A star is born

SPARCH completes a stunning new icon for Kuala Lumpur

by James 15 November 2011
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    Starhill Gallery is perhaps the most iconic shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; featuring an extraordinary array of luxury shops and fine dining restaurants. Sparch's design proposal dealt with the reinvention of the existing façade of Starhill Gallery. Unlike many street-facing malls in Kuala Lumpur, Sparch's new façade is firmly engaged with the public realm and generates valuable visual connections via the heavy footfall.

    Sparch's design has opened up the façade which provides a lot of visual interest via a continuous shop front that wraps the existing building in a crystalline skin of glass and stone panels.

    The new façade resembles the 'wet drapery' of the ancient statues of Greece and Rome, and the beautifully crafted gowns on sale inside Starhill Gallery. The fractured variation of solidity and transparency transforms the street façade of the existing building entirely, giving it a new contemporary classic identity that stands out amongst the quick-fix, ubiquitous shopping mall façades of many of Starhill Gallery's neighbours.

    Sparch's lightweight steel, stone and glass façade is the first of its kind in Malaysia which embraces cutting-edge façade technology engineered by renowned Paris-based RFR, the company behind the Louvre Pyramid. The combination of glass and thin stone panels on a lightweight steel framing system reduces the overall material weight and speed of construction making it a more sustainable construction proposition than time and energy consuming heavy masonry. Over 90 % of the materials that are used in the construction of the building shell are also recyclable.

    Sparch has deliberately crafted a complex building envelope using only the best materials that resonate with the importance of the building's position and contribution to the streetscape of Kuala Lumpur. The project is completed in July 2011.


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