, with poor facilities (air-conditioning, counters, etc). I have been there several times. I always feel not comfortable and suffocating inside LCCT, as it is always crowded with people. AirAsia is expanding so quick that the terminal couldn’t hold the increasing volume of passengers anymore. Hence, there came the idea and realization of KLIA2. Yup…Malaysians are now in favour more on low-cost flight than spending extra on Malaysia Airlines, especially now after the MH370 incident. KLIA now must be emptier than ever.

Except than the predicted chaos on the first few days of KLIA2’s operation (typical to newly opening airport), the new airport has been receiving very positive feedbacks. The huge terminal (measured to be over 250 000 square metres) is now very spacious and looks contemporary (this is what airport should looks like even for low-cost usage). The facilities are all good (I hope it lasts long). And the best thing of this new airport is that it has over 30 000 square metres of space for over 220 retail outlets too. Hence, you would feel like you are in a mall rather than in an airport. Enjoy and relax before or after your flight.

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I still didn’t know whether all the retail spaces (shops and restaurants) have been fully opened as I have not been there yet. Kindly update me if you have visited the airport. But just by looking at the pictures above, the airport looks great! I think I would be heading there on this coming Hari Raya break for an oversea trip. Still in planning now. Anyway, the airport also has over 6000 covered parking lots as compared to the 3000 outdoor parking lots from LCCT last time. That’s a double increase. Good. Last time, everytime I was leaving LCCT, I would see extremely long stretch of cars parked by the side of the roads leading to the terminal as far as 1 kilometre away. Crazy.

It’s a good thing that KLIA2 (built at a cost of approximately RM 4 billion) is now fully operational. It is the world’s largest airport purposely built to cater for low-cost carriers and it is designed also with future capacity expansion capability. It has 60 depature gates, 8 remote stands, 80 aerobridges, and a new 4-km long airplane runway. The terminal comes with a 141.3 metres tall air traffic control tower, making it the tallest of its kind in the world too. The main terminal building is connected with its satellite piers with a skybridge, making it the first airport in Asia of such facility. KLIA2 is connected to KLIA (2-km away) by a railway line. The airport is also certified in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). That’s some of the achievements for KLIA2.

Looking forward to visit this new airport terminal soon. You may share your first time experience in KLIA2 at here too. And last but not least; Bye, LCCT!

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Pray for MH370.

Posted in Breathtaking News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by vincentloy

Really a heartbreaking news today. Woke up this morning to hear my dad calling home to inform that a Malaysia Airlines’ plane had gone missing on its route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. From that moment onwards, I kept refreshing several pages of local and international online news portal the whole day to look for latest updates of the tragic incident in hope that nothing bad will happen to the plane.

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The plane departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 12.40am in 8th March 2014. It is supposed to arrive at Beijing International Airport on 6.30am. However, the signal from the plane is lost at about 1.30am or some says 2.40am in the midnight. From the time onwards, the plane is officially missing at the South China Sea between Malaysian and Vietnamese water. The search and rescue effort is still on-going as no sight of the plane or its wreckage is found so far.

There have been a lot of false rumours spreading today including news of the plane having made a safe emergency landing at Nanning, China. The Vietnamese authority also reported that the wreckage has been discovered near one of its islands but this had not been confirmed yet. Kindly stop spreading lies and check the truth first before sharing. It is now almost 20 hours after the ill-fated plane is reported missing. This is really sad as many had expected the worst already.

What angers me is that the airline department and authority here did very little things or acted very slow in the first few hours which are very critical to determine the fate of the plane and the 239 passengers on board (227 passengers and 12 crew members). Shameful. Fortunately, now, we have search and rescue teams also from various countries. Really appreciate their emergency assistance.

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This tragedy had been making headlines as breaking news in various international news including CNN, BBC, etc as this is a major event, but of something extremely saddening. Will update this post when the discovery of the plane is known. Pray for MH370.

Just got back from Eason’s Life in KL Concert 2013

Posted in Interesting Things I Encountered or Thought of with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by vincentloy

The last time I watched a concert was on two years ago by Sammi Cheng, a ‘Cantopop Queen’ at Genting Highlands. Over the years, Cantopop in 1990s and early 2000s remains as my most favourite music genre. This year, another Cantopop legend came to host a concert in KL, and he is Eason Chan. Eason is a prominent Hong Kong male  singer whom is often regarded as the third ‘God of Song’ after Samuel Hui and Jacky Cheung. His concert themed ‘Eason’s Life in Kuala Lumpur’ was held successfully at Stadium Merdeka on 19th October 2013 from 8.30pm to 10.30pm.

