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Saturday August 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday August 3, 2013 MYT 10:31:47 AM
by wong pek mei
KUALA LUMPUR: Welcome to the country’s latest concept in accommodation for travellers – air-conditioned containers stacked on top of each other on a tiny plot of land.
While the more conservative may baulk at the idea of sleeping in a container, the same kind used in cargo shipments, owner Ryan Loo Chung Fong is convinced that the idea will work.
The 30-year-old said he first came up with the idea to build sustainable buildings using recycled materials, mainly containers, two years ago.
“Land is getting more expensive and in the future, we won’t have the luxury of building big houses any more. So, we have to think of ways to utilise a small space,” said Loo, who is convinced that backpackers will embrace his venture, called Container Hotel, which is located at Jalan Delima here (opposite Prince Court Medical Centre).
Loo’s hotel comprises steel containers stacked on top of each other, and the rooms come in three sizes – Outgoing, Adventure and Conservative.
Outgoing (RM80 per night) is for those on a tight budget, with single beds arranged dormitory-style, while Adventure (RM120) features a super single mattress in a cave-like container.
A Conservative room comes with a twin-sized bed and is priced at RM200 per night.
The hotel received its first booking from a Japanese tourist, while a wedding dinner will be held there in October.
According to Loo, when he first submitted his planning proposal to the City Hall (DBKL), they rejected it, saying it was “nonsense and not feasible”.
“In addition, they said there was no reference project for them to see,” said Loo when interviewed by The Star at his hotel which sits on a 465 sq m site (5,000 sq ft) with a built-up space of 279 sq m (3,000 sq ft).
He said he approached the authorities many times before they agreed to let him see the mayor.
Even then, they kept him on hold for another six months.
“I used to go to the DBKL office and sit there the whole day to try my luck, to be granted a meeting with them, or maybe bump into the mayor.
“Eventually, I convinced them that this would be a good prototype for the country, and serve as a reference for sustainable buildings.”
Loo also encountered some resistance from his family. His father, who is in the construction business, was initially supportive of his idea.
But seeing that nothing was happening after some time, he told his son to be “more practical”.
However, Loo did not give up and continued to find ways to improve the design and source for suitable land.
“I believed in this project and its prospects. Nothing comes easy. In the process of creating something, a person has to go through many obstacles.
“If we give up, there will be no new creations,” said Loo, who added that his father was now visibly proud of him.
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