Graduate School of Business

Bioclimatic and sustainable building for the new business school of UM.

The project received the first prize in the competition launched in 2010 by the University of Malaya. A new building was needed for the Business Faculty of one of the oldest and most prestigeuos campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The design goal was to conceptualize a new iconic building with contemporary features and up-to-date facilities for the Business’s students. The building was design to be an open cultural space where users can gather and share knowhow. The site area is 1.9 Acres and the construction above ground is 8.200 Sqm.

The design concept is inspired to the principles of Feng Shui philosophy and aims to establish a link with the local traditions while projecting the future, with the use of the latest technologies.
Feng Shui literally means “Wind and Water”, in honor of the two elements that shape the Earth and determine the healthy characters of a place tank to its flowing thru.

The building represents the flow of these energies through the interior spaces torwards the exterior.
In the formal translation structural elements are arranges along curves acrossing the building geometry from east to west and deconstruct the building volume is a serie of longitudinal spaces where users can freely walk and explore the open layout. Wind and water are characters the Malaysian bioclimatic architecture and have both a symbolic and physical presence in the Business School: water flows in the gardens and at the base of building’s exterior walls and wind provides natural ventilation around the facades.

Overhanging plants are inserted on the main glass facades terraces in order to provide natural shading and lower the heat-island effect.
Eight overhanging walls (important number of Feng Shui), are oriented east-west following the positive flow of ch’i. The curved lines, abolishing edges and straightness, as remembered by Taoist philosophy, create alternating flow of light and shadow. The structure is conceived as a series of interconnecting paths that “run” within the lot.

Suggestive points of view and perspectives determine a human perception of the building. A central lobby interconnected with elevators and staircases end with a multi-level core height. It is the center of the building from where organic common spaces allow to reach the lecturer’s rooms and other facilities.

The builiding aims to harmony with the surrounding manufacts: the large curved mirror facades are designed to reflect the surrounding landscape of the campus and produce light effects that dematerialize the masses of the building itself. Wind, water and light work together to achieve the objective of creating a building with a low energy impact. The Vernacular Architecture is coniugated with high tech shapes.The iconic designa aims to relaunche the Academic Institution’s image as an innovative University.

Location / Kuala Lumpur

Year / 2010

Client / University of Malaya (Università della Malesia)

Stage / international design competition

Lot area / 1.9 acres

Surface / 8.200 sqm

Team di Progetto

Design Team / OBICUA as BICUADRO architects, Akitek Rekabina Sdn. Bhd.

MEP / Juru & Teras Bersekutu Sdn Bhd

Structural Design / ML Consultancy Services

Image credits / ©Luigi Filetici