This design for a large residential development in southern Malaysia offers a radical departure from the ubiquitous solitary towers. When FBA were commissioned to come up with a proposal for 500 luxury units with a total floor area of over 100,000 square metres, high-density yet low-rise, we offered the challenge whether true luxury in the tropics would not essentially be very simple: letting the abundance of nature’s luxuries become part of everyday life.
Rather than creating artificially conditioned interiors sealed off from their natural surroundings where nature is not more than distant wallpaper, FBA’s proposal goes back to understand these surroundings as intrinsic part of our living environments. Not unlike nature itself, the built seems to have evolved within its natural setting.
In a tropical setting, shading whilst keeping openness becomes a crucial design parameter. One does not have to go too far to find how both nature and vernacular building practices have managed to solve this with astonishing ease.
FBA’s design focuses on porosity at all scales. Three layers of 5 storeys each move independently towards the site’s boundaries. Oblique vistas open up whilst giving enough shade throughout the course of the day to avoid excessive cooling loads for most parts of the building. At smaller scale, the façades are broken up by openings of varying sizes so that the entire building can breathe and provide shading for itself.
The design makes it possible that all units can face at least two opposing sides and thereby allow for optimal cross ventilation and daylight levels.
The result is a building with a diversity of outdoor and indoor spaces. Resident communities begin to find and define new ways of living in an environment where the boundaries between built and natural are blurred. Nature’s true luxuries offered by the tropics are allowed to be invaluable part of everyday life.
FBA: Florian Busch, Sachiko Miyazaki, Momoyo Yamawaki, Tomoyuki Sudo, Akira Miyamoto, Suguru Takahashi, Berta
Structural engineering: Ove Arup Japan (Masamichi Sasatani)
Environmental engineering: Ove Arup (Paul Sloman, Vickie Chen)
FBA: フロリアン ブッシュ、宮崎佐知子、山脇ももよ、須藤朋之、宮本哲、髙橋卓、ベルタ・モラタ（研修生)
構造: Ove Arup Japan (笹谷真通)
環境: Ove Arup (ポール・スローマン、ヴィッキー・チェン)