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(Image source: http://www.my.com.my/getmedia/940b13dc-4c4e-42d5-9c13-75ed0d7e9c40/EASON_MAIN_1.jpg.aspx)

My sister first shown interest to watch his concert few months back and I decided to join since it has been quite some time for me not attending any concert. It’s time to reward myself a time of live music entertainment on a Saturday’s night. We bought the lowest-priced ticket at RM138 per pax for free seating which is expected to be at very far behind from the stage. Today is not really a good day to hold an outdoor concert because it’s raining all day long with no sign of stopping. Luckily, we went out earlier and managed to reach the destination on time after a traffic crawl. We were all wet as we had to walk all the way from our car parked several hundred metres away to the stadium. We were all wearing raincoat and I felt really uncomfortable, but I tried my best to improve my mood few minutes before the show starts. Shown below; that’s before the concert starts.

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The concert is delayed 30 minutes to provide some time to many latecomers whom were also frustrated with the rain that made things much difficult for all. On 8.15pm before the concert, Vincy Soo, a guest performer entertained the crowd but is not really that welcomed. By 8.30pm, Eason finally graced the stage with a warm welcome. His appearance set the atmosphere high and proven that the downpour did not dampen our spirit and desire to watch Eason’s performance. However, I have not heard the first few songs he sang and so I find things a bit boring in the beginning. I believed those are some of his new songs which aren’t really popular. He did brighten up the crowd with some of his short humorous talks between his songs. I didn’t know he is that entertaining and is quite a funny guy.

Not long after, we were all excited when Eason sang the popular theme song for the drama ‘Triumph in the Skies’. Everyone loved this beautiful song. As soon as the song’s melody started playing, many people were seen lifting their phones up to record. It was followed with many other popular hit songs by Eason of which I’m quite familiar with despite not having heard of them for quite some time. I had to say some Eason’s classic songs are really good and are quite unforgettable. I did sang along at some parts to join the fun. There is a guy sitting besides me whom I believed is a hardcore fans of Eason. He whom attended the concert alone knew and sang almost all of Eason’s songs of the night. Incredible.

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Eason’s concert tonight was a mix of his old and new songs. Of course, I’m in favour of his old songs then which are much more touching and memorable. The concert only took two hours and so there are several popular songs that he did not sing on the night like ‘Fau Kua’ and ‘Yu Sam Yau Kuai’ of which I am eagerly waiting for. Hence, I’m slightly disappointed that he replaced those with his recent ‘not-so-cool’ songs. Nevertheless, Eason Chan delivered energetic and solid singing performance for the night. He really had a very powerful voice and he controlled every songs very well from low to high notes. There are not many fast songs performed for the night and so he danced very little, except for the last song of the concert. There are also quite a lot of creative usage of stage props and the lighting and projection displays are awesome. Overall, Eason Chan’s concert tonight was between average and good, but definitely not an outstanding one as I find almost half of the concert quite boring and not that engaging. Luckily, I didn’t pay that much for this. Anyway, Eason Chan is still a very great singer both in Cantopop and Mandopop. No one can question that.

What KL needs from an architectural point of view.

Posted in Awesome Buildings, Structures, Skylines or Architecture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2013 by vincentloy

Kuala Lumpur, or simply known as KL is the capital of Malaysia and is one of the strongest Asian cities in world economy. I have been living in the city (in its suburb to be exact) for the past 21 years. Seeing tall buildings filling the sky and trapped in traffic congestion have been part of my daily life. That’s very typical for urban living in a concrete jungle. KL, despite being a small city with less than 2 million population, has been a very wonderful city for having multi-racial people, variety of delicious foods, spectacular tourist attractions, plenty of amazing shopping malls, etc.

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(Image source: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8544/8652292448_27ea88c695_c.jpg)

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(Image source: http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8088/8574317528_c9a5518797.jpg)

From architectural point of view, KL is no doubt breathtaking mostly from its iconic 452 metres tall Petronas Twin Towers that had been standing proud as the world’s tallest twin buildings since 1997. Together with 421 metres tall KL Tower (a telecommunication tower) and other surrounding cluster of buildings particularly in the city center region, the city forms a beautiful and picturesque skyline. Do you know that KL has been featured in top 20 in all websites which rate world’s best skylines individually. Its best performance stands at 8th placing from DiSerio skyline ranking, and attains 18th in latest Emporis skyline ranking. I have to agree that KL does have quite an impressive skyline, and I love to see the city from on top of a hill or even simply from a road flyover.

