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Half of the year is gone, and so is the current on-going World Cup.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2018 by vincentloy

The month of June has ended and that means half of year 2018 is gone. Things come and go at lightning speed. I couldn’t believe that I have finished my thesis about 8 months ago, graduated in a beautiful ceremony at Perth and went for a trip to China 5 months ago, and have worked in this new office in Singapore for 2 months already. In no time or to be exact, just 6 months from now, we will bidding farewell to 2018. That is quick.

Half of the year is gone and so is the current on-going FIFA World Cup 2018. The round robin stage is over with all countries having gone through matches within their assigned group. One of the major shocking news is that the previous champion, Germany has lost at this stage to people’s disbelief. People are now talking about this champion’s curse whereby the previous winner will usually lost in the next edition. It happens to many countries in the history of the World Cup too coincidentally.

We are now in the knockout stage at round of 16 before proceeding to the quarterfinals. Famous teams like Portugal and Argentina failed to succeed here and that means a surprising early goodbye to famous footballers like Ronaldo and Messi. A lot of good teams were already eliminated. England looks to have a good path ahead to get closer to the podium, Brazil seems to be making a comeback and will not face Germany this time around, Sweden and Spain are strong teams so far, and the host nation, Russia is still in the game.

It looks likely that there will be only intense matches to come before its climatic final on 15th July. So far, I have not watched a single game of this once-in-a-four-years tournament as I have no particular excitement for it and also I do not have a lot of free time for it. I think I will be only watching the final. Anyway, I am still updating my blog here with some info about it since it is a prestigious and a very popular sporting event. When the tournament reaches the later stages, it’s time for some predictions.

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

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Exciting supertall projects to enhance KL’s skyline soon.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2017 by vincentloy

The city skyline of Kuala Lumpur has dramatically changed in recent years. More skyscrapers are being built in the city, dwarfing over older buildings and populating remaining low-rise areas in the city. Here below are some of the on-going skyscraper projects in KL along with their latest updates:

The Exchange 106

This 106-storey office tower is currently dominating the city’s skyline although its construction has not completed yet. Some sources revealed that the tower has now reached about 450 metres in height, making it as tall as the city’s current record holder; the 452 metres tall iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The Exchange 106 Tower by Mulia Group is expected to top out and complete next year with projected height of 492 metres. This tower is rising very quickly and it is now starting to work on its upper portion’s central core. The highlight of this design is on its crystalline-like crown. Hence, the tower now looks very massive yet plain (boring glass cladding all over) at this stage.

Four Seasons Place

After experiencing multiple delays and changes of design in the past, the Four Seasons Place has topped out this year and will be completed next year. It now stands tall besides the Petronas Twin Towers at a height of 343 metres (65 floors). It is the second tallest hotel building in the world and also the second tallest building in Malaysia (after the Petronas Twin Towers). Some criticized the building for leaving huge visual impact to the twin towers as the building is only slightly lower and is very close to the twin towers. Well, we have to accept the fact that the twin towers will soon be dwarfed by more taller buildings in the future (they can’t be the tallest in the city forever, right?!). But the twin towers would still remain iconic for the city. The ‘Four Seasons’ logo will be nicer if it is bigger in my opinion.

Merdeka PNB118 Tower

This project receives a lot of criticism earlier due to allocation of national funding for this huge skyscraper that is thought to be much more useful to be spent on other resources, the impact it leaves to its surrounding historical area, and the absence of need for another supertall tower in the city. Anyway, the project is back on its track now after setting aside those criticisms and also after some issues with its structural foundation. It is now set to rise quickly to be the tallest building of the country by 2021 at a height of 630 metres (118 floors).

(Renderings for Merdeka PNB118 Tower)

Oxley Towers and Fairmont Towers

Construction has been slow especially for Fairmont Towers that sit right besides the KLCC Park. The Fairmont development consists of three towers with the tallest one to reach 380 metres in height with 78 floors. They are projected to complete by 2020 but that is highly unlikely looking from its current construction progress. Work is still at the ground level at this stage which is very slow. The same situation goes to the adjacent Oxley Towers development. Once completed, the taller tower in Oxley complex will be 341 metres tall with 79 floors. I estimate their completion would be around 2022 or 2023.

