Archive for city

New tall buildings rising in KL and latest skyline images of the city.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2017 by vincentloy

Since I’m back to Kuala Lumpur last November and some visits to the city since then, I have noticed some new tall buildings in the city. Some are still under construction but are already visible from far and making an impact to the city’s skyline due to their massive heights. Some have already topped out due to speedy construction and some have been totally completed and opened. So, there must be addition of few more buildings over 200 metres in height in the city of Kuala Lumpur.

But when I check out any latest list of the tallest buildings in the city online from Skyscraper Center, Emporis, Wikipedia, and other sources, there hasn’t been any much difference which is so not right. The list differs in each websites I browsed and I couldn’t really find one that truly reflect the current statistic of the city’s buildings. That is disappointing. Some new buildings are missing in this list and some others on the other list. They should have an accurate and updated database compiling the correct and latest information on this. I also found out some new buildings are listed there but without much essential data present like its height.

Here below are some of the new buildings in the city that are around or over 200 metres in height and should be apparent in the list of tallest buildings in Kuala Lumpur but are not:

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Vortex KL Suites and Residences – Emporis stated it to be 235 metres tall and still under construction. But actually this 58-storey tower has been completed. Skyscrapercity put it at 260 metres high but I don’t think that is correct by looking at its picture.

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Ritz-Carlton Residences KL – Also called as Berjaya Central Park, it is 48 floors high but there is no height data for this building at all.

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Le Nouvel Residences – the taller tower is 49-storey high with Emporis stating a height of 199 metres, just 1 metre short of 200 metres mark.

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Elite Pavilion – this one is going to be 230 metres tall and has 50 floors when completed. Its construction pace is noticeably fast and it is going to be topped out this year.

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Platinum Suites Tower – Skyscrapercity put this tower at 51 floors high but Emporis states 57 floors and 231 metres tall. I don’t think Emporis’ data on this one is right. I knew its top floor swimming pool level is on 51st floor which is also the tallest swimming pool in the city. It also claims to be the tallest condominium in the city, a title previously hold by The Troika Tower 3 at 204 metres.

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From left to right for first picture and from right to left for second picture – Sentral Residences Tower 1 & 2, St. Regis Hotel & Residences and Q Sentral. These new buildings in KL Sentral Development reach around 200 metres in height respectively and has already been completed except for the Sentral Residences Tower 1 & 2 that are still under construction but have already topped out. However, almost none of these buildings are featured in any list out there for the tallest buildings in the city. Emporis stated that Q Sentral is 49 floors and 199 metres high (but no data in Skyscraper Center), both Emporis and Skyscraper Center stated that St. Regis Hotel & Residences is 48 floors and 205 metres high (so I assume that is the correct data), and Skyscraper Center stated that Sentral Residences Tower 1 & 2 to be 52 floors and 200 metres tall each (but no data in Emporis). Weird right?! Conflicting or incomplete data everywhere.

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KL Eco City Vogue Suite One – This project is expected to be completed by this year and it has topped out to its final height of 243 metres. Emporis states that it has 60 floors while Skyscraper Center said it has 63 floors. Whatever…! When completed, it is going to be the tallest residential building in the city and the whole Malaysia. This is a bit further away from the city area as it is in Mid Valley region. Now, the 310-metres tall Telekom Tower is not the only skyscraper standing in that Mid Valley region.

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Four Seasons Place KL – This one is finally making huge progress after many years of delay in construction. When completed next year, it will be 65 floors high and has a height of 343 metres tall, a much taller companion to the adjacent Petronas Twin Towers (452 metres tall and current world’s tallest twin buildings).

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W Hotel & Residences – Emporis states that it has 55 floors and 235 metres tall but Skyscraper Center states that it has 50 floors and is 232 metres tall. Conflicting data again. This skyscraper will be completed this year.

These buildings above are only those buildings in final stage of construction, topped-out or newly completed in KL that is over 200 metres tall respectively. Skyscraper projects that are still in early stage of construction are not included here such as the PNB118 Tower that is going to be the tallest building of the country when completed at 630 metres high. There is still no visible progress of this skyscraper project after so many years. I’m sure it is going to be completed later than the targeted year 2020 deadline.

Some cool latest pictures of Kuala Lumpur city skyline below before I end this post. Click on the images for a larger and more breathtaking sight.

