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29th SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 opens with surprisingly good opening ceremony!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by vincentloy

The 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 has officially opened with a magnificent opening ceremony held just now in Bukit Jalil National Stadium. I am not in Malaysia but I am glad to be able to watch the ceremony live just now from YouTube. It began on 8.17pm (20:17 time for this year of 2017). I didn’t have high expectation of the ceremony, as you know, it is Malaysia. I remembered that our opening ceremony for 1998 Commonwealth Games was nothing exciting and I don’t even remember a single moment from the ceremony in 2001 when we last hosted this SEA Games.

Then, I am left surprised. The opening ceremony just now was actually good. Not to the point that it was incredible or out of this world, but it is still a great show. We of course cannot compare this to Olympic-level ceremonies. This is considered breathtaking at SEA Games level. The ceremony is short (just two hours) and I’m fine with it. The official speeches were short (good too). The first half of the ceremony is dedicated for all the official procedures like flags parade, athletes parade, and oaths taking. Then, came the second part that I’m looking forward to which is the performance segment.

I’m surprised that the role of the creative director is given to a Chinese this time. Cool. That’s a wise decision. I’m not intending to be racist here but giving major role to a Chinese in Malaysia is a very seldom occasion. Give us a chance and we will deliver. And he (forgot his name) delivered. I’m amazed by his ability to combine the traditional shows with contemporary elements for the performances. It’s hard to do that and he accomplished it. I can still experience the unique diversity of Malaysia (and ASEAN overall) through traditional dances and outfits, but at the same time, listening to vibrant modern music and seeing high-tech colourful lighting and projection all around. The choreography and synchronisation aren’t at the best but the effort is there. The presentation appeared to be like a mess for a time but overall, the energy was there.

Before watching the show, I have fear that the ceremony will be overwhelmed with very traditional dances and songs. I’m now certainly in relief. The songs during the performance are also great and complements to the energetic atmosphere of the almost fully-packed stadium. As for the stadium, I love the newly refurbished stadium. It looks awesome with the new skin cladding and modern LED lights. A major disappointment of the ceremony would be the cauldron. It’s just a huge chunk of cylinder mimicking ‘oil lamp’ (the broadcaster said so). That part is supposed to be intense and exciting. The end result is not. Lack of effort on this crucial part of the ceremony. And I don’t even know the last torch bearer. Apology but who is she? The last torch bearer is supposed to be someone who is the most excellent in world sports. By the way, where is our beloved Datuk Lee Chong Wei? He is not appearing at all in this ceremony. He is the best choice for that spot.

Last but not least, the concluding fireworks is awesome although I wish for more. Generally, the ceremony is great and is a good effort but it lacks ‘wow’ moment. There literally isn’t any ‘wow’ moment in the show. All the ‘suspended in the air’ show in the ceremony fall short of excitement too. The idea of having LED lights installed at the side of audiences’ seats reminds me of the same situation for London 2012 ceremonies. Well, I’m fine for this idea to be reused again to make the show better. Now, the games begin and we will see if Malaysia could reach its target by winning over 111 golds and topping the medal tally. The games will end with a closing ceremony on 30th August 2017, which is coincidentally the eve of the country’s 60th anniversary of independence celebration.

(Images in this post are from The Star Online and YouTube screenshots)

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Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games begins this Saturday.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2017 by vincentloy

My home capital, Kuala Lumpur will be hosting the 29th Southeast Asian Games beginning this Saturday. This biennial event will take place from 19th to 30th August 2017 and will see participation of 11 countries in the South East Asia region. This will be Kuala Lumpur’s 6th time in hosting the games. Its last edition here in KL was way back in 2001. There will be 404 events in 38 sports in this games including the first ever winter-sport (ice skating) events included in SEA Games history.

