Archive for world

New Year 2017 Fireworks!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Didn’t get to watch any new year fireworks live yesterday in KL since I’m at home with family on 12am last night. Well, I do not have the urge to watch the fireworks here in Malaysia eventhough I enjoy doing so because the displays here are simply too plain and boring every year.

So, I have to look up on new year fireworks display from other major cities across the world that were much more exciting to watch! YouTube is the best place for me to do so today after all cities across the globe has already celebrated the occasion from one time zone to another.

The best fireworks display goes to Sydney, Australia as usual. It is one of the largest new year’s fireworks display and its 12-minutes show was really overwhelming and beautiful. View of the massive fireworks shooting up from the Sydney Harbour and the iconic Harbour Bridge impressed me every year.

Here below are the other new year 2017 fireworks display in other cities that look great too:

London, UK – from the London Eye ferris wheel. Amazing and is always the second best.

Hong Kong, China – I like the idea of fireworks shooting from some buildings in the city but that only happened in the 10-seconds countdown to 2017 and not in the entire show which would make it much better.

Dubai, UAE – from the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa and its surrounding. I’m impressed by the LED projection screen all over the facade of Burj Khalifa during the fireworks show.

Taipei, Taiwan – from Taipei 101, former world’s tallest building. Taipei 101 is the only stand-alone tall building in the city and so shooting fireworks from the tower itself in all angles is possible. And that is what makes their fireworks show every year spectacular. The inclusion of dramatic play of light of the building during the show is also great.

These fireworks shows above are way much better than our pyrotechnic show in KLCC. We couldn’t deliver intense and interesting display every year. It’s always the same one spot and same one style. It would be much better if our city presents a unified show by shooting fireworks from some major buildings in the city with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower as the main highlights.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – from the KLCC Park with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as the backdrop.

That’s it. Happy New Year 2017 to everyone once again! Have a great year ahead!

(All videos in this post are from YouTube)

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)

World’s 10 Tallest Buildings in 2016.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s been quite some time since I last compiled a list of the world’s top ten tallest buildings. I think the last time I worked on that was about a year or two ago and I’m very sure that the data in that particular post would be inaccurate as of now due to the world’s high interest on building supertall skyscrapers in recent years. So, if you are looking for the latest and the most accurate list of world’s top 10 tallest buildings as of June 2016, this is the right place to be.

The list only includes buildings (structures that contain mostly habitable or functional floors) and excludes tv masts, telecommunication or observation towers, antennas, etc. This list also includes the buildings that are still under construction but have already topped out (reached final height).

< 1 > Burj Khalifa, 828 metres, 163 floors, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (completed in 2010).

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< 2 > Shanghai Tower, 632 metres, 121 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2015).

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< 3 > Makkah Clock Royal Tower, 601 metres, 120 floors, Makkah, Saudi Arabia (completed in 2012).

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< 4 > Ping An International Finance Center, 599 metres, 116 floors, Shenzhen, China (topped out, to be completed in 2016).

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< 5 > Lotte World Tower, 556 metres, 123 floors, Seoul, South Korea (topped out, to be completed in 2016).

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< 6 > One World Trade Center, 541 metres, 104 floors, New York City, United States of America (completed in 2014).

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< 7 > CTF Finance Centre, 530 metres, 116 floors, Guangzhou, China (completed in 2016).

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< 8 > Taipei 101, 509 metres, 101 floors, Taipei, Taiwan (completed in 2004).

台北101, 台灣台北 (Taipei 101 and skyline, Taipei, Taiwan)

< 9 > Shanghai World Financial Center, 492 metres, 101 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2008).

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< 10 > International Commerce Centre, 484 metres, 118 floors, Hong Kong, China (completed in 2010).

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Burj Khalifa remains as the world’s tallest building, holding on to the title for the 6th year. It is also still the world’s tallest man-made structure and is likely to remain at the top of the list for another few years before being taken over by Kingdom Tower (now under construction in Jeddah) in 2020. Half of the 10 buildings in this list above are in China, further displaying the country’s massive economic boom and interest on constructing tall buildings. Also discovered from the list above is that for the next newly completed building to be able to be ranked in the world’s 10 tallest, it has to be at least 500 metres high. 500 metres (above 100 floors as well) is now the minimum mark to get into top 10 tallest’s ranking. Back in 10 years, 400 metres is the mark. Now, an extra 100 for that.

