TRX to redefine public realm concept and design in KL

TRX to redefine public realm concept and design in KL

The Malaysian Reserve, 30th October 2015

The Malaysian Reserve, 30th October 2015:

Against all the negativity, Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) believes Kuala Lumpur needs a high quality and culturally relevant public space.

Public realm is not a new concept in urban, suburban or even rural development. It offers the space for the public to be comfortable with their surroundings.

In Kuala Lumpur, places like the Kuala Lumpur City Centre park and Lake Garden offer such prospects.

However, it has not really taken off.

Against all the negativity, Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) believes Kuala Lumpur needs a high quality and culturally relevant public space.

Andrew Grant, the founding director of Grant Associates Inc, the firm that is working with TRX to magnify the public space concept in the financial district, shares his vision on the project. He believes TRX will redefine public realm concept and design in Kuala Lumpur.

What is your role as a public realm consultant in TRX development?

Grants Associates has been appointed to design the landscape and public realm which includes the streets, parks and public spaces. We are responsible for the overall concept of the spaces between the buildings, the streets and the settings for the whole TRX. We will look at pavements, plants, lighting and other related elements. We want to glue the entire project together through public spaces which permeate the whole environment.

Is this your first project in Kuala Lumpur or in Malaysia?

We have done some projects in Kuala Lumpur, mainly commercial projects. But this is the first and most exciting as it will be in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It is very comprehensive and we are responsible up to the last detail of the project.

Why is it important for TRX to have a public realm?

A public realm at TRX is about creating a special place. It’s about engaging the community at every level, the locals and visitors.

The focus is on how can we come, work and live together as a community.

In that respect, it is very exciting. And the heart of the project is a public park of a significant scale.

The park will say something about Kuala Lumpur and the country’s ambitions and its agenda in the 21st century.

How will the public realm in TRX be different from other projects?

The TRX project will be uniquely Malaysian. We want to create something that is from Malaysia and speaks of Kuala Lumpur, the ambitions and aspirations of this place at this moment in time.

The other aspirations would come from 1Malaysia Development Bhd. They are looking on showcasing the technologies and integrating new innovative systems and basic technologies in the digital world.

How does that work in a public space today and tomorrow? How do we get to feel the country? How do we resolve green issues in a very high density and urbanised environment? How do we bring the public realm into the landscape? How do we reflect the nature of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia?

These are the themes I think would make TRX special.

What is the philosophy or the thought process when designing TRX’s public realm?

The starting point of any project is to think about what we can learn from the site, the context of the place and how do we integrate all the elements. What does the client want? What does the city want? What does the wider community expect from the project?

All these will form the building blocks that will define the brief on what should go into the park and on the streets.

From there, you will start thinking about the creative aspirations. We want people to come into TRX and remember that they have been there.

How will the public realm support TRX’s various quarters?

TRX will serve different users. It will not only be a great place where the public can feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.

It will be a place where people work and live. The facilities will be used in a very intense way.

We need to think about the three or four main groups. A beautiful park where they can go out to, relax and engage in the open space. It needs to reinforce the quality of life that they are already enjoying.

Residence wants an aspirational address. For visitors, we need to create a setting that combines greenness and park-like environment. How do we blend these two aspects and create something unique?

For the offices, we are creating an environment that would become part of their identity and facilities which are available at their doorstep when they want to go for a break. They can have meetings at the park. After work, they can go for a run. It will be a space that will cater to the different needs of the people in the district.

What are the main features of the public realm that we will see in TRX when it is completed?

The design of the public realm and landscape is still evolving. Nothing is set in stone.

One of the things is to create a lush environment, beautiful trees and flowers, the horticultural displays which will reflect Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia in a very bold manner.

We like the idea of a large space where people can come and gather, a big flexible space that creates a sense of openness in Kuala Lumpur.

Do you think the public realm in TRX will support TRX’s aspirations and vision in creating a vibrant community?

I’m convinced that the public realm, landscape and park will become the mechanism or the space that allows the TRX project to become an environment where different communities can come together and really make it a vibrant and lively district.

Do you think the public realm in TRX could become a benchmark in Malaysia?

I really hope we could create a benchmark, how we deliver the landscape and public realm not only in Kuala Lumpur but maybe across Malaysia and the region.

How do we push forward horticultural and great planting schemes that have not been seen before?

We can start to push boundaries, quality, experiences, spaces and all the things we want to do.

What would you like to achieve in the public realm of TRX?

What we want to create is a place that everybody loves. That is the main thing we need to deliver.

We want to create a place where people would love and a place that has an identity that appeals to the people.

The aspiration is to create a world-leading experience. We want it to be the place where people want to be and want to live.