In preparation of the games, the old sports complex in Bukit Jalil went through a major refurbishment and rebranded as KL Sports City. The sports complex was previously built to host the 1998 Commonwealth Games. That was almost 20 years ago and many areas and venues in the complex were in serious need of upgrade works. And they are now all done for the coming SEA Games. One of the major upgrades is the addition of a skin system to the present Bukit Jalil Outdoor National Stadium. Well, it looks good on the stadium with the LED colour-changing lights on it.

Malaysia hopes to be the top of the medal ranking at the end of the games. This is expected since we are the host nation and there would be advantages on our side as usual. However, in my opinion, reaching the top at this games means nothing. It is just a small regional event. Malaysia shall aim higher by targeting to reach top 10 in future Asian Games (we are placed at 14th place in Incheon 2014 with 5 golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes) or even top 30 in future Olympic Games (we are placed at 60th place in Rio 2016 with 4 silvers and 1 bronze…haiz, 4 silvers and not even 1 gold…sad). Opps…we have not even won a single gold medal in the Olympics yet. We are basically weak in most of the sports. Even our performance in badminton (our most popular and considered to be our best shot for medals) keep on dropping in these recent years. We should look up to China on how they train their athletes. They are crazily strong in almost all sports now.

On the other hand, Malaysia should consider strongly to bid for bigger games in the future such as the Asian Games. I remember Thailand had hosted it for many times and we have not even hosted it once. We should bid for Asian Games. I think we have all the necessary stuff needed to host the games. Aim higher. We do not even need to spend much on building new infrastructures as we already have most of them. So why not? It will not cost much and by hosting bigger-scale games, our unity spirit and international recognition will rise. Wait…how about hosting the Olympics? Wow…this dream is way too far. It is still possible if Malaysia and Singapore work together for a joint bid. But for now, we should set our eyes on bidding for Asian Games first. Oh no…we have to wait to bid for the 2030 Asian Games. The host for 2018, 2022 and 2026 games have already been decided earlier. Year 2030…hmm…I will turn 39 years old by then.

Anyway, back to this coming SEA Games. I will still wish for the best for the Malaysian athletes! I have no doubt we will get No.1 in this games in overall medal tally. Let just see this as a warm up for much bigger games ahead. Malaysia Boleh! I hope the country will be doing something cool for the opening ceremony this Saturday! Perhaps matching the quality of the opening ceremonies in Olympic Games. I doubt it.

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

 

One almost done, one has half way to go, and one is still on ground. Updates on three supertall construction projects in Kuala Lumpur.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2017 by vincentloy

Kuala Lumpur is ranked among one of the best city skylines in the world. It gained such recognition due to its splendid array of clustered buildings topped with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower. However, the city skyline is going to further transform, thanks to the many new skyscrapers currently being built in the city. They are going to immensely impact the city skyline due to their enormous heights. The city won’t look the same after every few years and I look forward to see more tall and nice-looking buildings being constructed in the city.

Here are the 3 supertall skyscraper projects in Kuala Lumpur that are receiving high attention and shown together are their latest construction images. Render is shown for each project below too. Supertall building refers to a building that exceeds 300 metres in height.

1.Four Seasons Place. 

It is a 65-storeys mixed use tower currently under construction besides the Petronas Twin Towers. Once completed, it will have a final height of 343 metres. It will contain a hotel, serviced residences and a shopping mall at the podium. After undergoing multiple delays and design changes in the past, the tower has now finally rising quickly. It has structurally topped out not long ago and the work on the building’s crown has started. It will top out architecturally before last quarter of the year and will open next year. Once completed, it will be the third tallest building in the country, right after the two twin towers that sat beside it. Now, it has already made the twin towers to look not as tall as in the past eventhough it is still shorter than them by a little over 100 metres.

 

This one is ALMOST DONE.

