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Turtle Cove Residential Resort, Kuala Penyu, Malaysia

Thursday 05 Jan 2012

Elemental sanctuary

Arkitek Tressie Yap 
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A symbiotic assimilation between man-made and the natural context allowing both elements to thrive 

Kuala Penyu (which in English means ‘turtle estuary’) where the development is nestled is a district located in the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia, on the scenic island of Borneo and about a  2-hour drive from the capital Kota Kinabalu. The client's brief called for the architect to come up with a long-term resort-cum-residential design which addresses the site’s hilly and undulating coastal terrain and to capture both sea-ward and forested views surrounding the site. There are 3 key elements which form the client’s brief - building, local elements and lifestyle.

The main reception building is strategically placed at the main entry point to form a gateway into the development. The residential villas are located on 2 hills and each unit is positioned on specified levels to allow maximum views towards the surrounding areas without compromising the natural contour and existing vegetation and thus the residential villas is more dynamic and fluid compared to the regimented form of conventional housing development in Malaysia.

Restaurant and spa buildings as well as the main swimming pool are placed closer to the beach area to minimise earthworks to the hillside but still optimising the view and natural surroundings whilst the spa cabanas are located amongst the rich natural mangroves and palms growing along the river bank which are linked by wooden bridges and platforms which would create a more subtle and calm environment. The architects’ design approach is to also compliment natural elements – wind, air and light (sky) and thus large openings are essential especially to public areas, whilst tempered glass skylights and strategically placed glass curtain walls to the villas bathrooms have re-define the bathroom to be more open towards its surrounding and in turn letting more natural light in.

The development has moved a step further from the idea of an ordinary residential development by incorporating a key element which is ‘lifestyle’. Here, residents would experience a different idea of a ‘residential unit’ with the idea of a housing is blended with a resort-like environment and the incorporation of local elements to its finishes such as bamboo, local wood and stones to the building construction. Local activities such as fishing and making local cuisine such as ‘sago’ will also be integrated into the development to blend with the local communities.

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Arkitek Tressie Yap

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