My beloved Petronas Twin Towers are out of the list since they are only 452 metres tall. They are now placed at 11th (and 12th) tallest. Goldin Finance 117, a tower planned for completion this year and nears topping out in Tianjin, China is currently on-hold and is awaiting funding. Its completion date is now pushed to end of year 2017. The tower is expected to reach final height of 597 metres (117 floors) and will be the 5th tallest once topped out either by end of the year or early next year.

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

A new tower taller than Burj Khalifa to be built in Dubai.

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

The current world’s tallest building is Burj Khalifa. It stands at a breathtaking height of 828 metres above ground in Dubai and is nearly 200 metres taller than the world’s second tallest. It has held on to this record for quite a few years already, until its neighbouring country, Saudi Arabia is planning to build a megatall skyscraper called Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. That tower which is now under construction is expected to reach beyond 1 kilometre high.

Recently, another new plan is revealed to build another tower taller than the Burj Khalifa and is to be located at Dubai’s Creek Harbour. It is set to be completed in 2020 (as a gift to the city before Dubai World Expo 2020), which means that there is only about 4 years only for it to be constructed. That’s a very short amount of time for a supertall skyscraper to be built. That’s a challenge but I think Dubai can still make it. Why? Money solves everything. The country is never afraid of spending billions on building countless skyscrapers in the middle of the desert.

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The final height for this planned tower is not disclosed yet but it has been announced that it is going to be taller than Burj Khalifa as mentioned earlier. However, would it be taller than the 1-km high Kingdom Tower for it to be the world’s tallest? Maybe. It is designed by a famous Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava who said the design is inspired by the profile of a lily flower while also mimicking a minaret (Arabic for lighthouse/beacon), a distinctive building commonly found in Islamic architecture and symbolism. The contours of his design will be formed using a cable system that will also anchor the tower to the ground.

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The tower itself will feature fully-glazed rotating balconies and observation decks (of course) as well as interior landscaping that takes influence from the hanging gardens of Babylon (now at dizzying heights). The showpiece observation area will be called “The Pinnacle Room” and will offer  views over Dubai. Alongside this, up to 20 stories will house mixed-use facilities such as restaurants and a boutique hotel. The core of the building, as depicted, will rise up supported by the cable structure, housing all the building facilities and services. At the top, where the diameter is widest, will be the Pinnacle Room that will house an array of greenery.

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“The slender stem serves as the spine of the structure and the cables linking the building to the ground are reminiscent of the delicate ribbing of the lily’s leaves,”said Calatrava’s firm. “The structure also provides a beacon of light at night, with lighting that will emphasize the flower-bud design of the building.” “The design has clear reference to the classic art from the past and the culture of the place while serving as a great technological achievement. In my whole career, I have perceived technology as a vehicle to beauty and to art. This project envisages an artistic achievement in itself, inspired by the idea of welcoming people, not only from Dubai and the UAE, but from the entire world. It is a symbol of an abiding belief in progress.”

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What do I think of this building? It’s a sleek and a slender design, something that is non-typical to present skyscraper’s architecture. However, I wonder how can the huge long cables work to anchor this building to the ground? Is that possible with this height? How can the huge windows at the top floors withstand the extremely strong wind at that level? On the other hand, I’m actually bored of seeing plants and trees inside building again…it’s a popular trend now but isn’t usually successful. Not that excited to this tower except for its mysterious height.

(Images and information in this post are from the following source: http://archpaper.com/2016/04/calatravas-dubai-tower-will-be-taller-than-the-burj-khalifa/)

 

World’s Ten Tallest Cities (as of March 2016)

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2016 by vincentloy

It has been a long time since I last posted something about skyscrapers, a topic I’m particularly interested in the field of architecture. Today, I have a desire to compile a list of the world’s ten tallest cities. This list is determined by adding the top ten tallest buildings (not including mast / tower) of each cities and then divide the figure by 10 to get the average height of the ten tallest buildings in that particular city analysed. The ten cities with the highest score will then get into this list.

Well, there are quite a number of similar ranking to check on which cities are ‘taller’ out there by different people with different methodology (like the list of Emporis or Ultrapolis Project). This ranking is hence subjective, but the cities mentioned  are usually within the top too when ranked anywhere else too in terms of ‘tallness’. Now, let’s take a look at my list:

1.Dubai

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  • Country: United Arab Emirates.
  • Score: 411.2.
  • Tallest: Burj Khalifa (828m), Also the tallest in the world.
  • 10th tallest: Rose Tower (333m).