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(Images in this post are from Skyscrapercity.com)

Redevelopment of Bukit Jalil’s Sports Complex

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2016 by vincentloy

Every units of this semester of my study that I’m currently undertaking is somehow related to architecture of sports facility. For my design studio, I have to design an indoor archery center. For my culture unit, I have to do research on sustainable architecture from stadiums in London 2012 Olympic Games, a topic that I chose myself. And for my technology unit, my kinetic skin concept somehow leads to practical implementation in stadiums in the form of retractable roof. And then there was the recently concluded Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the on-going Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Sports occupy most of my mind for this last half of the year.

Recently, I came across an article which stated that our National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur will be undergoing a massive redevelopment. I’m quite happy after receiving that news because I seriously think the place needs a major makeover. It is now a deserted area with dilapidated and outdated structures, and nobody would want to go to that place unless there’s an event to attend. I also found that there is quite a potential to transform the whole sports complex into a vibrant and first class environment for athletes and visitors and to prepare it for future major sporting events. Here’s below is parts of the full article from the following source:

http://www.fourfourtwo.com/my/features/bukit-jalils-reinvigoration-a-new-look-2017-one-worlds-biggest-stadiums

(Images below are also from the source above)

Bukit Jalil’s Reinvigoration – A new look in 2017 for one of the world’s biggest stadiums

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Built in 1998 for the Commonwealth Games, Bukit Jalil Stadium is the heart of Malaysia’s sporting precinct that also includes a hockey stadium, an aquatic centre, an indoor stadium and a squash arena. Having hosted the Asian Cup in 2007 and exhibition matches involving English sides such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the past, the stadium needs no further introduction. It was also named in FourFourTwo’s 100 Best Football Stadium in the World last year.

The Bukit Jalil that many are accustomed to, however, will be a memory as a two-phase redevelopment of the area – before and after the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur – is set to put the KL Sports City onto the Asian sporting map in coming years. Singapore’s iconic Sports Hub is expected to have a decent rival less than an hour’s flight away.

Phase One, which involves a facelift for the stadium and other sporting facilities in the area, ends in July 2017. The stadium is not set for major changes under Phase Two, but massive redevelopment is planned on surrounding land till 2021, making the stadium’s use not feasible. Thus for half a year in 2017, the Bukit Jalil Stadium will offer a glimpse what’s in store when the dust eventually settles.

Capacity

Is it all about the size?

Officially, Bukit Jalil stadium can seat 87,411 people – the largest in Southeast Asia after the Gelora Bung Karno in Indonesia had a reduction in capacity in 2007 – but it is no secret that the highest turnout may well have exceeded six figures as thousands have been seen on stairways, corridors and even encroaching the media tribune during high-profile matches in the past. The construction of a new level of corporate boxes is set to push the capacity to 90,000. If history repeats in terms of overcrowding, the numbers could soar higher again.

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The new level – Level 3M – is being constructed between the existing second and third tiers on the same side as the grandstand and can only be accessed from the stadium lobby. The stadium is a sure bet destination for European clubs looking to make Southeast Asia a pit stop to widen their fan base and exploit commercial gains. There simply isn’t a suitable larger stadium in Asia, unless North Korea is on their radar.

Modernisation

With major redevelopment plans taking place in the vicinity starting in 2018, a lot of effort has been put in to ensuring the 18-year-old stadium still stands out. Bukit Jalil will get a new facade, a silver vertical structure to move away from its naked look of old. At night, that facade can turn into a light show and be colour coordinated to suit the occasion. More landscaping is planned around the stadium to encourage the public to consider the venue a location for an evening stroll.

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Changing rooms, a warm-up area, walkways, access gates and media areas are being redesigned while the stadium’s lobby underwent a restructuring to cater for newly-installed escalators and lifts to the corporate boxes. Spectator seats are also in for a change to meet current Fire & Safety standards. The stadium also gets a new athletics track but the football pitch remains, something Malaysian Stadium Corporation (MSC) insist is being well taken care off despite on-going renovation.

Technologically Advanced

Little thought was put into technology when the stadium was built. Apart from its looks and a digital scoreboard, Bukit Jalil is far from what you would call a technologically advanced stadium. Over the years, the stadium has built quite a reputation for jammed phones lines and unstable internet connection. Media personnel considered themselves lucky if wi-fi services were available, and whether or not the connection was stable came secondary, unlike the fast stable connections available in leading stadiums around the world.