(Oxley Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Fairmont Towers’ development in rendering above)

(Construction site on the left is the Oxley project while the construction site on the right is the Fairmont project. Four Seasons Place is in the middle in this picture above)

Angkasa Raya Tower

This project has been approved years ago but there is no sign of its construction yet in a plot of land adjacent also to the Petronas Twin Towers. I wonder what is the problem that is delaying this project now. Designed by famous architect, Buro Ole Scheeren, the tower has 65 floors and will have a height of 268 metres. Let’s hope that this project with kick-start very soon.

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

Contradicting early predictions, Donald Trump won the US Election 2016 to become the next President

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2016 by vincentloy

I kept refreshing news website today to check on the updated results of the election for the United States presidency as live updates keep rolling in. Eventhough the election is supposed to be none of my business since I’m not an American, but we have to certainly admit the impact this election may have to the world’s economy and politics from some major political decisions in future.

The two candidates running for the top post are Hillary Clinton of Democratic Party and Donald Trump of Republican Party. The current President, Barack Obama is of course supporting Clinton since they are in the same party. Before the elections, there were many early polls and predictions going on and most of them were expecting Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, to win this election. Then, as the final days before the election arrive, people are predicting a much tighter race as Trump zooms ahead in popularity.

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And then, election came and the result is now made known. Donald Trump won the election and will become the 45th President of the United States of America from January 2017 onward. He had won over 270 seats required while Clinton has nothing to do besides than accepting this shocking defeat. She could not make history by becoming the first female president of the country unfortunately.

I don’t really like both of them as the candidates for this top post. I don’t think both are capable for this job. Electing either one of them is considered a joke for me. Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman who suddenly ventured into politics and made a lot of harsh and racist remarks. Hillary Clinton, a former president’s wife who is physically weak and couldn’t propose something really good for the country. But if you let me to vote, I’ll pick Clinton.

But right now in reality, Donald Trump won. He better think before he act from now on because he now has a real huge responsibility as his actions will not only impact his country but also may affect the whole world. He immediately promised he will go a great job (we will see) after election result confirmed that he will be heading successfully to the White House.

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

My latest favourite skyscraper in KL: Ilham Baru Tower.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2015 by vincentloy

Forget about Petronas Twin Towers. I knew Malaysians are all bored to see the twin towers already since we have been seeing it for almost 20 years. However, we can’t deny that the twin towers still remains as the most striking icon or landmark of our nation. Despite losing the title of world’s tallest building years earlier, Petronas Twin Towers are still the current world’s tallest twin buildings. If we ignore the towers for a second, what is the other skyscraper in the city of Kuala Lumpur that you admire the most?

For me, my latest favourite skyscraper in the city is the Ilham Baru Tower (let’s shorten it to IB Tower). It is a tall mixed-use skyscraper comprising of offices and serviced apartments and is located nearby the twin towers. It is also nearby to my office, and hence, I can get to see the building for almost every day. I’m not tired of catching every glimpse of it. Well, you can easily spot the building from far since it is tall enough to stand out among the rest of the cluster of buildings in that part of the city.

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There has been a number of varying technical information regarding the building from what I have browsed from some sites online. But based on The Skyscraper Center (official site for worldwide skyscrapers), IB Tower has a height of 298 metres and a total of 64 floors above ground. However, I think the height and number of floors of the tower have been reduced to 274 metres and 58 floors respectively. It would be nice if someone can clarify to me about this issue.

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The tower is now still under-construction but has already topped out to its final height. It is expected to be completed by this year and opened next year. It is designed by Foster + Partners under the leading architect Norman Foster who have once received a Pritzker Prize (highest architectural prize in the world handed out annually to individual). Well, he is also the one designing Troika Tower (tallest residential building in Malaysia) which is just right besides the IB Tower. It’s great to have famous foreign architects to come and design something fantastic for buildings in my city.

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The design of the tower resembles a bit of the famous Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong from that glass cladding with zig-zag pattern feature. Well, IB Tower has a much darker-toned glass and is more complicated with integrated louvered fins which act as sun-shading device for the building. That is essential since the weather can be very hot in Malaysia. The form of the tower is also very interesting as a portion of an upper section of the tower is cut-in to make way for outdoor sky decks. The cut-in makes the building ‘lighter’ and gives extra ‘dimension’ and ‘depth’ to its form.