2. Shanghai

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  • Country: China.
  • Score: 356.1.
  • Tallest: Shanghai Tower (632m).
  • 10th tallest: Bocom Financial Towers (265m).

3. Hong Kong

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  • Country: China.
  • Score: 342.6.
  • Tallest: International Commerce Centre (484m).
  • 10th tallest: The Cullinan I (270m).

4. New York City

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  • Country: United States of America.
  • Score: 338.1.
  • Tallest: One World Trade Center (541m).
  • 10th tallest: Citigroup Center (279m).

5. Chicago

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  • Country: United States of America.
  • Score: 324.7.
  • Tallest: Willis Tower (442m).
  • 10th tallest: Aqua Tower (262m).

6. Guangzhou

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  • Country: China.
  • Score: 320.5.
  • Tallest: Guangzhou International Finance Center (438m).
  • 10th tallest: Bank of Guangzhou Tower (268m).

7. Shenzhen

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  • Country: China.
  • Score: 310.7.
  • Tallest: KK 100 Tower (442m).
  • 10th tallest: East Pacific Center Tower B (261m).

8. Abu Dhabi

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  • Country: United Arab Emirates.
  • Score: 300.2.
  • Tallest: Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid (382m).
  • 10th tallest: Regent Emirates Pearl (255m).

9. Kuala Lumpur

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  • Country: Malaysia.
  • Score: 288.1.
  • Tallest: Petronas Tower 1 (452m), with Tower 2, they are the world’s tallest twin buildings.
  • 10th tallest: Maxis Tower (212m).

10. Moscow

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  • Country: Russia.
  • Score: 283.3.
  • Tallest: OKO Apartment Tower (352m).
  • 10th tallest: Zapad Tower (242m).

The data above is correct as of March 2016 and only covered buildings that are completed/built (topped out buildings or the ones still under construction are not included in the calculation).

China conquered the list by having 4 of their cities in this top 10 ranking. That’s nearly half of the list. This list cemented China’s position as a leading nation in building supertall skyscrapers in their multiple mega cities. Dubai, United Arab Emirates topped the list as expected as the city is home to many supertall skyscrapers including the current world’s tallest building as well as man-made structure overall, the mighty Burj Khalifa. It is the only city in the world with all ten of its tallest buildings over 300 metres height respectively. The country’s capital, Abu Dhabi also managed to join Dubai in this list. The other country with two cities in this list is United States; New York City and Chicago (both are the birthplaces of modern skyscrapers). My country, Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur also managed to join the list at 9th position, while Moscow ended the list at 10th place.

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

 

Full list of winners of the World Architecture Festival 2015.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2015 by vincentloy

The World Architecture Festival, which is often billed as the biggest global architectural event annually has concluded yesterday at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore for this year after three days of successful run. All the winners for multiple awards contested in this festival are announced. Overall, there are over 30 competition categories with nearly 340 project entries to be assessed in this year’s festival. Official website of the festival: https://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/.

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First of all is the highest honour of the festival, World Building of the Year 2015 award. The winner goes to The Interlace, Singapore and is designed by OMA and Ole Scheeren. Aptly named, the complex features 31 apartment blocks which ‘interlace’ or cross over each other diagonally. The complex features structures stacked one on top of of the other and is surrounded by pool and garden areas. This development also won the Complete Housing category before taking the top prize.

World Building of the Year winner: The Interlace / Singapore / OMA & Ole Scheeren

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(Comment: I first get to know about this project some long time ago and from that time onward, I’m already very interested into its concept and its unique form. A very well deserved winner for this year’s World Building of the Year award. Would love to check this building out when I’m in Singapore next month).

Future Project of the Year winner: Vancouver House / Canada / BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

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Landscape of the Year winner: Yanweizhou Park / China / Turenscape International

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Small Project Prize: Lidingövallen / Sweden / DinellJohansson

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AkzoNobel’s Prize for Colour in Exterior Architecture: ONS INCEK Showroom & Sales Office / Turkey/ Yazgan Design Architecture

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Arcaid Images Architecture Photography: EPFL Quartier Nord, Ecublens / Switzerland / Richter Dahl Rocha & Associes / Photographer: Fernando Guerra

(My comment: I knew it. Previously I did wrote a blog post highlighting all the finalist images for this award (link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/20-of-the-worlds-best-building-images/) and I personally picked the image above to win. And it did. My prediction went right and my own judging is on expert’s level too. Haha…It’s really a nice and a picture full of feel and meaning in architectural sense).