That will soon be a thing of the past as the stadium will be fitted with fiber optic cables to provide high-speed connectivity. Spectators will also enjoy pre-paid wi-fi services, so gone are the days when being in a full stadium meant being out of reach. Other improvements include fixed stations for broadcast cameras, a high-definition big screen and light-emitting diode (LED) floodlights that can be controlled to suit different needs such as a football match, an athletics meet or a concert.

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The MSC are also building a mobile application to enable visitors better access to just about every piece of information there is on the stadium and its side attractions. The full works of the app, however, are only expected to be known once more facilities are introduced in 2021. MSC is looking to maximise engagement with the public in the hope it will draw a crowd on a regular basis.

Comfort

Access to the stadium is relatively easy on a sunny day but when it pours, even getting out of the train station can be havoc. But not anymore. A covered walkway is being constructed from the station to the stadium. Public amenities such as toilets, food & beverage outlets and prayer rooms are also being upgraded and will be more friendly for people with disabilities. The location of a viewing/seating area for the disabled is also improved as the present one at the top of the first-tier does not offer a good vantage point.

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A sporting ground for all

Next time you visit Bukit Jalil Stadium, make sure to bring either your bicycle or jogging shoes. A Commonwealth Hill Park was part of the big project in the 1990s and though still used today, its upkeep has been close to none apart from the trimming of grass. Unknown to many, there was also a recreational area with public courts situated behind the hockey stadium which has been underutilised for years. So much so, there were even squatters in the area at one point.

There has been no mention of upgrading those areas or whether it will make way for other developments, but one thing confirmed is a jogging and cycling track that partially surrounds Bukit Jalil Stadium and other facilities in the venue. Phase Two of plans, meanwhile, will include the construction of multipurpose outdoor courts for public use.

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I’m surprised that this news didn’t get much attention despite scale of the redevelopment. I’m impressed of turning parts of the current massive unappealing parking areas into fluid landscaping. However, reducing parking may not be a good option especially when you have huge event that is going to be attended by tens of thousand of people. There is also not much detail revealed yet despite the redevelopment is going to commence soon.

I would love to see the whole new redevelopment masterplan to further understand how it will look in overall layout after the transformation. There isn’t any body of water currently on the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex. There is this current trend of having a stream of water cutting through a sports complex (usually seen in Olympic Parks across the world) for aesthetic and I’m not against such idea since I saw the proposal of having similar approach in the last rendering above.

The new facade for the main outdoor stadium looks nice but is that the only proposal submitted? It would be much better if international and local architects are invited to submit design to give a new makeover to the stadium rather than just sticking to one proposal. Maybe once all this is completed, Malaysia would be much more ready to join hand with Singapore to host future Olympic Games. I also noticed there is still vast empty land near the Astro headquarter which is adjacent to the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex that can be developed for more facilities (temporary sporting venues, athletes’ village, media center, parks) if Malaysia is indeed serious on pursuing the hosting job to the Olympics.

I have written my thoughts. Now, what do you think of this redevelopment? Feel free to comment.

And by the way, Happy Malaysia Day!

 

16 days 15 nights trip to Taiwan for workshop and holiday.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2016 by vincentloy

This is the longest trip I ever had in my life so far. 16 days and 15 nights in total. This trip to Taiwan from 21st August 2016 to 4th September 2016 is certainly a memorable one. The main purpose for the realization of this trip is to attend an international workshop organized by National Yunlin University of Science and Technology. The workshop is a compulsory event to attend for one of my units in this semester of study. The workshop is themed ‘Resonance’ and it also saw participation of students from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan (of course), etc.

Two days of the trip were already spent on the flights. We took the cheapest flights possible and we had transfer back in Kuala Lumpur, giving us a chance to stay for a short while in our motherland to meet our family. A trip from Perth to KL took about 5 1/2 hours and a trip from KL to Taipei took about 4 1/2 hours. In total, it took me 10 hours to sit miserably in the aeroplanes for the flights to reach the last destination; Taipei. I felt very uncomfortable and I couldn’t sleep in plane. Same situation happened in this one too.