Well, the city is still not perfect and needs a lot of improvement on its built environment. Let me narrow it down on what the city requires from architectural perspective. First of all, it needs a beautiful and lively waterfront or parks. Major cities around the world ‘shine’ because they are situated by a river or sea. Look at Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Shanghai, Chicago, etc. The presence of water actually helps to enhance visual of a city. What KL needs now is to clean the existing Gombak and Klang rivers (image below) that run through the city, and then turned its surrounding into lively waterfront complete with proper facilities, cool lighting or even visual projections, and infrastructures. Many street events can then be organized there. It may become a tourist spot as well as a place of relaxation for the locals too. Currently, the river is muddy and conditions surrounding it looks bad and vandalized. A potential put to a waste.

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(Image source: http://allmalaysia.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/klupclose03.jpg)

Secondly, the city needs more efficient public transportation system. I’m happy over the recent completion of many modern-looking glass and steel pedestrian bridges (some air-conditioned) particularly in Bukit Bintang area, but that is just a start to much more needed for the city. All the existing LRT (light rail transit) stations (image below) that are over decades old should get a makeover. Currently, all the stations look like a perfect place for crime rather than a comfortable and contemporary spot for train passengers to hang around. I’m looking forward to the completion of all MRT-related works. Right now, I’m so disgusted by the excessive inconvenience from its construction to the city. I had been to Paris and I am stunned that even the bus stop over there had a striking design. I don’t understand why we couldn’t have that here in KL. It would be cool. But I guess if you have a glass and steel bus stop here, its parts would be broken or stolen the next day. Malaysians’ attitude and moral should improve too.

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(Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Pudu_station_(Star_Line)_(platform),_Kuala_Lumpur.jpg)

Thirdly, the city needs not only more buildings, but also more beautifully-designed buildings. Quantity of buildings is the sign of how well a city is growing. But that is not enough to make the city much trendier or cooler. It’s the quality that matters, and hence, architecture do plays important role here. Do you wish to enter a plain square-shaped building finished only with white paint or a building that comes with interesting layout, poetic space, eye-catchy finishing, and appealing facade or elevations? KL needs more awesome-looking buildings like Telekom Tower, Starhill Gallery, Sasana Kijang Bank Negara building (image below), The Troika Towers, etc. I’m glad that many foreign international architects start to get involved into design projects in KL recently. Now, I suggest the city to build more strikingly-designed public spaces and grade-A offices with green building accreditation. ‘Environmental-friendly’ is now a hot issue in building design nowadays and KL should be aware of that.

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(Image source: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4057/4280324165_020ea4eacf_z.jpg?zz=1)

Last but not least, Kuala Lumpur needs architectural conservation and preservation effort. Every cities in the world start from a small area, and then it grows to what it is now. That is the historical essence to a particular city that needs to be maintained. Historical art-deco buildings (image below) or landmarks and traditional Chinese shophouses found in the city should not be only thought of getting them demolished to make way for future development. There are still plenty of empty land in the city. These old structures can actually be transformed to put to good use or to suit to the present modern living while maintaining its historical edge. For example, a Chinese shophouse can be turned into a stylish cafe. Creative ideas are needed. I don’t really oppose to the proposal of building a new country’s tallest building, but its location in the middle of important heritage zone is so wrong. That’s the case for the Warisan Merdeka Tower, now under planning stage.

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(Image source: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/170/389562749_611d216305.jpg)

Feel free to provide your thought of what does KL requires, looking from its current situation for the city to become one of the world most liveable cities in the world.

KLCC and its surrounding.

Posted in Awesome Buildings, Structures, Skylines or Architecture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by vincentloy

Yesterday I went to Suria KLCC, which is one of the malls I least visited in Kuala Lumpur. Reason? Expensive parking fees and not many good places to dine in the mall as compared to other nearby malls particularly in Bukit Bintang region like Pavilion KL and Berjaya Times Square. Besides than having a dinner, watching a movie, and reading architecture books at Kinokuniya bookstore, I also took the very seldom opportunity I have to walk around Petronas Twin Towers and its surrounding.

