ZED | Zegarra Environmental Designs

La Vita Verde

Sustainable designers and architects from all over the world are collaborating on designs that reflect the life and needs of the 21 century, innovating around the built environment and planning for future generations. IN that spirit, architects Manfredi Nicoletti and Hiffas Kasturi Associates have designed the first sustainable waterfront in Kuala Lampur…

Now That’s A Waterfront
by Gwen McAuley

Nestled in Southeast Asia, the islands of Malaysia proudly showcase two of the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya is the waterfront 30 kilometres south of the capital, and it’s about to step into the architectural limelight. Studio Nicoletti, based out of Rome, Italy, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Hijjas Kasturi Associates have been busy designing a series of eight sustainable towers for a new residential waterfront development at Precinct 4, to be completed by 2010.

Putrajaya lies on a stretch of Malaysia between Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It will eventually be the most accessible city in Malaysia, surrounded by expressways, urban highways and railways. domain security policy But the city planners aren’t letting their urban future stomp on their greenery. Planned by Hijjas Kasturi Associates, Putrajaya has been tagged “The Garden City” because of its preservation of existing eco features and plan to set aside a third of its area for lush greenery, gardens and parks.

Studio Nicoletti Associati won a competition to design Precinct 4, an area of Putrajaya formed along with the massive artificial lake and several other islands by flooding a palm plantation. Studio Nicoletti used this lakeside playground as inspiration for the buildings, designing the development of eight fleet-like ships to compliment the newly formed landscape.

In a recent article on ArabianBusiness.com (by James Boley, posted on March 19/08) about the development’s sustainability, Manfredi Nicoletti elaborated on his vision: “Designing an iconic residential development for Putrajaya requires a rethink to what makes Putrajaya unique in the context to the world. The building should have a uniqueness that tells of its place of origin, which is culturally modern, Islamic and tropical in nature. This group of houses is on the artificial lake, so we conceived a complex of elements like a fleet, each one inspired by a boat.”

Nicoletti means what he says. Unlike cargo ships, the roof gardens come equipped with pools, water massage tubs, bars, cafes and lounging areas to soak up the Malaysian sun. The recently approved master plan ducks under the area’s height restriction with varying tower heights of 15-18 stories to compliment the horizon. The number of units in each tower ranges from 150 to 350. The towers are arranged in a permeable, radiating block of bioclimatic architecture new to this area of Malaysia.

A light brise-soleil skin connected to the vertical pillars protects each unit and controls the amount of daylight coming in without compromising the expansive lake views. Studio Nicoletti included sustainable strategies like terraces, sunshades, natural ventilation and integrated green space in their design. The towers will use alternative energy and are expected to produce 50% less CO2 emissions than similar residential projects.

Carbon reduction measures include the use of community energy, CHP, a surface water heat pump coupled with the lake and wind turbines and low energy lighting. The interior will be decked out with water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines and the water system will use recycled rainwater. All timber used in construction has been MTCC/FSC certified and locally sourced materials have been given priority in building. The designers incorporated bicycle storage and paths throughout the property, as well as car clubs offering up hybrid vehicles. The towers are designed with waste sorting and recycling systems and biodiversity measures (e.g. roof gardens) in each tower to contribute to sustainability.

Studio Nicoletti included sustainable strategies like terraces, sunshades, natural ventilation and integrated green space in their design. The towers are intended to use alternative energy: the goal is to produce 50% less CO2 emissions than similar residential projects. In an attempt to maintain the Islamic culture of Malaysia, Studio Nicoletti used many Islamic design elements to appeal to Middle Eastern and Asian investors.

Studio Nicoletti’s focus throughout is on the relationship between the buildings and the waterfront. Islamic or not, Studio Nicoletti strongly believes that the waterfront planning should tie the boulevard buildings back to the waterfront. Permeable building blocks and smaller block sizes are intended to enhance the visual corridors and links between the boulevard and the waterfront, leading passersby by to the waterfront, and the transparency of the buildings is designed to further erase the distinction between land and water. In time, we will see what these ships can do.

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