Architect Ole Scheeren’s new landmark tower lends a new contemporary perspective to Malaysia’s capital city.
23 November, 2011
In 1998, Kuala Lumpur made the news for constructing the tallest skyscrapers in the world – the Petronas Twin Towers. Now it is capturing attention again with a new piece of architecture that when completed, will sit directly across the towers.
Standing at a height of 268 metres, the Angkasa Raya by Ole Scheeren (the German architect behind such iconic buildings as the CCTV HQ in Beijing) is not gunning for yet another ’world’s tallest’ or another ’twin’, rather, it wants to alter the perception of what a skyscraper can be. It also aims to symbolically represent the country’s “diverse and multicultural society”.
Rather than a single mass, Scheeren’s vision is made up of 3 floating elevated tower blocks – each separately housing service residences, a luxury hotel and offices – and 2 multi-level zones of open horizontal slabs. All are autonomous yet connected to one another in a uniquely stacked and shifting configuration of varied functional and urban typologies.
The ’ground levels’ are a series of open horizontal slabs that form an interconnected spiral of both pedestrian and vehicular circulation and draw the diversity of the streetscape into the building. A multitude of public spaces including shops, a food court, car parks, terraces and prayer rooms are designed to bring urban life into the transparent stacks, while tropical nature invades and enlivens its multiple levels.
A second stack of horizontal slabs is lifted up in the air and hovers above the city. These ’sky levels’ contain a restaurant, bar, and multifunctional spaces amid lush vegetation, giving the public access to some of the best views of the city and of course, the neighboring Twin Towers.
Shaded facades and a naturally ventilated atrium also underscore the environmental responsibility of the design.
Among several other projects in Asia, the firm of Buro Ole Scheeren is also working on a 140,000sqm ensemble of towers in Singapore and, on a much more intimate scale, an artist’s studio/gallery in Beijing.
Construction of the Angkasa Raya is set to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
Buro Ole Scheeren
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