Why the Mega Tower is a bad idea (an architecture student’s viewpoint)
Posted January 5, 2011on:
by Alex Lee
Its good money seriously, lots of new expertice in building & construction brought in. Clearly international help would be required in many ways, material consumption will drive the industry,more jobs for people like me when we graduate…
It is going to be very iconic in the skyline of KL. Icons can go two ways, but seeing that a crazy lot of people dont see it approvingly, it will be an icon of the govenment’s ego regardless of PNB being a private corporation or not. Speaking of Iconic, it increases the risk of it becoming a terrorist target.
I would approve the project if it was revolutionary in design able to contribute to the Malaysian people and still make PNB very happy, ie being a new kind of green building, that has trees all over, or a farm to feed the city (market below?) or a revolutionary skyscraper to house all kinds of sport stadiums (since its near the old KL sport area) or something amazing like that where Malaysians can say we lead the world 10 years down. Problem is that its just another tall building, box rooms, repeated 100 times skywards… If only Norman Foster would be the designer…
Planning wise, its a heritage area, schools, stadiums… its said that that area where Chin Woo Stadium stands, is the acropolis of KL… now will you build a 100 story tower next to the acropolis? Its a heritage site, it must be protected… Now, let me explain why… building a massive landmark like that will raise real estate value in the surrounding areas. KL’s heritage conservation law is not like Penang’s or Melaka’s… Developers will snap up the land very quickly regardless of the trouble involved. It is known that developers will very quickly demolish the heritage buildings before anybody has the chance to tighten conservation laws. Now demolished all is lost, noting to fight to protect now. The micro effects will be the same, nearby Chinatown will start losing its old charm, more modern and clean retail and businesses will replace the old, may be good, may be not.
About density and development, I personally think that KL is trying to link a corridor from KLCC’s high desity development all the way to KL Sentral. Very neat idea but there are other areas that can be used for this corridor too. No need to talk about vehicular traffic… keep the calculator, no need to calculate. But inkage to area is quite good, not more than 1km away from all 4 train lines. The site borders a few premier institutions. Certain noise, traffic & safety issues.
From my reading of KL’s planning history, there are still several shelved projects to revive the Klang river.(one ambitious one including building a huge snaking mall over the river with water taxis underneth) City should talk to PNB revival projects like this. This is the city’s heritage root, the lumpur…
PNB Corporate Duty
I love architecture. The last few times I tried to visit Stadium Merdeka and the nearby Stadium Negara, I was not allowed in on few occations. I was told to get permission from PNB. A few times, allowed in, but no pictures, same excuse… I argued that its national heritage, and its PNB’s duty to keep it open to all citizens, no response… Their PR is bad to the bone… how do you hope students doing their Malaysian Studies and History to see PNB as the nations success story?
Editor’s note: Alex Lee studied architecture and planning. We thank him for kindly sending this note to us sometime ago when we called for views from professional and expert perspective. We welcome others to do the same.
By experts, you need not be a world class professor or famous consultant. You could be a ASB investor, a property agent, a civil engineer, an environmentally-conscious citizen, or even just a commuter, who spends time to observe, investigate and understand what happen around us.
The point is we need more in-depth views from a wider variety of focus on the Mega Tower. Such comments should have been provided by our media, professional bodies and universities. Since this does not happen, we are appealing to you – Let’s DIY.