Property Talk: A weekly column by S.C. Cheah
IF there was a building in Kuala Lumpur that could complement Caesar Pelli’s majestic Petronas Twin Towers, it could well be the proposed Troika condominium designed by the world-renowned Foster and Partners.
Just like the Twin Towers’ gigantic sky bridge, The Troika will have not one, but two double volume glass encased sky bridges linking the three towers at level 24 to create a unique sky lobby with sprawling views of the KLCC area.
Although the tallest of Troika’s three towers stands at 50 storeys (way below the Twin Towers’ 88 floors), its spectacular glass facade supported by shear walls will be an imposing sight day or night.
If the three towers of 38, 44 and 50 storeys were all lighted up, they would be a sight to behold; but this will depend largely on whether the plush apartments are well occupied and residents do not pull their curtains over the many large glass panels in their units.
Therein lies the attraction: an iconic home in one of the best addresses but at quite an affordable price for foreigners – an average of RM2mil to RM3mil (a fraction of the price of some high-end condos in London or even Singapore).
This may be a princely sum for locals, but for Malaysians who have entered the hall of fame and fortune, it is still a property worthy of their stature.
Such is the cutting edge of The Troika. The 2.13-acre freehold project at Jalan Binjai will stand literally and figuratively above the rest of the pack of condominiums around KLCC.
To guarantee the best views possible for each apartment, Foster and Partners introduced the concept of a twisting building where floor plans rotate as the building rises to enjoy the beauty of the capital’s most stunning views, such as the KLCC Park and the Petronas Twin Towers.
Bandar Raya Developments Bhd (BRDB) recently unveiled the much-anticipated Troika show unit to the media who packed the small show office at the project’s site. Also present were Troika’s architect Roland Schnizer, associate of Foster and Partners. The firm is an international studio for architecture, planning and design founded by Lord Norman Foster. Its works include the bomb-shaped Swiss Re headquarters and The Gherkin in London, and it is currently designing the world’s largest airport in Beijing.
The Troika, with a gross development value of RM650mil, comprises 164 luxury apartments, eight penthouses and 57 SOHOs (small office/home office). There will also be a four-storey circular podium, called The Necklace, that will house office and retail space.
The apartment sizes range from 2,045 to 3,336 sq ft while the penthouses' range from 5,443 to 21,688 sq ft! The average price per unit is about RM930 per sq ft but prices for some units go up to and beyond RM1,000 sq ft.
There will only be two units per floor. The security system includes card access, intercom and CCTV at all main access points.
“This partnership with Foster and Partners has been a remarkable experience. We chose the firm not just for their world-renowned and award-winning designs, but also because they are committed to achieving that beautiful balance between a great design and hardworking spaces,” said BRDB chief executive officer Datuk Jagan Sabapathy.
“From the start, their team has worked hand-in-hand with our team, focusing on a single objective and creating the ultimate living experience. The Troika effectively places Kuala Lumpur on the world’s residential property radar. We believe we have a truly world-class product, one that embodies our ambition to build quality homes and create value for our customers,” he said.
He also used words like “truly global product”, “great location”, and “raising the bar”. ”It is also in a quieter end of the KLCC, unlike the other end where there is a fair bit of congestion,” he added.
Jagan also told the media that about 50% of the units had been sold, of which 55% were to local buyers and the rest were foreigners.
What do I think of the show unit? Frankly, I was not impressed. It’s like living in a glasshouse and the layout seems a bit dull. A “giant” can probably walk through the floor to ceiling height door.
I also do not quite like The Troika’s so-called “novel master bathroom”, it's a piece de resistance or highlight of its interior design. The stand-alone tub is placed against the floor-to-ceiling glass wall that, according to a media brief, can be covered in the form of a lowered screen.
Well, imagine standing naked in full view of the KLCC and with the world at your feet!
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