Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

KEY AWARDS International Design Awards, Silver Award, 2014; Architizer A+ Award, Architecture+Technology, 2014
CLIENT Confidential
PROGRAM 380-meter (1,230-foot), 80-story tower comprised of offices and related amenities, including auditoria, bar, banquet halls, cafeterias, executive clubs, gift shop, meeting rooms, prayer halls, restaurants, retail, and sky terraces, and is wrapped in an external, retractable sun shade.
AREA 173,000 m² (1,860,000 sf)
COST Confidential
STATUS Limited competition, 2012; one of five winning entries, 2013
PERSONNEL Adam Chizmar, Danny Duong, Luis Gil, Alysen Hiller, Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Roberto Otero (PL), Se Yoon Park, Joshua Ramus, Yuan Tiauriman, Cristina Webb
CONSULTANTS Arup, Barker Mohandas, DEGW, Front, Magnusson Klemencic, Martha Schwartz Partners

View from typical office space, external sun shade deployed at 2:43 PM and retracted at 6:57 PM

An efficient vertical transport scheme—employing double-decker elevator cabs and two intermediate sky lobbies—is combined with…

…an efficient service riser scheme—facilitated by three intermediate mechanical floors—to create a slender structural core.

The core is ringed by 12 m wide office plates on a 1.5 m planning grid and layered 4.2 m floor-to-floor (2.9 m floor-to-ceiling). These parameters meet best practices for office flexibility, daylight penetration, and area efficiency (over 80%).

The resulting office machine is clad in 3m-wide, mullion-free, triple-glazed IGUs with clear glass spanning floor to ceiling. Combined with dispersed—and therefore small—perimeter columns, the façade provides extraordinarily unobstructed views.

The FAR saved by the offices’ efficiency is added to the Observatory, Sky Lobbies, and Podium Lobby as “outriggers” of extra amenity.

Notably, as the tower is located on the equator, it receives direct sunlight on all four sides, with nearly identical northern and southern exposure.

To maximize energy efficiency in response to 4-sided solar exposure, a transparent, retractable, PTFE-coated, glass fiber-reinforced fabric sun shade protects the offices’ remarkable transparency from daylight and glare, while maintaining views. The veil is silver on the outside to reject heat, black on the inside to enhance visual legibility of the cityscape, and segmented into 4.2 m shingles to allow for air circulation and ease of retraction.

During the day, the sun shade is stretched between the outriggers and the mechanical floors on a tensile cable net, creating a high-performance, lyrical silhouette. If internal roller-shades are installed building-wide for individual control of glare, whole faces of the veil could be retracted when not directly exposed to the sun, or the veil removed entirely on overcast days.

At dusk, the veil is retracted to the mechanical floors to reveal the elegant tower within (and to avoid the veil turning opaque at night). The daily transformations of the 380 m tower will become a spectacle within Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.

Site Plan

Podium Level Lobby Plan

View of Podium Level and Level 1 Lobbies


Sky Lobby levels

Executive Club levels

Typical open office plan

Typical private office plan

View from Northwest Gateway

View of Petronas Towers through external sun shade

Image Credits: 1,14,20: Luxigon

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