Student Charrette Winner: School of Architecture and Planning, Bhopal for City of Lakes

Completed projects’ categories:

Civic & Community winner: Cam Thanh Community House / Vietnam / 1+1>2 International Architecture JSC

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Display winner: Brazilian Expo Pavilion / Italy / Arthur Casas & Marko Brajovic

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Higher Education & Research winner: Toho Gakuen School of Music / Japan / Nikken Sekkei

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House winner: Saigon House / Vietnam / a21 Studio

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Housing winner: The Interlace / Singapore /  OMA & Ole Scheeren

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Mixed-Use winner: Casba / Australia / Billard Leece & SJB Architects

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Office winner: Nakayama Architects / Japan / HIGO

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Shopping winner: Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu / China / The Oval Partnership

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Culture winner: SOMA City Home for All / Japan / Klein Dytham Architecture

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Health winner: Walumba Elders Centre / Australia / Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects

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Hotel & Leisure winner: Lanserhof, Lake Tegern / Germany / Ingenhoven Architects

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New & Old winner: Courtyard House Plug-In / China / People’s Architecture Office

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Production, Energy & Recycling winner: Fabrica de Oliva / Uruguay / Marcelo Daglio Arquitectos

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Religion winner: Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies / Qatar / Mangera Vyars Architects

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School winner: Ballet School / Russia / Studio 44 Architects

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Sport winner: San Mames Stadium / Spain / Azcarate (ACXT-IDOM)

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Transport winner: Fulton Center / USA / Grimshaw, ARUP, James Carpenter, HDR, Page Ayres Cowley

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Future projects’ categories:

Culture winner: Museum of Painting and Sculpture / Turkey / Emre Arolat Architects

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Health winner: Al-Maha Centre / Qatar / HDR Rice Daubney

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House winner: ISSA Grotto Hill House / Croatia / Davor Matekovic & PROARH

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Infrastructure winner: Cukurova Regional Airport Complex / Turkey / Emre Arolat Architects

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Leisure-led Development winner: Olympic Stadium Transformation / UK / Populous

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Masterplanning winner: Kaliningrad Development Concept / Russia / Studio 44 Architects

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Office winner: Reservoir / India / Sanjay Puri Architects

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Commercial Mixed-Use winner: Gardens at Punggol / Singapore / Serie + Multiply Consultants

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Competition Entries winner: Quay Quarter / Australia / Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

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Education winner: Performing Arts Centre / UK / Studio Seilern Architects

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Experimental winner: Home Farm / Singapore / SPARK

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Residential winner: Vancouver House / Canada / BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

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Most of the winning projects shown above are already cool just by looking at the images. Unfortunately, no Malaysian works get to win this year again. I did wrote about the 5 Malaysian works competing in this year’s World Architecture Festival (link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/5-malaysian-architecture-and-design-competing-in-the-currently-running-world-architecture-festival-2015/) in my previous blog post. We are seriously lacking behind in terms of architectural excellence and let’s hope that Malaysia will build more aspiring and creative designs in near future. If not, we will not be seen in global architectural event like this.

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

 

5 Malaysian architecture and design projects competing in the currently running World Architecture Festival 2015

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2015 by vincentloy

The annual World Architecture Festival is returning back this year as it is currently running from November 4th to 6th 2015 in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. It is a global event that gathers architects and professionals related to the field from across the world for many beneficial functions like seminars, talks, debates, etc. One of the major highlights of the festival is the awards selection for buildings of the year in various categories in competition. There are 5 Malaysian works being selected as finalists for the awards selection of this year’s World Architecture Festival. Eventhough architecture scene in Malaysia is still not very good compared to many other countries, but I’m glad that our local works are steadily improving and now can make an impacting presence in global competition like this one.