2. TRX Exchange 106 Tower. 

It is a 106-storeys office tower currently under construction at the Tun Razak Exchange site. Once completed, this new region will become the financial hub of the city. Once completed, the tower will have a final height of 452 metres. It surprisingly will have the same height as the Petronas Twin Towers. You may wonder that it should be taller than the twin towers since it almost has over 20 floors more than the twin towers? Nope. It’s because this TRX Tower has no spire to add up to its height. The construction for this tower is very fast and it has now already half way to its top. It has now already making a huge impact to the city’s skyline. The highlight of the tower will be its crystalline crown.

This one is HALF WAY TO FINISH.

3. PNB118 Merdeka Tower.

It is a 118-storeys office tower currently under construction on the lot bordering the historical Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur. It is just right opposite my former secondary school, the Methodist Boys School KL. Once completed, it will be the tallest building in the country as well as among the top five tallest buildings in the world at a height of 644 metres. It will surpass the height of Shanghai Tower (632 metres), One World Trade Center (541 metres), Taipei 101 (508 metres) and many other skyscrapers across the world. However, its construction has been very slow and I read a news somewhere that it experienced problem with its foundation. I predict that it will be completed by 2020 or 2021. It will reach this immense height of over 600 metres due to its very long spire at the top.

 

This one is still not rising and is STILL ON GROUND WORK.

Hoping to see great progress from these skyscraper projects once I’m back to KL end of this year.

(Images in this post are from skyscrapercity.com forum webpages)

More updated details for KL118 Tower.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2016 by vincentloy

Finally, after months and months of speculation and secrecy surrounding Malaysia’s plan for the next tallest building of the country, more details had been revealed recently from the officiating ceremony. What is the project that I’m talking about? It’s the KL118 development. Now, it is renamed to PNB118 since PNB is the name of the owner’s company for this project. Well, I prefer KL118 more as it has more international appeal than ‘PNB’. Nobody knows (not only foreigners but also locals) what does PNB stands for.

Also known as ‘Warisan Merdeka’ (Heritage Independence), this development is located on a site just adjacent to the historic Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara. It is also located nearby to some very old buildings like Victoria Institution, Methodist Boys School (my former secondary school), Chin Woo Stadium, and Petaling Street (Chinatown). The project has been receiving heavy criticism due to its location on low-lying area which is also full of historical buildings and that this new modern supertall would not fit into this site context. I agreed. This project also receiving strong objection as the money put into this can be more beneficial for other purposes as the city does not need another supertall yet.

The iconic feature of this development would be the construction of an 118-storey tower, now named PNB 118 Tower. The final height of this skyscraper is still not confirmed but it is now fixed to be between 600 metres to 650 metres. Some sources said 610 metres or 630 metres while some even said it would be 644 metres tall which would make it even taller than the Shanghai Tower, the current world’s second tallest building. No matter what the final height is, this PNB118 Tower would still easily be the country’s new tallest building as well as one of top five world’s tallest buildings once it is completed. And it is announced recently that it is expected to be completed in 2024. Years ago, it is planned for completion by 2020 to coincide with Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) when the country would become a developed nation by year 2020. However, the project faced delay and it’s getting back on track now. It is now officially under construction.

The tower is designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, an architecture office based in Melbourne, Australia which is previously famous for designing Eureka Tower in Melbourne. The design is also not that well received as many people commented that it is too simple, too glassy and do not possess timeless elegance like what Petronas Twin Towers achieved. I agreed to these opinions too. However, after its official rendering and an animation clip of the tower are out recently, some changed their mind and started to like the design. I’m one of them, but I still think that the design needs further improvement especially on its treatment to the top where it meets the spire. The spire is also a bit too long and out of proportion in comparison to the building form and volume. I knew it is just there to increase a substantial height for the building just to have it to be placed higher in the list of world’s tallest buildings later on.

So, here below are some new (latest) renderings, plan view and models’ images of the PNB118 Tower and also an animation clip for it by RSP Architects, the local design consultant for this project.

