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.