12 Coolest Office Spaces In The World.


Have you ever feel bored and moody while working and your surrounding office environment makes it even worse for your day? Have you ever wish to complain of your poor and dull working environment to your employer but afraid of doing so? Here is a list of 12 coolest and most well-designed office spaces in the world that will make you jealous. This list is compiled from ‘Architecture and Design’ website by MMK on July 18th, 2014; most of the article is shared here in my blog from the original source at this link: http://www.architecturendesign.net/12-of-the-coolest-offices-in-the-world/.

Some offices can be boring and stifling, but definitely not these (below). Not all work spaces were created equal – some can reduce workers’ morale while others can keep them happy and inspire them to be more energetic and creative. For companies like Google, which require smart, creative and in-demand workers, such offices offer a competitive edge when trying to attract young and intelligent employees.

There are many different ways to make an office cater to its workers. Some of these offices feature athletic equipment that helps workers reduce stress or get their blood flowing (which is always important if you sit behind a desk all day). Others feature lounges where workers can relax and feel at home. At some, the offices are designed to encourage workers to think more creatively or playfully. Some of the ideas used in these offices overlap with some amazing home design ideas, while others are specific to a work environment. This makes sense, however, since offices can sometimes seem like a second home!

1 | Selgas Cano Architecture Office

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2 | Google

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3 | Inventionland Design Factory

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4 | Pallotta Teamworks

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5 | Dropbox

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6 | Airbnb

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7 | Facebook

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8 | Nokia

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9 | Urban Outfitters

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10 | Lego

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11 | Zynga

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12 | White Mountain Office

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How I wish I can get to work in any of these offices…I’m sure you have the same thought too or perhaps your office is also as cool as those shown above. If that is so, then you are a very fortunate and enjoying employee. Who doesn’t like at least a bit of ‘FUN’ in the office?

(Information and images in this post are from this source: http://www.architecturendesign.net/12-of-the-coolest-offices-in-the-world/)

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Spent my Merdeka Day 2014 at I-City, Shah Alam.


I-City is an ICT-based urban development at Shah Alam, Selangor besides the Federal Highway. It is designed as a fully integrated intelligent city, comprising of corporate, leisure and residential components such as shopping mall, office towers, hotels, apartments, data and innovation centres. I-City is also a MSC (Multimedia Science Corridor) Malaysia Cyber-centre. But I guess I-City now is perhaps more known as a city of fun attractions a bit further away from Kuala Lumpur.

There is a huge outdoor as well as indoor areas totally dedicated to leisure activities or tourism. The popular attractions available over there are Waterworld (water theme park), City of Digital Parks (where most of the LED-illuminated trees are), FunWorld (small-scaled outdoor theme park), Snowalk (indoor snow experience), 5D Theatre, Trick Art Museum, Red Carpet Wax Museum, House of Horror, etc. There are of course some retails and food outlets nearby to complete the place as a great family leisure attraction. You need to spend at least a day there to enjoy all the attractions. But that is going to cost you a lot.

I spent more than three hours there with my sister’s family, from late afternoon till night. Luckily, we got there before the sunset, the time when most people would only come to enjoy the City of Digital Lights in the dark. So, we got parking easily, and it’s conveniently near to those attractions. And luckily, there is no rain today.

First, we visited the Red Carpet Wax Museum that is divided into six themes; World Icons, Celebrities, Sport Stars, World Book of Records, Interactive and All Stars Café. You got to see many wax figures of famous historical and political figures, celebrities, actors, singers, entrepreneurs, world-record holders, and successful sportsperson. But the figures there are not very much 100% alike to the real ones. And it is no match compared to the quality in Madame Tussauds of which I have visited it before in London. Of course…the price speaks for itself. Madame Tussauds’ entry costs almost RM200 for a person, and I-City’s Red Carpet only costs RM35. Huge difference. So you can easily tell from there. It’s still a great experience in there as you got to see more figures closely attached to Malaysia like Tunku Abdul Rahman, Michelle Yeoh, Lee Chong Wei whom joined the others like Queen Elizabeth II, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Jackie Chan, David Beckham, Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Daniel Craig and many more in the museum. What’s further interesting is that some of the wax figures are interactive or animated.