10 days of the whole trip was for the workshop. Our usual routine in these 10 days was waking up early, going to the campus, attending own classes, learning some new softwares, met and worked with new people, drawing stuff, and also creating prototype from various digital fabrication techniques and going back home late. The last few days of the workshop were particularly intensive. I only managed to sleep for about two hours every night back then. It was very tiring but the end result made us felt worth it. Eventhough my group’s prototype isn’t really very successful in the end, but the idea behind it was strong. We certainly had fun in this workshop which was held in Douliu, a small town about 2 1/2 hours drive from Taipei.

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The remaining days (4 days 3 nights) were then dedicated fully for vacation in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. I have been to Taiwan but that was like 8 years ago. Hence, it feels quite good to be back in Taiwan. However, I don’t really enjoy being in Taipei. The city is too busy and crowded. The streets are packed, messy signboards are everywhere, confusing traffic in every corners, and the buildings are very dense. It was already late on the first day when we arrived in Taipei from Douliu. Hence, we spent the evening only walking around the hotel we stayed in and not going far, since we were all drained of energy from the just concluded workshop.

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On the next day, we visited Taipei 101. It’s a must visit attraction in Taiwan especially for people who like to see landmark or skyscraper like me. Taipei 101 is a 508-metres tall building which was once the world’s tallest building. It is now the most important icon for Taiwan. We went up to the observatory levels of the skyscraper and I bought my favourite replica model of the building up there too (at a very expensive price…I still find it worthy since it is my interest to collect building replicas). Great aerial view from the top of the tower and we can also view the huge damper ball up there which is an engineering marvel used to balance the tower and reduces building’s vibration during strong wind or earthquake. We had a wonderful lunch at Din Tai Fung Restaurant at the base of the tower where a shopping mall is located (only luxury brands are there). Then, we proceeded to Tamsui Old Street and visited Fisherman Wharf and Love Bridge. Later in the evening, we went to Shilin Night Market.

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The following day, we went to Jiufen, a town situated on a hill with a majestic panoramic view over surrounding hills and the sea. There are shops and old buildings on slopes, and it gave a very interesting atmosphere to visitors walking in those lanes. We also visited the nearby Jinguashi, a tourist spot focusing on the gold mining history of the town. The natural setting of that place is beautiful. In late afternoon, we went to Shifen, a town popular for the setting off of sky lanterns, which is a practice particularly suitable for couples. In the evening after a downpour, we went to Keelung to visit its Night Market and Waterfront (Maritime Plaza).

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On the last day before we went to the airport for flight back to Australia, we had our last minute shopping at Ximending, the most popular shopping district in Taipei. We actually went to this place several times. It’s always crowded with people, very happening, and has a lot to offer from shops of various brands. That is certainly the best place for shoppers. We also pay a visit to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, a huge complex in honour of Taiwan’s first President.

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That is it. I think I spent over RM4000 on this trip. I bought two pairs of shoes (one normal shoes, one sport shoes from Adidas), a crystal replica model of Taipei 101 with light base, two boxes of pineapple cakes (Taiwan famous snacks), a key chain, a fridge magnet, and a bag.

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A lot of expense was on food which is expected since Taiwan is popular for its night markets everywhere that sell a lot of interesting snacks, food and beverages. I had a great time in this trip at Taiwan with my friends. It’s exhausting but it’s really fun! Now, the trip is over and I have to get back to reality…time to place my focus back on my design studio since there is a very important submission on this coming Friday!

(Copyrights reserved to all images in this blog post)

Some interesting architecture in Rio de Janeiro to see besides than sports.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2016 by vincentloy

The world’s attention is on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil right now as the city is currently hosting the world’s largest sporting event, the Summer Olympic Games. Worldwide media will be covering all the competitions daily in over 2 weeks of intense sport events in Rio 2016. Besides than looking out for the best of each contested sports in this host city, why not take a look also into some very interesting architecture in Rio de Janeiro. I recently came across an article highlighting on that topic from Archdaily and I wish to share that here:

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Rio de Janeiro is a city of sights and sounds. As diverse as its people is the collection of impressive architecture found in Brazil’s second most populous city—from Eurocentric historical architecture to 20th century regionalist modern marvels, not to mention the city’s growing crop of contemporary cultural venues. The combination of mountainous terrain, lush rainforest, and the ocean inspires many to create lively and unique architecture.

In preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics, the city has enlisted a crop of internationally renowned architects including Santiago Calatrava, whose work joins Rio’s existing masterpieces from architects such as Oscar Niemeyer. But apart from its “Capital A” Architecture, the city of Rio is home to thousands of residents living in the now-famous favelas—interesting subjects of inquiry for those interested in the concept of spontaneous urban growth. There’s a building for just about every architecture fan visiting Rio this year or anytime in the future.