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Looking forward to see this new skyscraper dominating the skyline of Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible. Hmm…I suddenly changed my mind and think that KL needs a new supertall now since Petronas Twin Towers have been here for almost two decades already. However, it is undeniable that the twin towers are still elegant and remain as icon of the country forever.

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

 

Current KL: 5 tallest buildings completed, 5 tallest buildings under construction, and 5 tallest buildings proposed in the city.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2016 by vincentloy

My city, Kuala Lumpur is considered slow in terms of construction boom compared to many cities in China or even in our neighbouring South East Asian countries. However, there are several (actually multiple) interesting skyscraper projects on-going (either in construction stage or still in proposal phase) in the city currently that deserve some attention worldwide.

Before I proceed, do you know that building above 150 metres high is classified as a tall skyscraper. Building above 300 metres is then called supertall skyscraper while megatall skyscraper refers to building beyond 600 metres high (currently only three buildings in the world are megatalls; Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower and Mecca Royal Clock Tower). Based on data available from Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Kuala Lumpur has about nearly 50 tall skyscrapers (above 150 metres high) with 3 of them being supertalls (Petronas Twin Towers as two and Telekom Tower). Kindly take note that KL Tower (421 metres high) is a telecommunication tower and hence, not to be included.

The present five tallest buildings in the city are (as of 2016):

1. Petronas Twin Tower 1 (452 metres, 88 floors)

2. Petronas Twin Tower 2 (452 metres, 88 floors)

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3. Telekom Tower (310 metres, 55 floors)

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4. Ilham Tower (274 metres, 64 floors)

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5. Petronas Tower 3 (267 metres, 60 floors)

The five tallest buildings in the city are all beyond 250 metres mark. Wonderful. KL can be considered home to plenty of skyscrapers eventhough we still lose out to bigger cities like Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Shanghai, Dubai, etc.

The five tallest buildings currently under construction in the city are (as of 2016):

1. KL118 Tower (644 metres, 118 floors, to be completed in 2020).

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2. Fairmont Kuala Lumpur Tower 1 (370 metres, 78 floors, to be completed in 2019). (Surprised of very lack of real data of this project despite it is already under-construction now)

3. Four Seasons Place (343 metres, 65 floors, to be completed in 2018).

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4. Fairmont Kuala Lumpur Tower 2 (278 metres, 71 floors, to be completed in 2018).

5. Banyan Tree Signatures (240 metres, 55 floors, to be completed in 2016, that’s this year!).

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Glad that there are still many skyscraper projects under construction in the city despite the poor economic situation especially the current crisis in the country. Wishing for these buildings above to be finished quick.

The five tallest buildings proposed in the city are (as of 2016):

1. Tradewinds Square Tower A (608 – 775 metres, 110 – 150 floors). (Three unconfirmed designs shown below)

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Tradewinds Square

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I personally prefer the first design; clean, simple yet elegant. The second and the third designs are average looking only.

2. Platinum Tower / TRX Signature Tower (430 metres, 90 floors). (Three unconfirmed designs shown below)

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The first design looks like a shorter version of Shanghai Tower. Second one looks quite good while the third one charms from its crown treatment. Hard to choose if you ask me.

3. Oxley Tower 1 (380 metres, 83 floors).

4. Oxley Tower 2 (380 metres, 83 floors).

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5. Tradewinds Square Tower B (288 metres, 61 floors).

Hoping to see at least some of the proposals above get to be materialized very soon. But like I said earlier, the economic downturn in our country currently is not looking good to ‘breath life’ into these amazing proposals. If most of these projects (under-construction or under proposal) are to be really completed in the next five or ten years, then Kuala Lumpur would become a much denser city with a more stunning skyline to enjoy in near future. I’m looking forward to that!

