Architectural Insight: Malaysia Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

Let’s forget our terrible-looking Malaysia Pavilion back in 2010 during the Shanghai World Expo and move on to the latest pavilion of our country for the on-going Expo Milano 2015. If you do forget how it looks like (for the Shanghai one), then here’s a picture of the pavilion to remind you.


By the way, please don’t confuse this ‘Malaysia Pavilion’ thing with the high-end Pavilion shopping mall in Bukit Bintang, KL. We are now referring to the expo’s pavilion; a structure representing a specific country or organization for exhibition. For this year’s Expo Milano 2015 (universal exposition held once in every five years), Malaysia do have its own pavilion as usual and the design is considered good (at least so much better looking than the one five years ago in Shanghai). Few pictures of our pavilion now in Milan for the 2015 World Expo themed on ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’.

Le nuove foto di Expo 2015



(The overly-decorated trishaw is a bit hideous here)

So much better looking. Our Malaysia Pavilion is also being highlighted by many articles as one of the most interesting design of pavilions in the Expo Milano 2015. By the way, it is designed by Hijjas Kasturi, one of established architecture firms in Malaysia. Here’s a bit of description regarding the Malaysia Pavilion (Expo Milano 2015) from the official source (

Malaysia’s pavilion will have the theme, “Towards a Sustainable Food Ecosystem”. The theme will highlight Malaysia’s transformation agenda of sustainability and inclusiveness by focusing on various efforts undertaken under the Economic Transformation Programme’s National Key Economic Areas, especially the agriculture, palm oil and rubber sectors, tourism and business services. One important theme will be the dynamics between economic advancement and the preservation of the environment; and between biodiversity and commercial agriculture.


The pavilion will be spread over 2,047 square metres, takes the shape of four seeds. The curves of the design and the weaving patterns on the structure reflect the versatility and dynamism of the nation. The Malaysia Pavilion design drew inspiration from the humble rainforest seed. The seed, a symbol of growth, signifies a beginning of a journey, and the potential within. This seed is a metaphor for Malaysia’s own economic transformation from one based primarily on commodities and agriculture through export-oriented industrialization. It is also one driven by higher value-added industries and services.




The architectural design incorporates green and sustainable features in line with the sustainability theme of the Expo. The external structure of the seeds are constructed with “Glulam” or glued laminated timber, an innovative structural timber made of local sustainable material. The choice of Glulam, combined with the structurally complex form of our pavilion in Expo Milano 2015 is a deliberate effort to showcase Malaysia’s capabilities in both design and innovative materials.

The Malaysia Pavilion reflects Malaysia’s continuous journey to develop and mature into a nation that is underpinned by a system that drives the cycle of life, promotes sustainability and responsible utilization and consumption of natural resources.


More information on Malaysia Pavilion (Expo Milano 2015) can be found here:

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


Done my year-end shopping and, 2014 Christmas decorations in Pavilion KL.

It’s a boring Sunday and everybody is at home. So, I have an idea. Let’s go out for year-end shopping at KL! It has been ages since I last went for a shopping spree. Shop first this year before waiting for my year-end bonus to compensate my spending today. First choice of shopping destination; H&M in Lot 10 mall. Always my favourite since its opening two years ago. Was quite surprised today that all entry points to parking at Pavilion KL mall nearby were closed except one and dozens of cars were lining up to enter. We skipped that and managed to find parking at Starhill Gallery fortunately.

As expected, there is a LOT of people there. People including us also purposely went there to check out the Christmas decorations particularly in Pavilion KL, one of the most premier shopping malls in KL, and it never fails to impress us with amazing decorations for festivals like Christmas, Chinese New Year or Hari Raya every year. This year’s X’mas decorations in the mall is themed ‘Christmas Magnificence’.

What’s interesting of the decorations this year in Pavilion KL is that those Santa Claus, snowmen, and elves displayed were animatronic. They moved, and that triggered more excitement especially for the kids. I remember there was a carousel last year for kids to enjoy. This year, it’s replaced with a small ferris wheel in the mall. The biggest thing would be a huge red X’mas tree in the middle of the atrium that makes up as a Santa Claus too. Creative. Pictures below:












KL couldn’t escape from Christmas atmosphere too eventhough there is no winter here! Countdown: about ten more days to Christmas!