International Architects

Museum of Tomorrow / Santiago Calatrava

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Built in Calatrava’s signature style, the recently launched museum feels ethereal and features various cutting-edge experimental exhibitions; it is an icon of the modernization of Rio de Janeiro’s harbor.

Cidade das Artes / Christian Portzamparc

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Located in the city’s developing southwest zone, Portzamparc’s masterpiece is a large cultural complex. A miniature City of Arts, it serves as a venue to multiple performances and exhibits throughout the year, as well as the home of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra.

MIS Copacabana / Diller + Scofidio

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Set to open later in 2016, the new headquarters of the Museum of Image and Sound aims to represent Rio de Janeiro’s Carioca culture through lively and stimulating exhibits. The building’s design aims to reproduce the experience of Copacabana’s famous boardwalk.

20th Century Modernism

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum—MAC / Oscar Niemeyer

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The iconic saucer-shaped structure not only frames views of Rio de Janeiro but also provides a column-free exhibition space for contemporary art.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian / Edgar Fonceca

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Also dubbed as the New Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, the conically-shaped structure is Edgar Fonceca’s interpretation of Mayan architecture which he has combined with traditional Catholic architecture through the dominant presence of stained glass in the interior.

Ministry of Education and Health Building / Lucio Costa

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Known alternatively as Palacio Gustavo Capanema, this office tower is one of Brazil’s most iconic representation of the International Style. The building’s design credits read like a who’s who of Brazilian Modernism, designed by Costa with help from a team of young architects which included Oscar Niemeyer alongside Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Carlos Leão, Jorge Moreira, and Ernani Vasconcellos. This team was assisted by none other than Le Corbusier, while the building’s impressive roof top gardens were designed by Roberto Burle Max.

Museo De Arte Moderna / Affonzo Eduardo Reidy

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Affonzo Reidy’s design is one of the most beautiful examples of Modernism’s sculptural potential. The museum is located within Rio’s largest public space: Flamengo Park.

Parque Eduardo Guinle / Lucio Costa

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In 1943, Lucio Costa transformed the site of Parque Eduardo Guinle by building 6 residential towers. This is a prime example of Modernist architecture’s utopian aspirations in Brazil.

Historic Architecture

The Royal Portugese Cabinet of Reading / Rafael da Silva e Castra

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Appearing like a cathedral filled with books, the 19th century building houses books which began as a private collection by three Portuguese immigrants. The library now contains largest collection of Portuguese works outside of Portugal.

Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater / Francisco de Oliveira Passos

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The Theatro Municipal is one of the most important and beautiful theaters in Brazil. The Paris Opera look-a-like is located in Rio’s city center and houses ballet performances and classical music concerts.

Parque Lage / Mario Vodrel

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Once the private home of industrialist Enrique Lague, the site is now a public park with walking trails through subtropical forest. In 2015, the artists Penny Duo transformed the site by placing an inflatable orange tarp that covered the building’s entire pool area.

Old Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro

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Before it was replaced by the New Cathedral of Rio in 1976, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte do Carmo was the seat of the Archdiocese of San Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro. It features stunning Rococo-style ornamentation.

Everyday Architecture

Santa Marta Favela

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The Santa Marta Favela is located in the Botafogo district of Rio de Janeiro and is home to some 8000 residents. In 2011, the Praça Cantão square of the favela underwent a colorful transformation through the Favela Painting Foundation of artist duo Haas and Hahn.

Teleferico do Complexo do Alemão / Jorge Mario Juaregui

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This cable car ride is composed of 7 stations and is taken by everyday commuters as it connects to the city’s railway network; the 45 minute ride provides a view of Rio de Janeiro’s various residential areas.

Contemporary Architecture

Rio Art Museum (MAR) / Bernardes + Jacobson Arquitetura

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The MAR is a large complex which contains not only a museum but also a school and leisurely cultural spaces. The 2013 construction of the museum required the unification and re-purposing of three pre-existing buildings: the Palacete Dom João, the police building and the old central bus station of Rio as one cohesive complex.

Uruguai Station / JBMC Architects

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This station used to be an old parking area for trains known as “Rabicho da Tijuca” before it was renovated to become part of the metro’s Line 1 extension. JBMC Architects were also responsible for the Cidade Nova Metro Station and Footbridge.