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I have written a post on this building about 3 years earlier when it is still at its early stage of construction. The link to that post: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/ilham-baru-tower-a-soon-to-be-addition-to-tall-buildings-in-kuala-lumpur/. It’s cool seeing the building rising up quickly to the skyline of the city and finally it has topped out and nears completion right now. Not only a great addition to the many buildings in Kuala Lumpur, IB Tower is also now the fourth tallest building in the city (also in the country), just behind Petronas Twin Towers and Telekom Tower.

From rendering to reality now:

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More information of the tower can be found in these following websites:

http://www.ilhamtower.com/index.html

http://skyscrapercenter.com/building/ilham-baru-tower/9344

http://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/ilham-baru/

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1119813

(Images in this post are obtained from the forum site with link shown above except for the last image of which I own the copyright)

 

Walkabout around KLCC for a good look on skyscrapers.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2015 by vincentloy

Today, I was free and I decided to go for a walk around Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) region to gaze on the many tall buildings clustered in that area. I think I’m the only one that would purposely do this due to my strong interest on skyscrapers. This particular stretch of place where I took photographs of buildings is somewhere in between Jalan Tun Razak intersection and Petronas Twin Towers. It’s a gloomy day and I managed to take these images before the heavy downpour in the afternoon just now.

Ilham Baru Tower – under construction (topped out), height about 270-300 metres tall, among tallest in the city, looks a bit like Hong Kong’s Bank of China Tower with the zig-zag pattern, I like the shading devices (can see in the pictures below) of which from a bit further away, you will not see the shading devices. They blend in to the glass cladding of the whole structure.

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Troika Towers – 3 towers of residences by famous architect, Norman Foster, the tallest residential building in Malaysia at over 200 metres for the highest tower, I like the distinctive and sculptural appeal of the design.

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View of iconic buildings from left to right: KL Tower (telecommunication and sightseeing tower of 421 metres high), Petronas Tower 3 (above 260 metres high), and Petronas Twin Towers (world’s tallest twin buildings at 452 metres).

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Naza Tower – under construction (topped out, spire still not installed), a height of over 270 metres including spire, like the smoothness of the facade.

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Felda Tower with the already mentioned Naza Tower at the back. Felda Tower – over 210 metres tall, the roof ‘capping’ is ‘light’ and interesting, the cut-in portion that runs all the way to the top also looks good.

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The tower’s base has a green wall feature. Wonderful.

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The Oval – twin tower of residences, all glass around.

 

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The Intermark – previously named Empire Tower, over 230 metres tall, I like the slim design of the building which is already there over 20 years ago.

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A bunch of shorter buildings (residential) nearby.

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From left to right: Le Nouvel Towers and K Residences, both are over 200 metres tall and are right besides the Petronas Twin Towers.

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Le Nouvel – under construction (topped out), designed by famous architect Jean Nouvel, looks interesting with the hanging planter boxes (some already with plants as can be seen below) that realizes the ‘vertical garden’ concept, there is also a skybridge!

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Front, you will see the under-construction Four Seasons Place – expected to be over 340 metres high and be the third tallest in Malaysia once completed.

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View of the city from KLCC Park. Seen at the back is the under-construction Banyan Tree Signatures which is expected to reach height of about 240m when completed.

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You can see Ilham Baru Tower, Troika Towers, Citibank Tower, Felda Tower, The Oval, PNB Building, Naza Tower and Binjai Residences in the picture below.

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This collection of photos would not be complete with some shots of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Also visible in the image below is KL Tower.

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From left to right: Petronas Tower 3, Petronas Twin Towers, Maxis Tower, Le Nouvel, K Residences. Would not be bored after looking at these pictures for hundreds of time.

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Just about a decade ago, this adjacent area nearby to the twin towers is quite empty with only few highrises scattered around many low-rise buildings (many are decades old). Fortunately, the growth of the city is quite steady over the years and we observed more new towering buildings being constructed in this region (many are even over 200m tall respectively). The density of buildings in this area kept on increasing and it’s good to enhance the overall city skyline of Kuala Lumpur to be one of the best in the world.

(Copyrights reserved to all the images above which were taken by me in early August 2015. Kindly ask for permission if you want to use any of the images in this post)

R.I.P. MH17

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2014 by vincentloy

‘Before writing further, I would first like to express my heartfelt and deepest condolences to the families, relatives and friends of all the 298 victims on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on 17th July 2014. And my sincere thoughts and prayers to the deceased. Rest in peace, and may God be with you.’