A year to Milan 2015 World Expo. A quick glimpse into Malaysia Pavilion’s design.

The extravagant Shanghai World Expo back in 2010 had increased worldwide attention to this event known as the Universal Exposition. Held once in every five years, the expo gathers countries and organizations from across the world to present what they could offer in present or future generation through various themes, usually carrying distinctiveness and symbol of their respective countries. The next World Expo would be held in 2015 on Milan from 1st May to 31st October for a duration of six months. Hence, the countdown of a year to the event had just started. Official website of this expo:

This coming event, themed ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ embraces technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet. Expo 2015 will have a principal focus on the right to healthy, secure and sufficient food for all the world’s inhabitants. Over 140 countries and 10 organizations will be taking part on this expo, securing the global event to become the highlight of next year. And as usual, there will be a lot of pavilions of respective countries or organizations built for the expo which most will be demolished after the event, and all eyes are starting to look into the design of the pavilions.

And the first thing on my mind is that how would my country’s pavilion looks like this time? It was a complete eye-sore and failure for Malaysia Pavilion back in Shanghai 2010 World Expo. (refer image below)


Ugly and terrible! A traditional-looked building topped by a giant Minangkabau roof with horrendous colour made it easily the worst-looking pavilion back in that expo. I searched yesterday for the design of our country’s pavilion for Milan 2015 and finally, something is right this time. Details are not revealed or officially confirmed yet, but I guess it’s very high probability that the design will be like this for Malaysia Pavilion in Milan 2015 World Expo:

milan 2015 malaysia

The design is a joint collaboration between FOCUS Architects, KL Superstudio and PICO International of which the latter have had countless past experience of designing pavilions or exhibition booths for various countries or organizations. Malaysia’s interpretation of the core Expo’s theme is ‘Towards A Sustainable Food Ecosystem’. The pavilion will offers fascinating journey from tradition to innovation and will explore an economic transformation plan which will propel Malaysia’s small agricultural sector into a large-scale high-income industry that contributes to the global struggle against poverty.

milan 2015 malaysia3

milan 2015 malaysia2

What is your first impression of the design? Looks great and much better right? At least it looks modern and doesn’t reflect our country being so outdated anymore (as seen in Shanghai 2010). I like the simplicity and fluidity of the form, yet containing interesting circulation pattern and exciting content to offer inside to visitors. Based on the theme of ‘Seed of Change’, you can quite obviously the form is derived from the look of a seed, particularly of paddy (rice), which is the staple food for most of world’s population especially in Asia. How do I know all these? Just check out the E-book containing some details of this pavilion here:

I hope this will be confirmed design. If it is so, then I will be among the first to post details of the pavilion in my blog here. Anyway, it’s really cool-looking.


UPDATE (20 May 2014)

The design has been revised but still maintains the original ‘seed’ concept as highlighted in this post earlier. But the architect behind this has now changed to Hijjas Kasturi Associates.



Still looks good, but I prefer the original design. Here’s the website and more information from this confirmed design of the Malaysia Pavilion for Milan 2015 World Expo:

Information source:



Chinese New Year mood is on! Year of Horse is coming.

So fast it’s middle of the month already, which tells us that there is another half month to go before the big festival, the Chinese New Year, or known as Spring Festival. The year of snake (from 2013 based on lunar calendar) will have to make way for the arrival of year of horse very soon. Are you in CNY mood already? I am… It’s time to buy new clothes, CNY biscuits and mandarin oranges, drinks, or even decorations to brighten up and add CNY atmosphere to your home.

The first two days of the upcoming Chinese New Year which are made public holiday falls on Friday and Saturday. Not that good as we get to enjoy shorter break and I have to apply for annual leave in more number of days this year to accommodate my oversea trip to China with my family on that particular week. Luckily, I managed to save quite a number of annual leave from last year. And also it’s fortunate as my office is in KL, which will observe another holiday on that Saturday (second day of CNY). Hence, there will be a replacement holiday on Monday (only for Federal Territories).

