Monday, 10 November 2014

Revisit: the Arc @ Rimbayu

Return to our own created architectural space, to observe how community enjoy this piece of green. Past arduous process throughout design and construction stage, has realised us this green masterpiece, set a very remarkable architectural milestone.
 Family Outing
The Arc, with multi-functional community space as fundamental principle, created as an ideal venue for social and recreational activities and sports events. Time to time, we always like to revisit this green masterpiece, intended to survey the outcome of the creation, and experience the space quality. It is simply excited to see how the extensive green curtain has covered up the massive green canopy RC structure, and our initial intention of place-making to create a community venue / park that can attract people because they are pleasurable.
 Friends Outing
This multi-faceted approach to the community space creation, design and management of this public spaces has set a very high benchmark to this new created township be top of lifestyle. Community who use this piece of green regularly can provide the most valuable perspective insights into how the are functions, and help to identify subjects that are important to consider in improving the space, as well as a lesson to us for next task.
 Let's fly kite!
Chinese New Year Open House - Lion Dance Performance under 8m high RC structure.
 Rimbayu Charity Run (images from IJM Land Website)
Rimbayu Pets Day (images from IJM Land Website)
Observing a space allows us to learn how the space is used. We always believe the task of place making for any community space are never finished, this is because the use of good places changes daily, weekly and seasonally, which makes management critical. Given the certainty of change and fluid nature of the use of the space at different times, the challenge is to develop the ability to respond effectively.
  Youth Soccer weekly practice.
 A pets lover uploaded a short video clip. Interesting to see how community enjoy this green piece.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Revisit Student Works : Shopping Mall

Shopping malls are not only retail environments for us; they are also a type of public space that obsessed by crowd, not by their architecture, but the activities. The public space quality or the publicness of shopping mall is a critical issue, and even the intended to achieve urbanity for a enclosed shopping mall.
After centuries, the enclosed shopping mall separated urbanity and shopping activities from each other. These fully-enclosed and environmentally controlled consumption spaces re-interpreted the urban fabric to simulate a city image and a street-like atmosphere indoors. Inside the walls of a "new city" was created, where people shop, eat, entertain and interact.
In the recent architecture sharing session with my fellow architecture friends on topic of malls architecture and trend, it's reminded me on my 3rd year Studio projects (10 years ago), task given to design a shopping mall in a historical town Ipoh. This island site is literally rectangular in size, and surrounded by three storey colonial shop houses. The challenge of the task was creating an "iconic" mall within historical site.
The strategies of integrating shopping activities and adjacent urban fabric in this historical town became key principle of the scheme. Open space and sustainable design for the shopping mall became more important to be emphasized. To further enhance the street mall experience, indoor street mall with high volumn atrium linking to adjacent historical street trying to blend the shopping street experience inside-out and vice versa.
Huge iconic glass canopy creating a transparency of the indoor activities with outside street scenery. Staggered decking of the café spaces, with lush greenery intended to have a very intimacy experience of street experience within this historical context. So, the visitors of the shopping mall could sense a city street atmosphere while they are shopping indoor. This regeneration strategies, which trying to create a shopping mall spaces that can be functional, managerial, structural and architecturally robust.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Learning Spaces

As stated by Malcolm Brow: "Learning spaces encompass the full range of places in which learning occurs, from real to virtual, from classroom to char room". Spaces of learning can be more defined under parameters though lecture hall and laboratories come first to mind, auditorium, performance rooms, and studios are main campus spaces.

Task has been assigned to give a quick sketch to conceptualize a new Vocational University. The proposal is designed with inside-out approach - with focus on the creation of optimal learning process and exploration environments - as well as outside-in, in relation to the surrounding context where welcoming urban spaces provide robustness for outdoor work and teaching.

The learning spaces that are the building's backbone are organized around a unifying common space that also serves as a flexible learning environment. Existing river has been diverted into centrepiece of the campus. Chancellery Hall and Knowledge Resource building embraced the varsity plaza, which became the core, floating as a centre island within the campus.

Urban Arcade has been designated leading to Student Terrace Street, inject a new character to the campus, encourage interaction between students and public through laboratories and show room exhibition spaces arrangement.

Designing a vibrant learning space can be a daunting proposition. However, institutions architecture can create learning spaces that will transform student talent and ability to determine a methodology for assessing success. 

Friday, 3 October 2014


Architecture getting more sophisticated and robust when urban streetscape has been well-thought throughout the entire design progress. Well-planned street experience became key success for a remembrance city experience and liveable place.
Place-making is a most valuable perspective, and a very people-centred approach to a public spaces. Common vision for the place is to discover aspirations and innovation to make a confrontation to negative spaces. From small urban pocket to lanes, street, sidewalks, parks and other public space, place-making trying to invite greater interaction between people and foster healthier, more social, and viable communities. This is a comprehensive process to foster the creation of vital public destinations. Place-making form as a art of creating public interactive space that uplift and help us to connect each other.