The world is currently overwhelmed with news of a Malaysian plane found to have crashed at Ukraine, near Russian border yesterday. What’s further shocking from that saddening statement is that the plane went down not because of any technical failure or accident but is now believed to be shot down by military. This has been widely called as an act of cruelty and terrorism. While the Ukrainian and Russian governments are now blaming on each other for the crash in this time when there has been dispute and war at the borders between these two nations, an international investigation has been called on by United Nations to find out the exact truth behind this.

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The plane is a Boeing 777, and carried 283 passengers and 15 crew members (over 10 nationalities). It was believed to be shot down when it was cruising at about 30 000 ft altitude. Some local people witnessed and even captured videos showing moment when the plane crashed onto the ground with thick plume of smoke coming off seen far away on a field. I was deeply saddened and traumatized after seeing some of the images and watching some of the clips showing the crash site. Highly disturbing. If it is indeed confirmed that the plane was shot down, the perpetrators should be brought to justice without any question. All involved or affected nations (Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom) should cooperate to get to the bottom on this matter.

This is the second aviation tragedy for the Malaysia Airlines in this year alone, as this crash came not long after an incident on March 8 this year when another Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared. The plane was presumed to have crashed on the Indian Ocean,but till now, no wreckage or any sign of the plane has been found yet, and everything remains a mystery. I hope the truth will be revealed very soon to both MH370 and this recent MH17 tragedies as the world needs the answer, particularly the next-of-kin of the passengers on board the two doomed flights. Malaysia Airlines is in very deep trouble this year.

I couldn’t believe this happened. Another tragic aviation-related news in this already tragic year for Malaysia. This is horrifying and shocking. Now, unfortunately, Malaysia is becoming the headlines of all major news organizations around the world for the second time this year alone for something this devastating again. This Friday and weekend is no longer happy for all of us. We felt the pain, we felt the sadness, we felt the tragedy. Now, we share a moment of silence for MH17.

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Rest in peace, MH17. 

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Plane MH370 ‘ended in the southern Indian Ocean’

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2014 by vincentloy

We were all feeling very anxious and shocked yesterday when the Prime Minister called for a sudden media conference at night. He must have had something very important to inform to the local and international media on the latest status in locating the plane MH370, a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing that went missing on 8th March 2014 (early this month). And yes, it was a heartbreaking news announced yesterday since it went disappeared for almost three weeks ago.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, informed yesterday that based on convincing findings and calculations from UK investigators and British satellite firm, Immarsat, it is confirmed that plane MH370 went down in the middle of the southern Indian Ocean, west of Perth. It is a very remote location far from any possible landing sites, further dashing hopes of particularly the families and relatives of the passengers on board the ill-fated aircraft. Most Malaysian newspapers today were in black and white on front cover in tribute to the MH370 and its 227 passengers and 12 crews.

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I am truly saddened by this latest update. It’s seriously hard to accept but I believe many had already expected the worst. While currently, there were various reported sightings of floating objects at the Indian Ocean, but none of them were confirmed to originate from the plane as of today. The global search and rescue (rescue is no longer in programme as it is impossible to survive on the rough ocean for over two weeks by now) operation by 27 nations is to continue till the debris and the black-box are found. The most likely cause of the crash according to my own opinion now after this recent announcement is suicide attempt. But I won’t speculate any further.

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Today, I heard that a huge protest or demonstration is held in front of Malaysia’s Embassy at Beijing by the families, relatives and friends of the passengers whom are now concluded to have perished along with the aircraft. They were angry and demanding for clear answers. Yes, I agreed that Malaysia should take the responsibility for its inefficient way of handling the matter but it should not be blamed as the ‘murderer’ as some reported. No one wanted this to happen. I seriously understand the feeling of the passengers’ next-of-kins but kindly calm down and think reasonably. I believed everyone tried their best to locate the plane now, and gives everyone the answer.

I was quite depressed today, as my mind couldn’t get off from this very sad news. Now, the only thing we can hope for is that the plane’s wreckage and its black-box could be found very soon and that all questions are to be answered clearly. Wishing for miracle too (survivors, maybe?) but to be honest, the possibility is almost zero. The passengers’ families and relatives shall move on. My deepest condolences to them. Rest in peace, MH370.

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