Today after a meeting on drive back to office, I spotted two very interesting new buildings in a part of KL that I have not explored before. The area is somewhere behind Bank Negara Malaysia (National Bank of Malaysia) building nearby the Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) and the DBKL Building. From that part of the city, what you can see mostly are trees surrounding and not highrises. The Memorial to Tun Hussein Onn (former Prime Minister) is also located there.
The first building I spotted is a tall highrise under construction. What attracted my attention from the building is its’ twisting form. I thought I would only see this kind of building in Western countries or in Singapore (as seen from The Reflections at Keppel Bay by Daniel Libeskind). I didn’t expect that KL would have its own twisted building too. Fantastic. Even the gigantic columns at the lobby area are tilted too. Cool…Then, from the detail provided from the information board, I found out that this iconic building is designed by GDP Architects, one of the leading architecture firms in Malaysia.
(Image above showing the rendering of the KKR2 Tower from http://www.gdparchitects.com/img/projects/KKR-tower/kkrtower_photo02.jpg)
(Image above showing the tower under construction and is expected to be completed by next year. Image from http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c224/dengilo/DSC09621.jpg)
The building would be used for Ministry of Public Works (Kompleks Kerja Raya 2) and would have 37 floors. The building would reach up to 175 metres. That’s quite tall. Would be much more impressive if it’s taller (over 25o metres), but it’s current height now is already sufficient enough to express its interesting form as compared to mostly bland-looking buildings in that old part of the city. The tower is also targeted to be the first Green Building Index (GBI) Platinum ranked building in Malaysia. (Info from http://www.gdparchitects.com/projects/current/KKR-tower.html)
The next appealing building nearby would be a much lower structure. Sometimes, height isn’t a matter on determining how striking a building can be. The building is called Sasana Kijang under Bank Negara Malaysia and it functions as a museum/gallery or better known as Financial Services Resource Centre as stated by the architecture firm behind it; Hijjas Kasturi Associates, another famous architecture company in Malaysia. The very interesting cladding caught my attention while the overwhelming use of steel and glass at the lobby area is fascinating. It clearly showcases the beauty of materials and striking contemporary design but I find the building would be better if it’s situated at Putrajaya.
(Image above from http://www.flickr.com/photos/oshhisham/4280937608/sizes/z/in/photostream/)
(Image above from http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/355/9/a/sasana_kijang_bnm_by_ciinx-d35daoq.jpg. Click on it for larger view)
According to the website of Hijjas Kasturi Associates (http://www.hijjaskasturi.com/) regarding this project, it is mentioned that ‘the plan, the building and the expression of the facade are inspired by traditional monetary and cultural forms’, but to be honest, I hardly see the link. It is inspired from the shape of the Cowrie shell, a popular form of money in the Malay Peninsula during the 3rd century with its building façade derived from the geometric patterns of traditional Malaysian songket motifs, reflecting the hand woven fabric designs. (Info from http://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=8&pg=14&ac=2326)
Finally, I can see increasing number of buildings with amazing architecture in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The city seriously needs more beautiful buildings like these!