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Out of the five projects shortlisted, four are architectural works and one is an interior design project. Will they take home at least an award? The full result of the awards will be announced today and I will post it up earliest by this coming weekend. It would be nice if we can at least win one, but I think the chance is quite low. Now I’m also dreaming that hopefully in future, there would be my own architectural works featured and winning in this festival. Haha….Anyway, here are some quick info of the five Malaysian works competing in the currently running World Architecture Festival in Singapore:

G Hotel Kelawai, Penang
Completed – Hotel and Leisure
K2LD Architects, collaborating architect, T.Y. Au

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Contemporary and sophisticated, the 24-storey G Hotel Kelawai in Penang boasts the island’s first sky bar at its rooftop infinity pool, offering panoramic views of Penang Hill and George Town. On the ground floor, a garden acts as an extension of the public park next to it, providing a green space for people to gather. Looking in from the street and lobby level, one will see a suspended golden cage specifically designed to allow multiple entry points that lead to and connect the lobby, lounge bar, and reception areas. To reduce heat in our tropical climate, the building has been constructed with a dual-layer “skin”, the outer layer consisting of a sun protecting screen made with durable and recyclable aluminium hollow sections on the podium and expanded mesh on the tower component. Deep concrete overhangs that project out from the building floor plates block direct sunlight plus hold the screening devices in a pleasing geometrical form and pattern. Come nightfall, the facade screens light up in a display of colours to reflect the many different festivities celebrated in multicultural Malaysia.

The Spiral Pedestrian and Cycle Link, Kuala Lumpur
Future Projects – Infrastructure
Eleena Jamil Architect

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A green and healthy-living-based design, this proposed development aims to boost sustainable mobility and improve ecological connections in Kuala Lumpur. The architect hopes to achieve the latter by linking key landmarks currently separated by different conditions. The project will allow cyclists and pedestrians of all levels of mobility to move around. The plan includes looking at the possibility of extending the routes around Perdana Botanical Gardens to areas that are currently off-limits. The journey begins by ascending a spiral ramp at one end, taking cyclists and pedestrians across a slip road. Then the path continues along a sloping green edge parallel to a busy highway. Going back to ground level will involve circling a spiral garden filled with an array of local tropical plants. Existing mature trees in the area add to a “forest canopy” experience.

Tree Cube, Kota Kinabalu
Future Projects – Education
Kenneth Tan Design Architect (KTDA)

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This project’s purpose is to transform a school’s central courtyard into a more functional space for both teachers and students. Usable floor space is maximised by doing away with walls, creating an open pathway between buildings and offering a conducive space for teachers and students to socialise. This is further enhanced by the strategic placing of chairs and tables. The plan also involves incorporating two new office floors with staircases built along the side. The design allows a generous amount of natural light to fill the interior, with a tree rising up towards a natural skylight adding to the serenity of the space. A wooden lattice design – representing the branches of a tree which extends downward from the ceiling – decorates the inner wall of the skylight.

The Bamboo Playhouse, Kuala Lumpur
Small Projects
Eleena Jamil Architect

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The Bamboo Playhouse is a public pavilion designed to provide a shaded space for play, rest, meeting points, and performances. It explores the potential of using bamboo as a sustainable building material in a modular structure and reflects the Malay kampung house style, which features raised decks of different heights. From the centre of each deck, a column consisting of 100mm-diameter bamboo culms open up like an umbrella to act as the roof structure. The underside of the roof is lined with a traditional woven bamboo mat. Inspired by the traditional Malay freestanding pavilions called wakaf, the structure will also see bamboo “baskets”, or treehouses, suspended high above the ground. Located in the Perdana Botanical Garden in Kuala Lumpur, it will become one of the first formal bamboo structures in the city when completed.

Expressionz The Loft, Kuala Lumpur
Interior Design – Residential
Motto Designs Sdn Bhd

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This design exhibits creative use of space, materials, and lighting. The layout is kept clean and spacious against a dark palette background, typical of the interior design firm’s signature style. In the living room, well-designed feature walls ascend all the way to the top, exuding a solid look. Furnishing is kept minimal with only key designer pieces to enhance the room while a bookcase lines the wall all the way to the ceiling. The flight of stairs leading to the master bedroom and en suite bathroom features timber finishes and a drop-down shelf that acts as a side table for the armchair beneath the stairway. The minimalist look is maintained with a clever use of space for functional aspects like the kitchen and laundry. The master bedroom adopts a monochrome palette that flows into the bathroom as well. There, a standalone bathtub against a white screen and grey tiled walls with his-and-hers basins completes the space.

(Images and information in this blog post are from this particular source: http://www.star2.com/culture/design/2015/11/06/5-amazing-malaysian-architecture-and-design-projects-shortlisted-for-award/)