In any city it's easy to spot the latest hip nightclub the energy of the crowd can be felt from the street. A dynamic crowd and vibrant environment are a venue's best advertisement. But on a constrained urban site, finding the room to create such a space may mean moving beyond traditional ideas of walls and boundaries.
This was the approach taken when architect Ed Poole was asked to create Sevenatenine over the top of an existing dining premises. Opening up to the environment was particularly appropriate here, with the venue sitting on one of the most sought after addresses in the Malaysian capital. Poole explains aspects of the design and some interesting features that have helped Sevenatenine capture the well-heeled public's imagination.
"The client wanted a restaurant and bar with a level of food that approaches fine dining, but without the formality, with a capacity of around 200 seats. Former operations in the space didn't work, possibly because it wasn't big enough to feel happening.
"We started by placing a central island bar on the ground floor. As the plan took shape, there was no way to fit this within the restricted existing glass enclosure, so we removed the building's facade and fully surrounded the property line with a 2.45m high wall of glass," says Poole. "This created a micro-climate on the ground floor, trapping the air conditioning in existing eight-metre tall trees block the hot sun and wind from entering the site."
To further tame the heat of Kuala Lumpur in the opened-up venue, standard solutions like air curtains, ceiling fans and non-drip air vents were employed.
Adding to Sevenatenine's capacity and sense of drama, Poole used the existing building columns to support a new mezzanine that pushed out directly from the building frontage this meant the existing glass facade was removed from the second floor as well. The overall result was a radical alteration to the inner-city building.
"After several weeks of visiting the site, we noticed there was a problem with occasional falling objects, such as a child's toy, from the tower block residences above," says the architect. "We added a giant tempered glass roof over as much of the al fresco and mezzanine area as was structurally practicable, eventually covering about 80% of the site."