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City&Country: Landmark development for Bukit Jelutong

Bukit Jelutong in Shah Alam will soon have a world-class development. Five award-winning international architectural firms have answered the call for design proposals for a 21-acre mixed development jointly undertaken by Sime Darby Bhd and Sunrise Bhd.

The project is part of the 180-acre Bukit Jelutong Commercial Centre. The proposals are for a development with a gross built-up of about 2.7 million sq ft, comprising retail (40%), shopoffices and office suites (40%) and serviced apartments (20%), and an estimated gross development value of RM1 billion.

One of the salient features that will set this upcoming project apart is its architecture, reflected in the calibre of the five shortlisted architectural firms — Denmark’s BIG, which designed the much-acclaimed Danish Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010; Benoy with offices in the UK and Hong Kong, which designed ION Orchard in Singapore; Singapore’s DP Architects, which designed Orchard Central also in Singapore; France’s J & H Boiffils, which designed Siam Paragon in Thailand; and Malaysia’s own Hijjas Kasturi. These firms are renowned for their commercial developments with numerous achievements under their belts. A notable feature found in all five proposals is their environment-friendly and sustainable building characteristics.

The principals of the five firms were in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 13 to present their design proposals.
Having completed three commercial developments under the Sunrise brand, Sunrise is confident of replicating its success in Mont’Kiara in other locations, setting the benchmark for creative and contextual design and achieving a sustainable development of long-lasting architectural quality, says Sunrise’s executive chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong in a press statement.

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altBIG’s design proposal is inspired by the national flower of Malaysia — the bunga raya.

“Bunga in Malay means ‘flower’ while raya means ‘celebration’ so our proposal represents our intention to create a place to celebrate the Malaysian lifestyle,” says Jakob Lange, partner of BIG.

BIG’s proposal is also aimed at creating a retail experience like no other in Kuala Lumpur, acknowledging the Malaysian preference to drive directly to preferred shops.

“So the five districts, or petals, are each formed to provide maximum street frontage with ease of access,” says Lange.

Benoy’s design, meanwhile, seeks to create a sustainable development that is in synergy with nature. It drew its inspiration from the tropical rainforest to create a habitable environment.

“The design has five unique ‘glades’ — openings in a forest with their own identities within an integrated development,” explains Simon Blore, managing director of Benoy.

For Hoo Chuen Piew, associate director of DP Architects, the key challenges in conceptualising the design for the project were the green strategy and synergy.

As the office and serviced apartments form the backdrop of the development due to their  location, the question was how to maximise frontage, wind, shade and greenery simultaneously.

“We adapted the natural elements by addressing the building’s shape and profile, introducing green synergy at several levels to link the spaces horizontally and vertically,” says Hoo.

DP Architects also uses sun-shading devices, grand cascading water features and a green roof to compliment the spaces and enhance the physical realm.

altFor homegrown Hijjas Kasturi, the design embraces the principal idea of sustainable communities.  “We interpret sustainability beyond green, energy and efficient use of resources but linking it to Bukit Jelutong and creating a sustainable community, a place for people,” says its director Serina Hijjas.

The project will be developed in five stages over seven years, beginning next year.





This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 819, Aug 16-22, 2010


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