This new Convention and Exhibition Center will be a new and exciting iconic structure that underpins the government’s efforts to usher Malaysia to become a high-income economy. It will adopt all international standards, but will also be developed with a distinct Malaysian style. Not only does it address the growing demands of MICE economies in the region, it also signals Malaysia’s arrival in the big leagues of high-end and knowledge economies. This particular region has been an early adopter, bringing together the digital and physical infrastructures into a single smart system of governing and doing business. After more than 30 years of rapid development, it is now time to inject a whole new set of bold ideas to reaffirm this region’s and Malaysia’s leading role in new technologies.
This architecture will be a new kind of convention center that ties a whole township together, and becomes a nexus for innovation and new ideas. It is not only a place for exchanging ideas, but also a place where the public can be inspired by the bold and ambitious plans for Malaysia’s future.
The design draws inspiration from two phenomena: The Natural and the Man-made:
The Natural. We are drawn by the idea of bringing many people together under one roof for a common purpose, and such themes of unity and solidarity stems from a strong and solid structure that provides all with shelter from rain and shine. Like the Malaysian Rain Tree or Pokok Hujan, we believe such a simple idea is also a powerful symbol of strength, ambition, and togetherness.
The Man-Made: As our buildings cannot be divorced from culture, we look towards traditional Malay symbols of ingenuity and skillfulness to create a building that is of innovative design yet familiar to the people. We are drawn by the gasing, as we feel that it bears logical consistency with the rain tree in terms of shape, proportion, as well as structure. It also provides a crucial inspiration to the development of efficient structure in our building.
The new convention centre will consist of 3 zones:
Dry Park and Wetland
The masterplan strategy entails linking the convention centre site with the rest of the region’s development via its characteristic water features to the lake district. By continuing the link to the southern end of the site, we are able to connect these hydrological constructions to the natural wetlands beyond to create a landscape ecology that is balanced and symbiotic to its surroundings. With this water spine, we developed a strategy to divide the masterplan into a dry park area, surrounded by commercial offices and retail, and a wetlands area close to the quite residential zone. The new convention center is situated at the intersection of these two zones, linked by boulevard bridges, and will become the epicenter of all activity in this area, whether for work or for play.
Based on the desire to create a super roof for the convention centre, our team developed a unique structural system to create the biggest possible span. Inspired by the Malay art of gasing, the building will be structured like a balancing act of mass put in place by skillfully placed cables, akin to the gasing master’s pull of the tali gasing. The building form is derived from the two different program types: convention halls and large foyers require an upright pyramid because of its large areas at ground floor. The auditorium on the other hand requires an inverted pyramid as the inclined slope is suitable for its terrace seating arrangement.
A Civic Center
The building was designed to have four distinct facades that welcome the various types of users who use the building. The Northwest façade creates dropoff points for vehicles and convention goers who stroll from the commercial clusters. The Southeast façade is reserved for very few large events of the year like concerts and festivities, and is designed to seat up to five thousand people. The southwest façade is for slow-paced activities, smaller groups, and a reprieve from the demands of urban life. The northwest façade is dedicated to the smooth operations of the convention centre, and is designed to minimize disruptions and maximize efficiency and safety.
TEAM CREDITS: Min Ter Lim, Michelle M. Wu COLLABORATORS: Kumpulan Senireka, COLLECTIVE, Arup Dublin