The project was the creation of a future residential community and the housing of that community on a development site, in a strategically important location within contemporary Malaysia. This is a quest for environmental sustainability, economic feasibility, and diverse liveability. Affordable, sustainable yet opulent, Mirage by the Lake manifests ‘newness’ within tropical tranquility, infused with a distinctly local DNA. In the context of elevated prices for development land, achieving a qualitative design outcome, environmental sustainability and an economic result, would involve resolution of the built form variables of overall site density or numbers, and unit construction costs. Project Context: The site is strategically located at the core of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), the Silicon Valley of South East Asia. It is intended the development exploit its advantages of connectivity, accessibility, and the natural assets of topography, and landscape including proximity to Putrajaya Lake. MBTL shares an address with some five hundred multinational technology firms. In relation to the site assets, it was intended that a strategy of enhancement of the natural attributes of the site to the maximum possible extent, be adopted for the development. Design Response: Within the site, the existing levels formed a natural depression towards the centre, this comprised three basins with connecting arms, and roughly curvilinear in their forms. The basins were to form the basis of a layout diagram for the site; here they were interpreted as connected water bodies, which in turn would lead to the generation of a pattern of movement within the site, and to a planning geometry for housing units. The water bodies or lakes were then put to environmental, landscape and recreational use within the development; by such method large scale excavation or filling of the site was avoided. Architectural Solution: The architectural solution firstly sought to provide the basis for a new residential community; a community that is cohesive and with a high level of social connectivity, with its residents drawn from cultural and generational diversity. In so doing it provides 413 apartments and 68 town houses; it has the potential of accommodating 1600 residents and garaging some 920 cars. It further provides for residents access and movement, for social, recreational and communal activities, and for the distribution of energy, other supply services, and waste products, to and from the site. And, seeks to do this in environmentally sensitive ways. It extends the architecture and materiality of the project throughout the site with a view to achieving a cohesive reading of the development as a single entity. It sets out to orient and focus the development inward, towards the basins at its centre and to celebrate these areas as public places. Cumulatively these places form the core of an open space network, and further contribute to the legibility, or a reading of the organisation of the site. In the case of the high rise blocks, in lieu of the double loaded plan there are double loaded building, where the units are pulled apart allowing internal shading and air movement through and around open service cores, and to facilitate the natural ventilation of individual apartments. The blocks are stepped down at the ends, providing roof deck terraces, and further breaking down their monolithic form in making a transition to the scale of the townhouse units. In addition, the high rise blocks are raised three levels at the base above car parking layers and a continuous mezzanine level combining intensive tree planting with the horizontal movement of residents; this elevation of the blocks serves to prevent direct overlooking while simultaneously allowing for over viewing the roofs of the townhouse units. The unique ‘fan shaped parcels’ with courtyards gardens, generated wind corridors that cools the tropical heat, via water bodies strategically located at the centre of recreational open spaces forming pleasant localized-climate zones. Landscaping: The landscape planning makes use of large water bodies nestled in a unique wetlands ecosystem, together with abundant planting in part to modify the effects of heat and humidity in a tropical climate; it also serves to mediate issues such as views versus over viewing, residents outlook versus the ability to move freely throughout the site, while managing the interface between public and private spaces throughout the development. For treatment of movement networks within the site; roadways are simultaneously for use by pedestrians and vehicles. The geometry of the layout is intended to achieve the necessary vehicle calming. The spirit of communal living within a contemporary suburban life is further emphasized by embracing the widest range of recreation, amenities, sporting and communal facilities embedded across altitudes, dispersed within the intense landscape experience across various areas of the site, allowing every nook and corner offers surprises, opportunities for interaction and discovery. The lakes and other waterbodies within the site, may have surface appeal, below this there is serious environmental intent. Aside from salt water swimming and lap pools there are constructed wetlands, holding ponds, sedimentation and bio retention basins, together with provision for aquifer storage and recovery of treated stormwater. Construction efficiency: A rethinking of building techniques and materials selection were integral to achieving economies in construction. Strategic planning of land parcels and development phasing was a component in achieving high construction efficiency; so to be the harnessing of the regional economy both in the manufacture and the construction of buildings. These measures contributed to buildings and landscape delivered at a net construction cost of RM220 (USD$ 55) psf, which makes this environmental, qualitative, iconic design feasibly affordable.
AK+ is a responsive, innovative architectural and design praxis that sets to shape the culture of today & tomorrow. We are a young and vibrant architectural practice which believes in high quality, imagination and originality. We provide simple yet unique solutions to urban architecture and generate designs with the “out of the box” thinking, offering a branding opportunity. We endeavor to produce feasible designs through creative means within defined opportunities. OUR BRAND. We value established design axiom and strive to re-examine it, we are invested in sculpting tomorrow’s culture. OUR WORK. We sculpt an urban phenomenon with our architecture and shape the social fabric within with our design. Our methods are with complete command of convention yet our visions are unconventional; our results, unique. Our design is a blend of the fundamentals of the past, the optimism of the present and possibilities of the future. AK+ is open, experimental, collaborative, and progressive.