Homeless World Cup Legacy Center / Lompreta Nolte Arquitetos + Architecture For Humanity + Nanda Eskes Arquitetura

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After the 2010 Homeless World Cup, the structure from this multi-team collaboration, which also included Nike and Bola par Frente, has been re-purposed as a community and cultural center using football and play as a tool for empowerment in the underprivileged neighborhood of Santa Cruz.

Capela Joá / Bernardes Arquitetura

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This contemporary chapel literally hangs off a cliff and is a reconceptualization of church architecture; the traditional gable form of religious Christian buildings has been inverted from sectional to plan view.

Maracanã Stadium / Schlaich Bergermann und Partner

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The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympics are being held in this stadium, which adds to the long list of prestigious sporting events that the Maracanã stadium has hosted since its construction in 1950. A beautiful new roof structure was designed by schlaich bergermann und partner in 2013.

(Original source of the article above: http://www.archdaily.com/792656/city-guide-all-the-architecture-to-see-in-rio-de-janeiro-during-the-2016-olympics#_=_)

Also to add on from the list above for interesting architecture to observe in Rio de Janeiro are the newly built Barra Olympic Park where it is a cluster of nine sporting venues (2 of them are temporary structures) purposely built for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It sits on the former site of motorsport circuit of the city.

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And not to forget the iconic Christ The Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain which is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and is the most important icon of the city. It somehow isn’t related to architecture, but it is still a spendid landmark that defines Rio de Janeiro and is a must-see when you are in the city.

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Rio de Janeiro is a very beautiful city full of intriguing built environment sets in picturesque natural setting. The city’s architecture has the old and new, rough and clean, humble and bold, which are more than enough to amaze everyone.

(Images and information in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web unless stated otherwise)

Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games officially began with a splendid opening ceremony.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2016 by vincentloy

I purposely woke up before 7am this morning to watch the live broadcast of the opening ceremony of the 31st Summer Olympic Games, Rio 2016. The ceremony which took about four hours in Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil saw attendance of over 78 000 spectators and also audiences from around the world watching from television or from the internet. This is the first time the Summer Olympiad is held in South America.

Before the start of the games, the organizers had mentioned that they would spend very little on the ceremonies due to the financial crisis of their country in recent years. And because of that, I have very little expectation since this kind of ceremonies should not be taken lightly as it is a very strong platform to showcase the best of the host nation that can offer and present to the world. But in the end, I still insist to watch the opening ceremony to see what they can do with limited budget. And surprisingly, the outcome is that I’m quite impressed with the opening ceremony that had just concluded an hour ago.

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While it is expected that the organizers would still be depending on light projection on the floor for most part of the performances’ segment, the ceremony also shined from some very creative concepts presented. The first presentation that led to the countdown to mark the commencement of the opening ceremony was a bit of a letdown when there is no connection between the 10-second timing display to the performers on the stage. Fortunately, things get better soon with brilliant presentation to display the history and the multicultural state of Brazil. However, I find that the performances’ segment was a bit too short and the parade of nations kicked in so fast.

Over 200 countries are participating in this games and this is the first time a team for the Refugee is created to compete in Olympics. Not to forget to compliment Brazil to have this ceremony as a platform to create awareness on climate change and global warming issues. Even the Olympic rings were presented from artificial trees and they are all green (of course) which also coincides with the main colour of Brazilian flag. As for the Olympic flame arrival and cauldron lighting section, it’s a bit underwhelmed because it was done like without much thought (my impression was ‘like that only?) and I also find the animated mechanism behind the floating cauldron a bit awkward eventhough it still looks beautiful. The fireworks display at the end from the stadium was also a bit plain.

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Rio de Janeiro did delivered a grand and fabulous opening ceremony and I’m quite amazed of how they can do this with small budget (it doesn’t look cheap at all). However, it could not match the greatness we have seen from London 2012 (lesser ‘wow’ but very meaningful and touching) and of course the Beijing 2008 (full of ‘wow’ and grand). This Rio 2016 opening ceremony still delivered some ‘wow’ factors but appeared less energetic and vibrant despite all the iconic and colourful Brazilian costumes and dances. So now the Rio 2016 games has officially begins and will continue till 21st August 2016. There will be over 2 weeks of intense and interesting competitions from various sports to watch, contested by the best of the athletes from across the world.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

It’s all about Rio 2016 for this month.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s the first day of the month and it’s also the official first day of my second semester. Well, there is no class for me on every Monday and so, I will be only start to attend class from tomorrow onward. But I have already had a site visit yesterday for my design studio this semester already which means that my time has already to be dedicated for this second semester. I’m looking forward to this second semester and I hope I can also do well just like what I have done for my first semester, or even better if possible. I’m also anticipating the end of this semester so that I can fly back to Malaysia by end of November or early December. Haha…it’s a bit too quick to think about that right now when this semester has just started.

