Nowadays the bridge linking Johor Bahru, Malaysia, with Singapore is become a neuralgic point for the congestive vehicular traffic, increasing day by day and the high cost of the toll. Perling new development with its terminal bus and car park, strategically located between city center and the crossing point, offers an option of contemporary integrated, intelligent transportation system.
An agile trail in the fast line, reserved to buses, will help especially workers and young people to reach smoothly and at low cost Singapore, leaving in a safe place their transport. The bus service will also provide good growing conditions to the surrounding area in expansion, supporting actual activities and implementing new opportunities.
Taking advantage from the sloping nature of the site, a two-level car park, flanked by bus dedicated routes, develops under a public layer embracing hotel and office buildings, suggesting a smart use of the transport network. Two elevators reach a glass box, the gateway to this upper platform, a conjunctive tissue of working and social segments.
A flexible, welcoming, shaded outdoor pedestrianised corridor crosses the heart of the complex as verdant interlinking leitmotiv, offering an open, breathing lung to the built context. A green circular pattern with larger or smaller swirls, spread denser or lighter planted, bends the dynamic space, defining moments of interaction and relaxation. Long water feature bands line the densely vegetated boulevard, transmitting a pleasant sensation of coolness. Rising from an approximately triangle footprint, two office buildings, run along the perimeter sides, embracing as lateral wings the central green spine. The blocks, recessed at ground level, create a covered arcade for shops and cafes, tightening the connection with the landscaped outdoor. The dialogue between inside and outside continues at the upper floors, due to the transparency of large glazed facades, which offer natural light and pleasant view to the working ambience.
Part of the project’s aim is to facilitate the younger generations, students, creative, offering extensive spaces for co-working, a public library, a rich frontage of bars, cafes-restaurants, retail centers and a series of attractions, opportunities. The diverse, continuous activities, supported by the attractive green environment, will inject dynamism to the place, promoting sense of collective.
Even the complementary parking lot, growing 5 floors above the ground, offers the oversized roof as a flexible stage to a varied programming, from night projections on large screen, to tennis and badminton fields, performance events and art exhibitions. Repeated long steel net stripes, slightly shifted, wrap the block becoming support of climbing vegetation and transforming the bold concrete structure into a vegetative pleasant part of the plaza.
To completion of the new implant, towers the metallic look of a high tech hotel that with its playful and fresh presence reinforces the energetic atmosphere of the hub, promising to be a future hot spot. It redefines the traditional hostel format with clean, modern aesthetic, proposing a contemporaneous social way to stay. The cylindrical structure features sky garden with bar and pool, an inviting space programmed as all the roof tops of the cluster with commercial, social and environmental functions.
The mixed-use development, supported by the flow-through solution, envisages a human scaled paradigm of self-sufficient, integrated, environmentally responsible ensemble and promises to become catalyst for new expansions and initiatives.
A palette of simple, honest materials, steel, concrete and glass, expresses a clear visual identity, adequate to the vigorous activity of transport hub. Office buildings, landscape are designed according to the pattern of the sun: disposition of the two commercial parallel volumes promotes natural ventilation, as atria and voids at the ground level incentive cross-ventilation.
Hotel and office features are oriented to maximise daylight and passive environmental benefits; double glazing, with low-E glass, facades protect from ultraviolet radiations, reducing the tropics heat and providing indoor thermal comfort due to respectively a wrapping perforated mesh and a overhung scheme of metal fins, irregularly spaced.
LED fittings (<7 watts/ mq) combined with lighting and cooling control system (BMS, Building Management System) contribute to reduce energy consumption.
All the buildings incorporate an efficient rain water harvesting, for filtering and recycling water.
PCA is a multidisciplinary architectural practice established in 1987. Paolo Cucchi is the founding principal and design director of PCA-Paolo Cucchi Architects. He obtained his Master of Architecture Degree at I.U.A.V. - University of Architecture of Venice. He taught at University Teknologi Malaysia and National University of Singapore, today is President of IAA (International Academy of Architecture) South East Asia Branch.
The commitment is to produce architecture of quality, with attention to details and exploration of materials. An architecture conceptually innovative, functional and concerned of context and sustainability, that resonates with the specificity of place and purpose. Based in Italy and Malaysia, the firm operates at different levels: the project types vary from private residences, offices to apartment towers, hotels, public buildings and urban planning, embracing interior design, reuse and preservation.