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

Amazing collection of recent images of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2016 by vincentloy

I’m one of those people who love to observe a city’s skyline. For me, a city with dense cluster of buildings and landmarks around delivered a fantastic and an iconic skyline that I would feel overwhelmed. It’s like magical for me. Whenever I pass by a point when I can have a panoramic view of my city, Kuala Lumpur, my eyes would automatically fixed to the view for as long as I can. I have been living in the city in my entire life and I’m still not bored looking at the city’s picturesque skyline every time. I did the same when I’m visiting mega cities from other countries too during my past travels.

Well, next month, I would be flying to Australia for my two-years of postgraduate study. Hence, I would be leaving my beloved KL soon. I still have one more month left to take a lengthy look of KL skyline before the sight went out of my reach for at least a year. Recently, I surfed the internet and looked up at Skyscrapercity forum page to check out some amazing photographs of the city’s skyline taken by others in recent days/months. Wonderful…I’m speechless after viewing some of the pictures uploaded there. I thought it would be nice if I can share those images here for my blog’s visitors to enjoy too. Here you go…

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(Click on the images for bigger version that will certainly put you in awe straight away)

Magnificent, right? I have even made the last picture (right above) to be my laptop’s desktop background recently. I’m not boasting for my home city but it’s undeniable that KL possesses a beautiful skyline and gives interesting vibe when viewed from any angles. Kuala Lumpur is also ranked pretty high in many rankings out there that chose the best city skylines across the world. The city is of course iconic, thanks to the amazing Petronas Twin Towers as well as the KL Tower. Soon, by 2020, there would be a new tallest building in the city joining them called KL118 Tower.

(Images in this post are from Skyscrapercity forum web pages)

Christmas decorations from my office to shopping malls…they are everywhere!

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2015 by vincentloy

Today is a lazy Friday for all of us in the office today as we were all excited not about the works, but about the office’s Christmas party in the afternoon. Our meeting room had been temporarily converted to a giant dining room where all the food and drink were served. Our Christmas gifts were all exhibited below the Christmas tree in the office’s lobby area awaiting for us to unwrap respectively after a gift exchange.

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I’m quite happy that I received a cap from one of my colleagues. Grateful for that, and really very full after the meal that made me getting more lazy after that. And later in the evening, I had a banquet dinner to attend in conjunction with my cousin’s wedding.

The banquet dinner was held at Bukit Bintang area. To go there, I had to take a long walk from my office to Avenue K, and then to Suria KLCC and later Pavilion KL before reaching the restaurant. I walked for over 45 minutes and I passed through 3 shopping malls at once. What’s better than having this opportunity to snap some photos of the various Christmas decorations in these malls.

Avenue K

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Simple yet elegant Christmas decoration in the much smaller mall of Avenue K. Toys of adorable bears on top of the stalls selling Christmas items that are designed to mimic snowy formation.

Suria KLCC

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The decoration inside the mall is too colourful and distracting. However, the very huge and tall Christmas tree outside the mall facing the KLCC Park overwhelmed me. At night, it would be very beautiful.

Pavilion KL

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You will notice that there would be an event to promote at the base level of the atrium in Pavilion KL mall (shown above) for the upcoming film ‘Ip Man 3’ with the leading actor, Donnie Yen going to make an appearance. However, I couldn’t manage to wait for his arrival since I have to get to my cousin’s wedding dinner. Also do take note that the sparkling Christmas tree in the mall is also Asia’s tallest Christmas tree made of crystals (by Svarovski).

Ahh…I’m already in Christmas mood, and above all, holiday mood! Can’t wait for my vacation to Singapore next week but I’m having huge worry now of the predicted traffic crawls along the expressways connecting both Malaysia and Singapore. It’s already been reported in news recently that the traffic congestion is very terrible in these days already. Couldn’t imagine what would happen on the day we would depart to Singapore when it is a public holiday and is a Christmas Eve day. Should be stuck there for over 5 hours. Agghh…please…I don’t want to waste my precious ‘holiday’ time like that. Let’s hope everything would turns out smooth and well for this upcoming trip.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images in this post)