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After that, we had a quick dinner at OldTown before continuing as my two nephews were very eager to play some of the attractions there. But before that, it’s now night-time and all the LED light decorations are on..it’s time to check them out. Simply beautiful. I wonder how much they spent in electricity bill for the City of Digital Lights every month. But the effect is really good. We ride on the giant ferris wheel before leaving. When we left when it is almost 10pm, there were still many cars and people coming in.

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Official website of the attractions at I-City which is expanding every year now: http://i-city.my/tourism/.

(Copyrights reserved to all my images in this post)

Mid-Autumn Festival is great with mooncakes!


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all Chinese (to myself and my family too) celebrating it! Yes, today is the 15th day of the 8th month based on Chinese lunar calendar. Well, this festival has a lot of other names too such as Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival or whatever you call it. This is one of the major festivals in Chinese culture and tradition in case you didn’t know. But it’s just another usual working Thursday in Malaysia, where festivals like this are seen minor and not emphasized. Anyway, this festival still stays strong in our roots and hearts. (Image below from source: T. Chua, 2011, and edited)

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I hope young children are having fun playing candles and lanterns these few nights. I recalled those happy moments I had when I was a child lighting up candles, and from there, creates interesting pattern or pile it up together for a slightly bigger flame, and then putting papers and leaves to burn together too. And my parents will usually came out of the house at this point of time to stop us from doing so. My sisters and my neighbours would sometime joined the fun too. Lanterns (in my childhood years, there are only traditional folded paper lanterns and animal-shaped plastic lanterns) were hung by the side of a wall with help of wood sticks. Really beautiful. I hope young children now still stick to this tradition, but I believe now the more popular choice of lanterns are the electronic ones.

Last Sunday, my relatives had organized a dinner gathering accompanied with a bit of rituals worshipping the Moon. I didn’t play any of the candles or the lanterns (I’m an adult now) but I do enjoyed watching all my little cousins and nephews playing and having fun. Looking from that, I find myself getting old soon. Haha… In the gathering, out of a sudden, a lantern dropped off and caught fire. It spreads so quick to the nearby plastic bags. Within a second, we freaked out but after a short while, it was distinguished by a slipper. Not my slipper. Hence, an advice to all especially kids; be careful no matter what when playing with fire.

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I love mooncakes, the hallmark of this festival. But mooncakes now are getting so expensive and so I observed lesser people are buying in recent years. The price is very unreasonable. But this is the first time I bought a box of mooncakes with my own money to treat my family. Actually, I am the one who eat the most. Mooncakes nowadays also came in variety of flavours by mixing fruits, cheese, coffees, nuts, or whatever possible. But in the end, I still prefer the original flavour (lotus seed with egg yolk and also the snowy skin ones). My eldest sister is good on making own jelly mooncakes and I like that too.

Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to wish every Chinese a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! May you celebrate this day joyfully and harmoniously.

 

3D public street art is so trendy nowadays…but why I can’t see even one in Malaysia?


Well, there are some beautifully drawn graffiti over some walls in Kuala Lumpur, but those are not really ‘seen’ by the passerby. Well, most of these works in KL are on walls along streets that are quiet and hence these existing art does not attract much attention. The other reason is that most of this work are from the act of vandalism and it’s not nice to be seen especially by foreign visitors. Well, the city needs some addition of creative art to further activate the built environment and to engage people with the public streets. And this 3D public art is a good example.

Well, this form of art has been very trendy lately, but most are produced in oversea countries. There are many images of different 3D public street art circulated around Facebook and those things got my attention. Too bad, I can only view the images, and not being able to be on spot to look and experience the amazing 3D public art. So, for that opportunity, I recommend KL, my home city to have such things also which would turn typical streets into something interesting and fun.

Normal art drawn is in two-dimension. 3D art adds depth to a certain drawing which in turn creates illusion to people looking at it as though the visual created from the art is real. This 3D art would then gains attention and provokes some sort of interest or thinking which can be fun or scary depending on the art created. Scary? Yes…some examples below show how a 3D art could provokes fear by drawing some sort of high cliff or a shark jumping out of an area of water as though it is really there on the street. There are many other examples you can see by searching through internet. Interesting, isn’t it? It tends to activate the particular space very well.

