This Buzz.ar community centre provides spaces under a large continuous folding roof for events, performances, shops and play. Completed in February 2019, this 1,300 square metre building will act as a local gathering place for chance encounters, leisure and community engagements for those who live in and around the neighbourhood. The project was commissioned by a local developer who requested for a ‘place-making’ intervention that will form part of the new mass housing and commercial quarter that it is developing in Kota Kemuning, a township about 20 kilometres to the southwest of Kuala Lumpur.
The new structure sits on a flat site with its rear facing a series of ‘display’ homes to the south and its front positioned towards north to an open green field and a lake. The orientation is such that activities can spill out onto the field and lake with ease. Incidentally, the building’s position is most conducive for passive solar design, where direct sunlight is least intense facing north and south in this part of the world, keeping spaces cool and comfortable. The layout is simply organised with small clusters of enclosed volumes arranged around wide terraces. There is no main entrance to this building, visitors can approach it from all directions, even from the footpaths along the lake across the field. This porosity in the design layout promotes an open and flexible architecture that creates visual and spatial connections with its surroundings at all sides. The openness of the layout also facilitates natural ventilation by allowing cool breeze to flow throughout the building.
The folding roof is a dynamic form that stretches from east to west continuously, protecting a series of enclosed and open spaces below it. At the west end of the building, the structure of the roof is fully exposed except the addition of steel horizontal battens that acts as shading device. Here, the structure moves straight into the ground and act as supports for play swings that are hung from it. Meanwhile at the east end, the roof folds up high to form a large performance space. Behind this are ‘garden’ restrooms, where they are ventilated through internal green courtyards. These restrooms cater to large number of visitors present during events. Around the centre of the building, openings in the roof are carved out to create a light-filled green courtyard. This courtyard links the rear of the building to the front where most activities will take place.
A coherent geometric pattern of angular lines seen in the roof can be found replicated throughout the building, for example, in the glazing configurations and floor finishes. Tall windows are broken up by angular solid panels, whereas the floor finish is a combination of three different textures that snakes geometrically through the spaces. The floorscape breaks into a webbed pattern along the rear of the building, allowing for comprehensive soft landscaping between footpaths. These lush greene ries have important roles to play: they help shade the building to decrease solar-gained heat and also screen the services and back doors from view.
1) Swissma Building Technologies Sdn Bhd – Swissma Doppletwelt Standing Seam
2) Niro Granite – Wall & Floor Tiles
3) Kansai Paint – for all wall & ceiling paint work, PAR Weathercoat
4) KOMPAN – ‘Bird’s Nest’ play swings & EPDM Flooring
5) Asuwaris Malaysia – Toilet cubicle partition ‘Model Monitor Series’