A task been given to rationalize the connection between different level of streets / promenades. Task became more complicated when a 4 lanes elevated vehicle access road has been introduced, cutting through 2 major streets (at level +10 and level +3.2).
Surrounding developments consist of Convention Center, Hotel development and club facilities, within a prominent venue at Waterfront City. Architecturally, iconic convention center become a jewel of the Waterfront City, embraced by a public green street at podium level +10. Indoor Pre-function space and outdoor green thoroughfare has been designated as urban nodes and community spaces.
Connection between green thoroughfare and Promenade (at level +3.2) manipulated as pedestrian-orientated spaces when idea of "plaza over 4 lanes road" has been introduced. Changed of urban fabric and streetscape material, introduction of greenery plaza has diminished the impact of "vehicle lanes". The strategy is not just the act of fixing up a negative space, it is a process that fosters the creation of public destination where people feel a strong stake in their community and to experience the city better.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

RainWater Harvesting Inspiration

Global climate changed, in particular global warming; Ozone depletion; Loss of habitat, and endangerment of species. 

Environmental Design and Sustainability became main factor to be addressed in most of the development. In terms of a larger scope, environment design has implications for the industrial design of products: automobile, energy re-used, solar panel and etc. 
Architecturally, Innovation became key challenge to address the environmental design on top of industrial product application.

In one of the recent project / competition winning scheme, we have proposed Landscaped Vertical Green Column in a new township development. A robust and comprehensive Green structure has been introduced as feature element which became Water Collector / Waterway. Rainwater is collected from the canopy, and drained down to the on-site detention pond, stored and to be recycled for irrigation and water features. It's also designed as temperature cooling feature to the public spaces. 

Urban farming deck has been introduced in conjunction with the Green Column, which intend to add greenery to cities, reducing harmful run-off, increasing shading, and countering he unpleasant heat island effect. 

Entire system became more sophisticated by introducing urban agro-culture with urban agriculture. Recreation Lake potentially became ground for agriculture, with the idea of Kelong to be integrated at community spaces. 

Sustainable Environment Design getting more meaningful with the idea of bringing Urban Farming closer to community. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

the ARC @ Rimbayu

The intrinsic human act of place-making is the basic principle driving the design conceptualization. Humankind’s desire to mark their presence on the landscape is the fundamental driving force - to make a place identifiable to their kind or collective group belongs to them. The collective social activities are centered around a public space associated with the community. Traditionally, this appeared in the simplest forms as: street, junction, yard; and in more elaborate urban forms as: city square, park, hall, stadium.

The Arc is conceived from this fundamental intent. At the most fundamental level, it provides shelter for community activities - the place for regular living amenity, social and recreational activities, communal and sports events.

Simultaneously, it needs to respond to the environment, particularly in addressing the sunlight, heat, humidity and rain of the tropical climate. Correspondingly, it takes the form of a tall and wide covered walkway to shelter the intended community activities. The roof solution responds to the desire to keep itself and the space below cool by sustainable means: insulating with soil and greenery. In doing so it effectively ‘replaces’ the original greenery at ground plane with an new eco-system on elevated deck that not only provides open space for recreation but also offers higher vantage points to enjoy views across a fairly flat township and the activities below. 

The slowly rising roof structure and green roof-deck is regarded as an expression of humankind’s primal nature of working from and modifying the landscape in response to place-making for a community - by putting their mark on the land - effectively conducting the act of making a landmark in the most basic form. The landmark does not need to be a symbolic object to be looked at, but should fundamentally serve the basic communal functions and as a place for human experience and encounter. This is the basic principle adopted in the design conceptualization.

Its name, The Arc, is derived from the underlying plan shape of an arc embracing the communal green open space. At the opened side, each end is lowered to provide pedestrian access by ramping up towards the green roof deck that serves an upper level pedestrian network of garden paths connecting the whole collection of buildings at two separate levels.

All above Description by: Ar Tang Hsiao Seak
Design Architects: Garis Architects S/B
(Ar Tang Hsiao Seak / Ar Ngu Ngie Woon)
Project Title: the ARC @ Rimbayu
Location: Bandar Rimbayu, Malaysia

Friday, 14 March 2014

Reinforce Space Character

Wherever possible, opportunities should be taken to create new public spaces in association with development. The comfort, safety and convenience that people experience in travelling through public spaces determines the success of that space. Public spaces should offer an attractive, safe and enjoyable environment for all and not just be designed for traffic. Well-designed public spaces should function as part of a network of pedestrian routes providing for the needs of all users.
Good architecture never be separated from landscape. The flow of indoor-outdoor spaces manipulating quality and space coherent. By Providing a clear and coherent spatial structure with distinctive landscape offering potential for diversity and vitality. Landscape Design should connect with the surrounding structure and address adjacent spaces form and character. 

Above sketches are produced for a high-end condominium project 2 years ago. In practice, High Density Residential Development never be my favor in architecture, when everything come to dollar and cents, efficiency and layman's perception, the products / solutions always end up with ordinary approaches. Hence, landscape design always been neglected in the design process. 
Lately, after few project upset by landscape specialist, my design colleague suggested our practice should include landscape design consultancy, instead of allowing the landscape architect upset the entire ambient of the development. And we strongly believe, by considering and linking the indoor space with landscape spaces, it surely give a distinctive solutions for our future projects. 
Ya, why not, let's step in to landscape architecture!