“Embracing the beauty of Islamic motif and curves” When the design was first conceived, there was a call for the incorporation of Islamic elements befitting to the context of this Islamic State of Kelantan and also the embracing of curves on the otherwise rectilinear and ergonomic plans. Kota Bharu, the capital city of Kelantan has been perceived as one of the more underdeveloped city in Malaysia. This development aspires to serve as one of a catalyst that would spur Kota Bharu towards a flourishing and thriving city. The team strived to reinterpret Islamic elements into a modern architecture language that reflects the rich culture of this progressive city. This newly completed 36-storey TROIKA Kota Bharu has now become a new significant iconic landmark, consisting of both residential and retail units, within a tight site of 1.4-acre land at the tip of the Golden Triangle. The crown of the building was inspired by Du’a, which is the gesture of a pair of praying Muslim hands, signifying protection and “blessing” to the families in the building. The 30-storey apartment tower rests on top of a 6-storey podium and 1-storey basement with 21 commercial units ranging from 775 sqft to 2,185 sqft spreading over Levels 1 & 2. These dual street frontage shops with a highly visible and articulated façade helps that captivates and attracts the attentions of passers-by. Handicapped friendly walkways are integrated into the landscape design connecting the development seamlessly with the existing neighbourhood and helps in reinforcing its urban context. Level 3 to Level 5 are naturally ventilated with car parks whilst Level 6 is the landscaped communal facility deck with a panoramic infinity pool overlooking the neighbourhood. 338 residence units ranges from 506sqft to 1,518 sqft are located from Level 7 to Level 36 which includes penthouses on Level 34 to 36 of the tower. The floor to floor height of each unit is 3.3m with large window aperture allowing generous amount of natural daylight, good natural ventilation and providing spectacular views for the residents. The linear arrangement of units on both sides of the service core maximizes the views for every individual unit and enhances cross ventilation. The public drop-off lobby is located at the South-eastern corner of the building while the residents’ drop-off lobby is located at the North-western corner for more privacy and better security control. The drop off areas are lined with aluminium cladded columns together with the lush landscaped islands and patterned driveway creates a grand luxurious feel. The sense of arrival is further exuberated with grandeur and luxury through the double volumed residential lobby which is “guarded” by two vertical round columns cladded in matt champagne gold finished aluminium and complemented with architecturally designed sleek copper vertical fins. Being the tallest building in the city, this modern Islamic architecture with clean lines had redefined Kota Bharu’s urban landscape. This project not only showcases a creative approach in combining Islamic elements into a modern high rise building but also demonstrates how contemporary interpretation of Islamic Architecture can coexist in harmony with the traditional Islamic architecture within the vicinity whilst adding contrast, colour and diversity. The three-dimensional arch, a contemporary interpretation of an Islamic arch, crowning the North-east and South-western corner of the tower which is visible from afar adds as the latest Icon to Kota Bharu. Rotated arches are arranged to form opening patterns around the podium. Repetitions of the hexagon, a commonly used geometry in Islamic architecture were utilised to create tessellated six-pointed stars screen to infill these rotated arches and the three-dimensional crown arches. The multipurpose hall is designed as another eye-catching structure that perch and overhangs over the podium at Level 6. Its external skin with intricate Islamic motif mimics the Islamic patterns of the adjacent Hotel Perdana whilst providing sun shading to the hall. An array of Islamic arches punctured its external skin to bring natural light into the hall. This Islamic motif on the external skin of the multipurpose hall and the six-pointed stars screening the podium arches cast playful collage of shadows which dances in the light with the change of time during the day. The curvature language of the Islamic arch was also consistently carried through the curvy copings around the building, resembling the fluidity of the praying robe. Random and repetitive curvy copings which wrap around the entire podium and tower create a smooth transition of the vertical transformation whilst highlighting the sense of horizontal extension that functions as a shading device and protection to the building under this extreme tropical and monsoon weather. The beauty of Islamic arches and sensual curves are further expressed in the landscape and interior design of the facility floor at Level 6. The infinity pool also embraces these curves with the planter boxes offering seating spaces at the curved concaves. Wavy panels are introduced in the design of trellises and the ceiling at the Lounge of Level 6 to match the overall design language. Due to the exposure of the Northeast monsoon which occurs annually between November to March at the East Coast of Malaysia, flood mitigation measures had to be considered. The finished floor of Level 1 (Ground floor) was raised beyond the maximum recorded flood level basing on the 50-year data records at the Kelantan State’s Meteorological Department. Flood gate was introduced at the entrance to the Basement as a contingency plan in addition to having submersible pumps fitted at the Basement for pumping out any stormwater that shall enter the Basement.
Architects 61 Sdn Bhd was formed in 1995 and has offices both in Kuala Lumpur and Penang and is associated with the regional architectural practice of Architects 61 Pte Ltd which is one of the largest architectural offices in Singapore. The projects of which Architects 61 Sdn Bhd designed and completed ranging from Residential, Commercial such as Hospitality, Office Building, Corporate Park and Mixed Development to Institutional, Restoration Projects and Industrial Buildings. Architects 61 Sdn Bhd has won various awards and was awarded BCI Asia Top 10 Awards 2016, 2013, 2010 & 2007 being one of the most 10 active firms in Malaysia.
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