Central perk

Small yet well-formed, Stonor Park's bold splash of yellow heralds the arrival of another architectural contribution to Kuala Lumpur's ever-changing skyline
A view of the living area, cream carpet estate, floor, flooring, home, interior design, living room, room, table, window, gray, brown
A view of the living area, cream carpet and seats, rug, wooden coffee table, long drapes, brown sofa, cream walls.

The higher the buildings, the lower the morals or so the saying goes. In cities all around the globe there are towering apartment blocks, into which residents are stuffed tighter than sardines in a tin. However, in stark contrast there are also developments that are refining inner-city living, for those that can afford it, while contributing an architectural statement to a city's overall mien.

Located right at the heart of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Stonor Park's own twin towers are the result of a less-is-more approach to apartment development, says Jeffrey Ling from Architects SixOne, the lead architects on the project.

"Stonor Park was first mooted by the developer, Beneton, in 2000. Initially the concept was more conventional one tower with four units per floor. The original brief called for the majority of the units in the one tower to face the twin towers of KLCC," says Ling.

"However, at an early stage we completely changed tack and modified the design into two towers, with two units per floor. Doing this enabled us to exceed the objective of the brief by providing every apartment with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers. At the time, there were no other developments offering two or less apartments per floor, with secure access through a private lift lobby."

When it was soft launched in 2003, Ling says the apartments sold very quickly, a reflection of the fact that there was no equivalent product on the market.

Despite a relatively tight site of just less than an acre, several factors highlighted the prudence of choosing two towers, rather than just one.


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An exterior view of the apartment complex.

"Underground car parking isn't a typical feature of Malaysian apartment complexes, but once we were able to convince the client that this was an appropriate route to travel, we freed up space for pools and green areas and avoided spoiling the views with an unsightly carpark. As a result, 42% of the entire site is given over to green areas," explains the architect.

"Since completion, Kuala Lumpur's design and planning guidelines have changed, meaning Stonor Park is likely to be the little brother to buildings in the block. However, the building location literally across the road from the KLCC Park guarantees that views can't be built out."

The two 20-level towers, which contain 71 units, occupy a site on the corner of Jalan Stonor and Persiaran KLCC just a stone's throw from the entertainment options of Suria KLCC, the city's business centre, and the leisure opportunities of KLCC Park.

Despite being relatively low, the two towers are highly visible, so a design that would make a positive architectural contribution was essential. Working with Beneton, a development company with its own architectural heritage, provided the necessary design flexibility, says Ling.

"The twin structures are undeniably modern, with horizontal and vertical lines and the play of shadow. It's the merging of the planes that creates an interesting building. This is not the conventional square block with punch hole windows that was typical of earlier KL apartments," he says.

Stonor Park's contemporary modern architecture is represented not just by the multi-layering of planes, but also by the interplay of solid and void.

An exterior view of the apartment complex. apartment, building, commercial building, condominium, corporate headquarters, elevation, metropolis, metropolitan area, mixed use, property, real estate, residential area, tower block, white
An exterior view of the apartment complex.

"Transparency is shown by the use of large glazed areas and the fully glazed balconies, lightness is in the large brise-soleil canopy at roof top, and loudness is in the verticality of the mustard yellow," explains Ling.

Between the two structures, a connecting hinge is formed by the drop-off canopy, which also extends out towards the complex's two swimming pools.

"The design starts with the sense of arrival provided by the porte-cochére. The tongue-like canopy frames the view towards the twin towers of KLCC the most important reference point in the design," says Ling.

"Entry to each tower is through a secure, fully glazed double-height lift lobby," he says. "Here, occupants are delivered to private lift lobbies within their own units, something that has since become the expected benchmark in luxury apartment developments within KL."

The lobby design incorporates techniques that reduce the need for 24-7 air conditioning, underlining the serious consideration being given to environmentally sustainable design. Two offset layers of glass comprise the lobby exterior, with gaps in between providing an opportunity for cross ventilation, without compromising security.

By incorporating large horizontal fins into the exterior design, Architects SixOne reduced the impact of the intense mid-afternoon sun through the ceiling-to-floor glazing. Inside, the need for full-time air conditioning is again reduced by floor plans that allow further opportunities for cross-ventilating the spaces. In every facet, living at Stonor Park is undeniably cool.

Dec 22, 2006

Credit list

Architect
Architects SixOne Sdn Bhd (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Construction company
Binastra Construction
Quantity surveyor
Jurukos
Landscaping
WDI Design
Light consultant
Lumino
Cladding
Powder-coated aluminium panels
Flooring
Marble from Stone World
Paints
S K Kaken
Heating and air conditioning
York
Kitchen appliances
Rinnai
Security system
Kumpulan Abex
Lift services
Fujitec
Interior designer
Environment Design Consultants
Civil engineer
Dr CC Wong Consulting Engineers
Earthworks
Geopancar
Fire consultant
Fire Risk Management Consultancy
Acoustics consultant
A V Tech
Window and door joinery
Tricomtec
Ceilings
Fibrous plasterboard
Lighting
Licon
Reception furniture
Hometrend
Bathrooms
American Standard from Koon Hoe & Co
Signage
Tiong Nam Neo Advertising
Swimming pool
Hydrowave
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