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So, my holiday is gone and there comes four months of stress and heavy workloads from all the assignments and classes. Slowly, I think I would start missing the past month when all I do everyday is just by sleeping, eating, and surfing internet. I also don’t think there can be any more time for afternoon nap from now onward. I have to get the bad habit away, turn off my lazy mode and have to work hard and smart to deal with this semester and also two more in next year before the course’s completion and my graduation.

The 31st Summer Olympic Games is finally going to take place this month. The world’s biggest multi-sport event that happens once in every four years is a global event watched by all sporting fans around the globe. This 31st edition is scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 5th to 21st August 2016. The opening ceremony is going to be held on this Friday, 5th August on 8pm Brazil time. If I’m going to watch the live broadcast of the ceremony, I have to wake up very early on Saturday’s morning due to the world’s different time zone which is not too bad this time. I remember I purposely stay awake till midnight four years ago to watch the live broadcast of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 games. I was the only one in the living room watching the ceremony as I’m the only one in my family who have an interest on it. Can’t believe that was four years ago. Time flies.

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(Seen above is the new Barra Olympic Park for Rio 2016. The main stadium that will host some sporting events and also the opening and closing ceremonies is Maracana Stadium, is not located in this Olympic Park. That is odd since it is usually the main stadium will be the centerpiece of any Olympic Parks in the past.)

I didn’t have high expectation for this edition’s ceremonies due to the very low budget allocated on it and also low expectation to the overall games due to the many problems surrounding the host city this time. Brazil is facing economical instability, Zika virus, massive underdeveloped places, high security and safety risks, etc. But I believe Rio de Janeiro will compensate a bit with beautiful natural setting like the magnificent beaches and hills, more developed urban areas, newly constructed facilities and venues, etc. All I’m wishing for in this games is to see Lee Chong Wei to win Malaysia’s first ever Olympic gold medal this time in badminton. It’s his last chance, and I will elaborate later on this point if he managed to get into the final.

August 2016 Blog Header

In conjunction with the 31st Olympiad this month, Rio 2016, my blog header of the month would be also highlighting on this sporting event. Nobody would have not heard of Olympics. It’s the event that bring best athletes from across the world together to compete in various sports contested. It’s the event that the world will be putting the eyes on. It’s the event all sport fans love, even the ordinary people like me too who doesn’t really like sport much but still love to watch some intense sporting competitions. The visual for the header (from this original source: https://iso.500px.com/rio-de-janeiro-photos/) is a striking aerial view of the host city, Rio de Janeiro with the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue overlooking the picturesque city. The image is superimposed with the official logo of the Rio 2016 to signify the games. How fortunate iit is for Rio de Janeiro to be chosen as the host city of such prestigious event.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Back from bringing my parents for a trip in Perth during their early Raya holiday.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2016 by vincentloy

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to wish ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ to all the Muslims around the world especially to my Malay friends and ex-colleagues in Malaysia. Have a wonderful celebration. For the other Malaysians not celebrating, have a happy holiday! This applied to my parents who were spending the break by travelling over to Perth to visit me and also to tour around the city. I have been here for about 5 months already and since Perth is a small city, I’m quite familiar with the places and navigation around here already. And hence, I can be a free tour guide for them.

They arrived here last Sunday and had already spent four days here. They departed to airport not long ago for their flight back to Kuala Lumpur and I have just returned home from staying in the hotel with them for the past three nights. We stayed in Seasons of Perth, a four-star hotel in CBD area. It looks only three-stars rating for me to the best. It is old with very outdated finishing, but it does have large room and the good things about this hotel are that it is cheap and it is located very near to tourist places in the CBD like the popular Hay and Murray Streets.