Just not long after seeing the Christmas decorations in Pavilion KL last month, recently I went back to the mall to take a look at its Chinese New Year’s decorations this time. The mall is always promising in offering awesome decorations for major festivals. However, I find that this year’s CNY decorations in the mall is not that outstanding or distinctive anymore compared to previous years. I thought it has to be much better due to the heavily promoted Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign this year. But still it’s not bad. Still contributes a very good CNY feel. Here is a shot I had taken of the mall’s entrance:


And I think it’s time to replace my blog’s header to bring in CNY mood to my blog also. No more new year’s greeting as the first month of the year is already halfway through. Time to put up red, the most popular colour for CNY as it symbolises prosperity, joy, and everything good in Chinese culture. Hence, my blog header is mostly in red now, and you can see two horses. One is translated and abstractly drawn to resemble the year ‘2014’ (current year), while the other one is in shadow within the red background. Very simple yet self-explanatory as the header acts as an early CNY greeting to all Chinese. Another copy of the blog’s header below (click on it for full version):


In Malaysia, we do have X’mas atmosphere too! Merry Christmas!

I am living in Malaysia, a country with tropical climate of which the four seasons don’t exist. I can say it’s good but we will never have the opportunity to enjoy winter or get a chance to play with real snow here (unless you are in the Snow World theme park at Genting Highlands). However, I’m lucky enough to have gone to other countries to experience what is it like to be in winter season. It is fun if that is only for a few days and not for long. Back to here, I have to say that Christmas celebration in Malaysia will never be awesome cool or ‘complete’.


To compensate that and to further add joyous festive mood on this Xmas season in Malaysia at the end of the year, we have major shopping malls particularly in Kuala Lumpur beautifully decorated annually for this festival. Our malls here tend to willingly spend a lot on this not only as a mean of celebration but also most importantly is to boost their image and to attract more visitors to come and shop. And one of the most striking shall be none other than the Christmas decorations in Pavilion KL. It never disappoints me every year. I had been there last week, and here are some of the photos I took.




My two baby nephews enjoyed it. At this time of the year, the main entrance and the central atrium of the mall will be ‘permanently’ crowded with visitors taking pictures and fascinated by the wonderful Christmas decorations and set-ups. Pavilion KL had the theme ‘Christmas Wonders’ this year. Well, there many other shopping malls that you can visit to check out their amazing Xmas decorations too in different themes like Sunway Pyramid, Mid Valley, Suria KLCC, Berjaya Times Square, etc. Not long after, all that will have to be replaced with Chinese New Year decorations.

It’s going to be Christmas Day soon, and hence I take this opportunity to send my early Christmas greeting to all who are celebrating this spectacular occasion! Have a wonderful Christmas and happy holiday!


Also not to forget that there is actually a Chinese festival today before the Christmas. It’s the Winter Solstice or known as ‘Dongzhi Festival’ among the Chinese. Happy Winter Solstice too!

Then, new year celebration would be just around the corner!

Have you heard of Yeosu 2012 Expo?

Do you know anything about it, or even its existence?

It is an international exposition recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) to be held in Yeosu, South Korea which opened on May 12th this year and will run until to August 12th in the same year. This expo falls in different category when comparing to the previous Shanghai 2010 World Expo as this one focuses on a theme and so, the scale is much smaller. Hence, not many people would know about its existence, which is now indeed running and opened to public for visit.

The theme for the expo is ‘The Living Ocean and Coast’. So looking at the title itself is already self-explanatory of what the expo is all about; showcasing the essence of marine life and how current or future technology could contribute to that. The theme was divided into three sub-themes: Development and Preservation of the Ocean and Coast, New Resources Technology, and Creative Marine Activities. These sub-themes have been further developed into 6 thematic groups, namely, Climate & Environment, Marine Life, Marine Industry & Technology, Marine City and Marine Civilization, and Marine Arts, each of which are demonstrated in their respective sub-theme pavilions.

