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Tuesday September 11, 2007

Architect outlines concept of the RM25b Penang Global City Centre

By DAVID TAN



PENANG. The RM25bil Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) project will feature architectural themes that synthesise local symbolism and historic forms with contemporary-style designs.

Asymptote Architecture principal Hani Rashid said he spent over a year researching Penang’s culture, history, social patterns and way of life before designing the project.

“We design the buildings to blend with the surrounding hills and greenery,” he told a media briefing on Tuesday.

Rashid and his team, comprising about 60 architects, engineers, and technicians from London, New York and Hong Kong, spent four years designing PGCC, which is developed by Abad Naluri Sdn Bhd on the present 260-acre Penang Turf Club site.

Abad Naluri is an associate company of Equine Capital Bhd.

“The buildings are also designed to save power, harnessing the forces of nature, such as sunlight and wind, for natural lighting and ventilation purposes.

“They must fit into a carbon-free city scheme.

“We have six environmental engineers from Atelier 10, a reputable environmental engineering company with offices in New York and London, working on the plans for PGCC,” he said.

Rashid said the PGCC project had caught the attention of his colleagues in the architectural circle in the US.

“They are paying close attention to the project. The last time a project from Malaysia had caught their attention was the Multimedia Super Corridor,” he added.

Rashid, who has been working from an office in Kuala Lumpur on PGCC for the past two years, said he would establish an office in Penang soon to monitor the project.

Born in Cairo, Rashid holds a Masters in Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in the US, and has been lecturing at the Columbia University School of Architecture and Planning since 1989.

Among the projects he is presently involved in include the World Business Centre in Busan, Korea, the Luxury Residential Tower and Guggenheim Contemporary Art Pavillions in UAE, and Alessi Flagship Store in New York.

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