PENANG: The RM25bil Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) 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 yesterday.
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 being 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 engineers from Atelier 10, a reputable environmental engineering company with offices in New York and London, working on the plans for PGCC,” Rashid said.
He said the 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 Malaysia 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 set up an office in Penang soon to monitor the project.
Born in Cairo, Rashid holds a masters degree 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 are the World Business Centre in Busan, South Korea; the Luxury Residential Tower and Guggenheim Contemporary Art Pavillions in the United Arab Emirates and Alessi Flagship Store in New York.