Why? That’s my favourite part. I got to observe the many cluster of buildings nearby there and analyse their design. Sounds so professional. Haha…It’s just my interest to look at buildings since architecture has been part of my life for several years already. Have you checked out my previous blog’s post here that Petronas Twin Towers are no doubt one of the world’s most famous landmarks (perhaps in top 20). Many people would love to see it, and I got to see it everyday since it’s only few kilometres away from my home. But we, locals, usually seldom take pictures of things we see in common here.

That’s not the case for me yesterday. I observed quite a wonderful surrounding of the KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) region with skyscrapers and parks and so I took some photographs, acting like I was one of the tourists. There are quite a number of new buildings constructed surrounding KLCC especially luxurious apartment buildings and some other buildings in construction which made the built environment a bit much denser which is good as a sign of the city developing. Nevertheless, the KLCC park still remains as a vital green ‘heart’ of the capital city. Enjoy the breathtaking pictures I took yesterday;

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(View from KLCC Park – you can see Citibank Tower, Troika Tower (current tallest residential building in Malaysia designed by Norman Foster), PNB Tower, The Oval Residence, and newly-built Felda Tower)

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(View from KLCC Park to the newly-built Petronas Tower 3, Petronas Twin Towers which are former world’s tallest buildings and still the current world’s tallest twin buildings, and Maxis Tower)

 

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The one that got my attention the most during the short walk-around I had yesterday is a surprisingly quick construction of a twin residential buildings right besides the Petronas Twin Towers and the K Residence Tower (as shown in last image above). After a further research of the project, I found out that the twin-tower complex is designed by famous foreign architect, Jean Nouvel and both the towers are going to be 49 and 43 storeys high respectively. The two towers are now rising tall to be the new companion of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. I’m also glad that there are more and more involvement of famous international architects into new projects here in Kuala Lumpur.

(The images in this post are my own property. Kindly acknowledge me and reference it if you wish to re-use one or all of the images on other sites.) 

KL’s growing skyline from past to the present, and a bit of what the city could offer in future in terms of its skyline.

Posted in Awesome Buildings, Structures, Skylines or Architecture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2013 by vincentloy

I was caught in several traffic congestion along my route to return home at Cheras from Petaling Jaya just now after a meeting. Even when there is no traffic crawl at all (which is impossible on Friday’s afternoon), it would takes me at least 30 minutes to reach home. In fact, the journey just now took me one hour. But those traffic congestion actually gives me opportunity to take some time to observe the surrounding skylines of Kuala Lumpur as I pass through the city from Petaling Jaya to Cheras. From there, I realize how fast KL develops too, in terms of building construction and the ‘growing’ of the city’s skyline.

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Last time (I mean like only a decade or two ago), you can only see a group of buildings (with several tall ones) all located within a small vicinity of the city. The city area of KL is very small (population too) as compared to other major cities around the world. When I was a kid, I see KL Tower on my left, surrounded by several buildings which I found that those must have been there for quite some time. Old-looking. Mostly 80s architecture style in Malaysia. Then, the much appealing and futuristic-looking Petronas Twin Towers are on my right, on which I find that it stands out not only because of its incredible height but also of its surrounding that has very little buildings.

Now, it’s totally different. Not only did I find that there are many new buildings constructed recently (particularly modern and super expensive apartments near KLCC), but also I noticed the city is actually growing. I hardly see the lower part of Petronas Twin Towers now as the view has been blocked by several new buildings in front. Many areas within the city’s Golden Triangle also appeared to be much denser. The best view to notice that is to view the city from quite a close distance at the flyover from Kampung Pandan roundabout to Berjaya Times Square and Sungei Wang Plaza junction. Nearby, there is also this so-called proposed mega-project for a new city business and financial district called Tun Razak Exchange on which I believe is still under planning stage. No activities observed on that fenced site yet, but I am looking forward to this development.

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Another good news is that the city will have several new quite tall buildings in the future. Yes, I’m fascinated particularly by skyscrapers. The current number of highrises in KL is not much compared to other major cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, Chicago, or Dubai, and so I desired for more in my home city. KL is currently planning to have a new country’s tallest building, called Warisan Merdeka Tower but that has caused major criticism due to its location near to several historic landmarks of the city. The tower, expected to reach over 500 metres easily is much better to be placed somewhere else than on its current proposed location which is doubt going to impact negatively to its surrounding historical stadiums, schools, and the nearby Chinatown.

