Ole Scheeren, a former partner at Rem Koolhaas’ OMA who broke away to start his own firm (Buro OS) in March 2010, has unveiled his latest project in Kuala Lumpur: an 880-foot-tall mixed-use tower called the Angkasa Raya. Adjacent to Cesar Pelli’s Petronas Twin Towers, once the world’s tallest, Scheeren’s new 65-story project progresses a skyscraper typology of stacked volumes made popular at OMA.
The Angkasa Raya separates uses into five distinct volumes, three vertical blocks arranged around two stacks of open, horizontal floors. The lowest horizontal level mixes a parking structure with a spiraling public space reached by ascending a monumental stair from the street that doubles as amphitheater seating. By incorporating public elements within the parking, the architects hope to avoid the deadening effects of a lifeless base. Shops, a food court, prayer rooms, and lush tropical gardens are intended to bring the life of the street into the base of the building in a highly transparent way.
Perched above this base, volumes housing offices and a luxury hotel support another set of horizontal layers—the “sky levels”—with a third volume of residences on top. The three main volumes are defined by a grid of windows featuring modular projecting aluminum sun screens to reduce solar heat gain and increase energy savings in the building. The top tower volume also contains an atrium with communal seating and lounge space. The atrium provides natural ventilation to the residential units, further reducing energy demand. The architects also plan to harvest rainwater for use in irrigating landscaping.
The sky levels serve as the public meeting space between the three predominant uses, adding a restaurant and bar, multi-purpose spaces including banquet halls and meeting rooms, and more tropical gardens all with some of the best views in Kuala Lumpur. Projecting terraces and an infinity pool overlooking the Petronas Towers adds to the luxury offerings.
Demolition on the site was completed in August and construction is expected to be underway in early 2012.