designStar architect, Ole Scheeren, is the design brains behind the new Angkasa Raya, an ‘out–of-the-box’ building which is guaranteed to be another major landmark in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) when completed.

Text by Isabelle Pinto

Photography by Ole Scheeren © Buro-OS

Rising up soon among the increasingly crowded skyscrapers within the much sought-after Petronas Twin Towers vicinity is yet another skyscraper, the new Angkasa Raya Tower. Going against the conventional singular tower on a podium design, this skyscraper would consist of three cubic volumes which appear to float above open, horizontal layers.

The unique architectural design is none other than the brainchild of internationally-acclaimed and award-winning architect, Ole Scheeren, who is well-known for his wide portfolio of Asian projects, in particular the China Central Television headquarters in Beijing. This is the German’s first foray into Malaysia.

Commissioned by leading Malaysian property developer, Sunrise Berhad (a member of UEM Land Holdings Berhad), the project comprises a mixed-use development filled with lots of green spaces.

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Magnificent views

design2High-end Service Residences, a Luxury Hotel and Premium Offices would separately occupy each of the three rectangular blocks. Extending only 268 meters above the ground (65 floors, lower than Petronas’ 88 floors), the design encompasses special features of open, multi-level zones of horizontal slabs, one occupying its base and another sandwiched between two of its vertical volumes at the sky level. These zones of open spaces allow for various activities which contribute to the vibrancy of urban life within the building.

The series of horizontal slabs at its base include two interconnected spirals of vehicular and pedestrian circulation which are infused with a variety of street-like activities and public spaces such as signature retail, restaurants/cafes, a food court, prayer rooms, terraces and car parks. All these are complemented by an abundance of outdoor greenery, further enhancing the urban streetscape atmosphere within this layer of the building.

There is also a grand staircase at the base of the building which takes visitors directly to the second floor of the horizontal slabs where they can enjoy splendid views towards the Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC in an amphitheatre-like seating area.

The horizontal slabs at the sky level, on the other hand, offer more premium spaces on its four levels. Located 120m above the ground, it consists of a signature bar and restaurant with outdoor dining terraces, an infinity edge pool, as well as a multi-functional banquet hall, business lounges and meeting rooms. Surrounded by lush, tropical greenery, these “sky levels” boast even more spectacular views of the city’s skyline.

Directly above these “sky levels” are the Service Residences, a series of high-end condominiums that are grouped around a naturally ventilated atrium. Over 280 units of studios, one to three bedroom apartments and duplexes, as well as penthouses constitute this upper block, where residents can wake up to stunning views of the surrounding cityscape on a daily basis. Residents are also pampered with dedicated recreational facilities such as a lap pool, Jacuzzi, Children’s pool, gym, and an expansive landscaped garden.

The largest tower block, located directly below the “sky levels”, houses premium offices while the luxury hotel which boasts more than 200 suites of varying sizes is accommodated within a smaller adjoining block. Like the serviced residences, hotel guests would also be provided with their own set of dedicated amenities which include a business center, club lounge and café, fitness center, and outdoor lap pool.

Sustainable design

design3The design also boasts various sustainable qualities, for instance, the building façades are clad with carefully optimized modular aluminum sun-shading which effectively keeps out heat, contributing to substantial energy savings.

Further, the naturally ventilated atrium within the Residences Tower also eliminates the need for air conditioning and recirculation. Other environmental features such as rainwater harvesting, insulated green roofs and the natural shading effects of the horizontal slabs also effectively reduce energy and water consumption, thus reducing the carbon footprint of the building.

With the demolition of the existing building on the site completed in August 2011, construction of the new Angkasa Raya began in 2012 and is expected to be completed by 2018 or earlier.


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