Graffiti and some other existing public arts displayed which are very little in numbers in KL are not enough. 3D public street art would be much more successful and would turns streets to be much lively and vibrant. It’s time for Kuala Lumpur to have something like that in order to be a much more dynamic city that enhances the city’s living experience to a creative and artistic level. Or maybe someone need to start it first over here. Me? Ahh…no…I’m not good on drawing this kind of 3D art (I think I don’t even have the knowledge to produce that 3D effect), and I don’t like to be seen by the whole public while doing serious thing like this which would made me not concentrating on the work and ended up producing a bad art. Some brilliant artists are needed to take this step in Malaysia and many would follows. A start is needed for public art like this. Simply amazing!

 

20 Interesting Facts on Supertall Skyscrapers


1. “Skyscraper” originally was a nautical term referring to a small triangular sail set above the skysail on a sailing ship. It is first applied to buildings of steel frame construction in late 19th century where building highrises began.

2. Supertall skyscraper is defined as a functional and habitable building with height over 300 m, as the number of buildings exceeding such height is considered very low around the world. The change to the height from 300 m to a number much higher (like 400 m) to be placed in ‘supertall’ category would be suggested in near future when more and more supertall skyscrapers are being built.

3. Burj Khalifa which is the current world tallest completed building stands at a height of 828m, which is almost double of the minimum height for a specific building to be placed into top 10 world tallest buildings’ list. (current 10th place goes to Trump International Hotel and Tower at a height of 423m)

4. Despite Burj Khalifa is the tallest building, Shanghai World Financial Center still hold the record of world tallest observation deck at a height of over 470m at 100th floor. Burj Khalifa just took the title of world tallest OUTDOOR observation deck at a height of 452m at 124th floor.

5. Petronas Twin Towers at the height of 452m are still the current world tallest twin buildings despite losing the title of world’s tallest building over 8 years ago to Taipei 101.

6. Taipei 101 stands at a height of 508m, is the first building in the world to reach over 500m, half a kilometre mark, which also becomes the world tallest building from 2003 till 2009, being overtaken by Burj Khalifa.

7. Ten years ago, there are only 4 buildings in the world that measure over 400m. Currently, including the topped out buildings, there is a total of 12 buildings exceeding that height. So, probably ten years later, the number could easily be over 30.

8. Empire State Building took only 410 days (less than 14 months) to build, back over 80 years ago, in 1930s as the world tallest building at a height of 381m. That is the fastest record of construction for a building with such a height and in that particular time when technology and height are the major resistances.

9. Ten years ago, there are only 26 skyscrapers known to be supertall (exceeding 300m). Now, the number is even more than double; 54 with mainly new buildings coming up from Asia (China and Dubai particularly). ‘Rise of the East’.

10. There are only 4 cities in the world with more than 5 buildings exceeding 300m (supertall skyscrapers). The cities are Dubai, Hong Kong, Chicago and New York City.

11. Dubai, United Arab Emirates is currently the city with the most supertall skyscrapers with minimum of 10 buildings in the category. The record would be remained for a long time due to rapid construction activities in Dubai.

12. The first building in history that exceeds 300m (to be called as supertall skyscraper) is Chrysler Building which stands at a height of 319m and is built in 1930, over 80 years ago.

13. The current world tallest concrete building is Trump International Hotel and Tower at Chicago which stands at a height of 423m including its spire, defeating the previous title holder, CITIC Plaza at Guangzhou which is only at 391m.

14. There are currently less than 10 completed buildings around the world with over 100 floors. (To be exact, only 9).

15. The official list in measuring building’s height is based on the measurement to the highest architectural detail that includes spire but not antenna. This is why Petronas Twin Towers obtained the title of world tallest buildings from Sears Tower (now renamed Willis Tower) back in 1997. Willis Tower at that time is still the tallest to top of roof, tallest to top of antenna, and tallest to highest occupied floor.

16. Burj Khalifa does not only hold the record of world tallest building, but also several many others especially the world tallest man made structure.

17. The Western world had hold the record of world tallest building for over a century (since the introduction of steel frame construction that enable highrises), until it is being taken by Asia beginning 1998, and until 2009 by Middle East.

18. The Shard is currently an under-construction building which will be the tallest in European Union with a height of only 310m, the first one in the region to be called as ‘supertall skyscraper’.

19. There are a total of 7 all-hotel buildings which exceed 300m, of which the top 6 tallest are all in Dubai, with the last one at a height of 304m, located at Bangkok, Thailand called as Baiyoke Tower 2.

20. The first building in history that has over 100 floors is Empire State Building, which has a total of 102 floors, built in 1931.

(All the information above may and will vary/change as time progresses…but as of July 2011, the data is correct).