Not only did the city grows within its area itself, many developers now prefer to stretch out a bit further from the congested capital. The outcome; several new cluster of buildings (like forming their own baby-skyline) nearby the city centre. These areas are like KL Sentral area (nearest to city centre) – with many Grade-A office buildings very close to each other recently constructed in the region, Mid Valley area – new cluster of mostly glass-cladded buildings surrounding the megamall accompanying the impressive-looking Telekom Tower, and Mont Kiara area – home to many complex of office buildings and apartments nearby the new National Palace of Malaysia.

Few minutes ago, I have read an interesting article from this source: http://tendtotravel.com/2012/03/kuala-lumpurs-skyline-1960s/ , written by Amer that tells roughly how the KL’s skyline grows from 1960s to the present day. It’s an amazing article due to the simple yet engaging elaboration as well as depiction of many photographs of the city back in the olden days which are definitely hard-to-be-seen nowadays. Those historical images are priceless. You may click the link I put above to read the article too. Hmm…I would love to see KL to grow in much faster rate so that it would have much awesome and ‘wow’-looking skyline in near future, and also enable us to show off to the world one day how the capital of Malaysia is.

(Images in this post are from skyscrapercity forum page discussing on skyline of Kuala Lumpur city).

Worsening haze in KL now…

Posted in Breathtaking News and Results with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2013 by vincentloy

Last Saturday was the last day we see the clear blue sky over Kuala Lumpur. At least clearer than what we see these two days. Yesterday, the first thing I realize as soon as I woke up; what is the smell? Ehh…it’s the smell of the air outside. That’s how bad it is. The smog has even penetrated into my home even when we have closed all the doors and windows. The haze has now returns to Kuala Lumpur after making its stop earlier at Singapore. And I got a recent news yesterday that API reading at Muar, Johor rises up to 750, the highest ever recorded in 16 years. That’s crazy. I’m really worried if KL hits that figure too soon. Wait…where is KLCC? I can’t see it…I think the picture below had already shown KLCC at the clearest these two days. Got it?

photo_1371989431116-1-HD

 

(Image source: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/06/23/malaysia-smog-worst-in-16-years-due-to-indonesia-fires/)

It is really very hazy out there. Visibility drops to a point that I could barely see the hill which is very near behind my house. The smell is almost unbearable especially to me who has quite a sensitive nose and had asthma history. On Sunday, I just went out quickly just for lunch and dinner. The rest of the time; at home. Ahh, it’s good to be a student. You don’t need to go to school today as the government had announced closures of all schools in several states including in Kuala Lumpur. For me who has to work, I have to go to work too. No excuse, since I would be working all the eight hours inside an air-conditioned room unlike those who has to work outdoors.

Just a few advice to people here currently experiencing the haze which is quite bad to our health. Try to stay indoor most of the time. Drink plenty of water. Wear mask when you are outside. Rinse your eyes when you feel uncomfortable or itchy on your eyes. And drive extra carefully on roads at this point of time when visibility is quite low. Even today, I felt slightly not well on my throat and eyes already when the haze has just hit my place for two days. More is coming as it is reported that the hotspots in Sumatra (the cause of the haze) has doubled yesterday. That means thicker haze is on their way to Peninsular Malaysia. Oh…no!

Previously, it is the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore that were hit hard by the severe smog with API (air pollution index) or PSI (pollution standard index) hitting very unhealthy or even hazardous level. Then, now, wind blows the haze to the central part of Malaysia, and that’s where Kuala Lumpur, the capital, my place is. Thanks to my neighbour country for contributing this special gift (haze) for almost once every year. And they are blaming on Malaysian companies for doing open burning at their place, not realizing that it is their authority that gives approval to those responsible companies. And also they mentioned that Singapore behave like a child when the latter sends warning to Indonesia to tackle the issue. Wait, the haze comes from where first? Indonesia. I believe the three countries should sit together and discuss for a long-term solution to prevent haze from occurring again which is bad to people’s health and to economy.

Many people are now making hilarious comments or responses regarding the haze. Even my colleague today joked that they are now working at Genting Highlands since there are a lot of mist out there (it’s actually smog). Everyone must be talking about the haze now. It’s predicted to last for another few weeks more. Oh my…have to stand with this kind of atmosphere for that long. Some said that yesterday’s night, we are supposed to see supermoon of the year, the event when Moon is closest to the Earth in the year. I saw a slightly bigger moon, but it turns out in dark orange to us, thanks to the trapped dust particles at the sky here in Malaysia due to the haze that made the moon to look like this. Haze, when will you go away?

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