Once they arrived and checked into the hotel, I brought them to the Kings Park to view the State War Memorial and also to catch a glimpse of the beautiful city skyline from the park during the sunset hour. That view never gets old for me. Then, I brought them for dinner at a restaurant called Secret Garden Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown and I ate my favourite steamed cod fish (or some say tooth fish here).

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On the second day, I brought them to walk around in the city, viewing some famous places like the City of Perth Library, Perth Town Hall, London Court (unfortunately most of the alley in it is now under renovation), Hay Street and Murray Street (two popular pedestrian malls in the city). Then, I brought them to the Elizabeth Quay, a must-visit new place in Perth for the tourists for the Swan River’s view and also for all the interesting things over there like the twin-arches bridge, Spanda sculpture and the iconic Swan Bell Tower. Then, I brought them for early lunch by having dim sum at Northbridge in a restaurant that I have tried it before. The food there taste very good and my parents enjoyed it very much until we came back for the same place two days later (this morning) for lunch again. The restaurant is Fortune Five Chinese Restaurant.

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After the lunch, we took the ferry from Elizabeth Quay to South Perth that only took about 10 minutes for a ride. South Perth is just opposite the city and that is where the Perth Zoo is, the place that we will be visiting for the whole afternoon on our second day. The zoo is not huge but contains a lot of exhibits of animals. What’s disappointing are that the quantity of animals in the zoo is very little (it’s only one for each of almost all the species on exhibit) and that the paths are not continuous. With that kind of layout, it is easy to miss some exhibits.But overall, it is still a satisfying experience visiting this zoo which is so near to the city. We ended the day by having dinner at Theo and Co Pizzeria, a famous pizza restaurant at East Victoria Park.

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On the third day in the morning, we boarded train to head to Fremantle, a port city south of Perth. The train ride only took 30 minutes. Fremantle is a city full of many old and well preserved heritage buildings and streets. It also has beautiful beaches and the majestic view of the vast Indian Ocean. We walked around there and visited the Round House, the first permanent building in the city which is originally a gaol (a jail). I didn’t bring them to see Fremantle Prison because there is nothing spectacular on that prison actually and that we couldn’t spend longer time there. Then, we head to the nearby Bathers Beach and had fish and chips for our lunch at Kailis Fish Market and Restaurant at the harbourside. Before leaving Fremantle, we walked in the Esplanade Park and observed all the happenings there from the on-going Winter Festival. There are some activities especially for kids and family like the outdoor skating rink. It’s weekday and so the Fremantle Markets is closed. Too bad, my parents couldn’t visit it but it’s not a major issue.

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Then, I brought my parents to visit my Curtin University campus in Bentley. They said it’s a huge complex but for me, it’s large only because of all the parks, fields and trees. Then, I brought them to visit my on-campus accommodation and also the nearby Waterford Plaza as they wished to visit the supermarket here. For the evening, I brought them to Crown Perth, the casino resort not far from the city. This is also my first time visiting the casino. We tried our luck for a short while and we won a bit to our excitement. The hotel there looks great and very luxurious. There is also a convention centre over there. That’s it for the day.

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On the fourth (last) day of their trip, there is nothing I can do for them since they have to be at the airport by afternoon already. We just spent rest of the time walking in the CBD area again and had early lunch at Northbridge. Then, I bid farewell to my parents again as they left to the Perth International Airport for their flight back home. How I wish I can fly back with them since I have remaining three weeks of holiday before my next semester of study commences. It’s okay. I will be back to Malaysia by December!

They were here for four days but they were actually only visiting the city for two days technically since the first and the last day were spent mostly on the arriving and departing stuff that took up most of the time. They are sure to come back here again probably during next year’s any holiday season or during my graduation. If they are here longer, I can even bring them to Swan Valley (I have visited it and it’s quite nice over there especially with all three free tasting of chocolates, wines, cheese, nougats, nuts, honey, beer, cooking ingredients, fruits, etc), the Pinnacles, the Wave Rock, the Lobster Shack, and even a whale-watching tour (my dad is interested on it but it only runs from September to November…it has its own season). That’s all now reserved for their next trip here. My dad is also eager to return here for the casino since the minimum bet here is low and very much affordable. Okay…that’s it for my description of the trip of which everything went very well especially with the nice sunny weather every day during the trip. But it’s freezing cold especially when the wind blows at night in these few days. It’s the peak of winter season now in Australia and so there is nothing we can do besides than wearing more.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images in this blog post)