Sitting prominently beside the Petronas Towers, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is the latest addition to a 40 hectare central city development precinct that has been labelled a city within a city

view of the plenary theatre walls that comprise auditorium, conference hall, interior design, musical instrument accessory, performing arts center, theatre, black, brown
view of the plenary theatre walls that comprise of a combination of metallic acoustic and fabric wrapped panelling,

There are always going to be challenges, such as site constraints, when building a large structure on a central city site. Sometimes, the final form of a building is as much a direct response to the size of the site, as it is to other surrounding elements.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, a KLCC Holdings development, was designed by Australian firm Cox Architects. Local architects Akitek Jururancang Malaysia and interior designers Woods Bagot also worked on this project.

This centre builds on Cox Architects' heritage of applying structural responses to the different requirements of each project, says project director, Ian Sutter.

"These types of structures are typically large span, with technical responses relating to the large column-free spaces required. This often means the steel roof, bird-shaped in this case, with a repeating Malaysian motif, provides the greatest form of expression."

Sutter has high praise for the site on which the KLCC was established.

"This is one of the best sites in the world for a development such as this placed on one of the last pieces of prime real estate in the KLCC precinct. Often centres are built on lesser sites to promote urban renewal," he says.

view of this passageway that feaures ceiling to architecture, building, ceiling, convention center, corporate headquarters, daylighting, daytime, facade, glass, headquarters, light, lighting, line, metropolitan area, performing arts center, sky, structure, brown
view of this passageway that feaures ceiling to floor glazing that looks out over the surrounding park

"Despite constraints, all the great aspects of this site were in place the park, trains, hotels and shopping centres. This structure is a response to the surrounding precinct, and adds a dynamic edge to the park."

The building's exterior is a combination of stone, glass, expressed steel columns and a steel deck roof.

Inside, the four exhibition halls are on the ground floor. The main conference and banqueting facilities, and the Plenary Theatre are on level three, with support spaces on levels four and five.

An important aspect of convention centre design is separating the front of house from the back. Cox worked closely with the operators to fulfil this requirement.

There are two exhibition halls in each wing, which can be combined through a link hall to create 9,710m² of open space. The walls are neutral in tone, providing an ideal backdrop for any exhibition. The ceiling system is an open metallic grid, contrasting against a darker backdrop, which can be lowered in sections for attaching banners or signage. These grids have a total load bearing capacity of 100kg per three metres.

To allow maximum flexibility and functionality, the halls have a 9.3m clear ceiling height, with 8m x 6m vehicle access doors. Floors are strong enough to accommodate delivery trucks and forklifts.

aerial view of the  of the kuala architecture, building, city, sport venue, structure, white
aerial view of the of the kuala lumpar convention centre

The signature piece of the design is the Plenary Hall. Spanning over two levels, it has tiered seating for 3000 people, writing tablets in all chair arms, and a built-in simultaneous interpretation system for seven languages.

The heart of the structure is a central circulation core, with lifts, escalators and a circular stairway linking to park-side walkways down both wings.

"The walkways provide a straightforward circulation route," says Sutter. "Visual interest is provided by the wave form of the ceiling, with its warm, natural looking finish, and the park views."

The floor of the main foyer is polished local stone with brass detailing. Wall treatments combine fabric, stone and timber, and woven metal mesh elements that also recur throughout other spaces.

The Grand Ballroom, which can be divided to create more intimate spaces, has high ceilings with a suspended indirect lighting element that reflects light from the floating curved ceiling panels.

"As you enter the Ballroom from the naturally lit concourse, the rich interior detailing gives you an impression of being in a special building in a special part of the world," says Sutter.

Credit list

Cox Architects, Australia; Akitek Jururancang Malaysia
KLCC Holdings
Mechanical, electrical and IT services
Sunway Engineering
Structural engineering
StrongForce Engineering
Lighting consultant
LK Lighting
External joinery
Central Glass & Aluminium Contractors
Sunway Creative Stones
Epoxy floors from Flowcrete Malaysia
Carpet tiles and underlay from Walls & Floors; carpet and underlay from United Carpet
Acoustic partitions
Hufcor Maroshumi
Integrated Audio Visual
Interior design
Woods Bagot
Sunway Construction
Engineering consultants
Arup Facade; SSP
European Profiles
Ambience Lighting; ASAS Lights; Steradian; Clipsal; Lighttec
Internal joinery
Angkasa Jasa
APIC; Wing Wai Plasterglass Works; VME Material Handling
Vox Asia; Roselle Mont Clair Furnishing; Terio Fabrics; Markasia; Titch Malaysia; Woven Image; Janesis Collection; Fabritex
LCL Furniture
Interpretation system
Supplied and installed by IRIS

Story by: Trendsideas

27 Oct, 2005