One of the main buildings of the expo is Korean Pavilion, the pavilion of the host nation with features of the Korean seas and the most notable achievements in shipbuilding, marine transportation, marine products, marine technology and marine safety in its exhibition hall. Next is the International Pavilion, occupying the largest area of all the exhibition facilities, is the exhibition site for participating countries to plan and hold their exhibitions with four themed blocs including: Sea of Life, Sea of Exchange, Sea of Peace, and Sea of Land. There is also a Theme Pavilion that stays strong to the core concept of The Living Ocean and Coast, which is “life” as it embraces not only space, time, culture, science technology, and occidental and oriental ideas but also the ecosystems and humankind.


Since the expo is mostly about marine life, there is a huge aquarium or formally known as Marine Life Pavilion. It shows the diversity of marine resources and viability of their continuous use and development. Visitors are shown the sea as a treasure house of biodiversity and, by highlighting our mutual relationship with the sea, an understanding of the importance of preserving the marine environment. The Expo town on the other hand, was to be developed as a main model of environmentally friendly coast city and used as a test bed of Green Home projects. It will be changed to ocean themed timeshares and premium dwelling places after the Expo.

Well, the main landmark of the expo site must be the Big-O. It is a huge floating steel sculpture of ‘O’ shape that represents the ‘ocean’ that sets the stage for various shows and performances in front (including fountain display) with the beautiful backdrop of the ocean. Even when you are away from the group and are lost in that huge expo site during visit, you can easily refer to Big-O as the meeting point. The clip below shows how the overall expo site looks like. From my perspective, everything looks contemporary and even futuristic in the design of the structures for the expo. Of course, everything looks so perfect in that computer rendering, but I think the excessive amount of empty plaza and pathway on the site would not actually invites a lot people to gather, sit or enjoy there. So I find that is a bit too much and unnecessary as seen from the clip. Instead, one huge main link to all structures in the expo is enough. That is just my opinion.

Well, my country, Malaysia did participate on this expo too with its own pavilion under the International Pavilion. But until now, I have no knowledge of how it looks like. Terrible, ordinary or amazing exhibit? Well, I didn’t expect a very good one looking at my country’s previous involvement in Shanghai 2010 World Expo with that ugly pavilion. I believe Malaysia couldn’t showcase much on this field as we are not so developed on this area comparing to many other developed countries. For more information regarding this international expo which is running now, browse through its website;

Going through the Bukit Bintang – KLCC Pedestrian Walkway the first time…

After a round of two movies straight and a dinner in Pavilion KL just now, I decided to take a walk to KLCC Park by using the newly-constructed air-conditioned pedestrian bridge which spans over 1 kilometre long. I heard about it from the news of its opening not long ago by the Prime Minister under the urban development plans of the city of Kuala Lumpur. So, that must be a good project to gain more support to the current government.

The bridge is still in a very good condition, generally because it is still new. The floor is squeaky clean, the air-conditioners are working, and all the lightings are sufficient. It’s comfortable walking in the bridge, but in the same time, I’m feeling tired too since it’s quite a lengthy walk from Pavilion to KLCC which stops at KLCC Convention Centre. There are quite a number of people using the bridge, which is proven to be beneficial to the people of the city, helping them to avoid the stuffy outdoor environment and the hectic noisy traffic on roads.

It’s also good to have a number of security personnels on duty along the bridge, to prevent any robbery or to disallow beggars to loiter  along the comfy walkway. They can be useful for asking directions too, since the long walkway bridge is not in one straight route but is also split out into few routes in each end. There are also very few advertisement boards placed along the bridge, as not to block view to the outside which is also limited somehow by the exterior structural framing of the bridge itself. Before I reach the end where KLCC is, I told my friend that there must be a ‘Satu Malaysia’ sign at the end of route to remind us support the current government that provided us with such facility. But that little bit of good stuff still won’t change my final perception after all.

Overall, it’s a great and a useful addition to the city, but the budget allocated for this project is extremely high and unreasonable for reasons we all know silently. Let’s just hope that this bridge is maintained well for a long term usage to the people of the city which would definitely facilitates their movement while providing a comfy indoor walking environment. It would be better if they provide travelator (automatic moving walkway) in the bridge as well, so the users don’t need to walk that long….

(The pictures from this post are from this source: