Project Name: Arte S
Products: Akzo Nobel, Pentens, Kimgres, Legrand, Daikin, Tong Heer Aluminium
Firm Location: Singapore, Shanghai, London
Completion year: 2018
Gross Built up Area: 72500 sqm
Project Location: Penang
Lead Architects: Stephen Pimbley, Lim Wenhui
Design Team: Stephen Pimbley, Lim Wenhui, Carlo Joson, Ethan Hwang, Luca Maccarinelli, Mark Mancenido, Peter Morris, Jay Panelo
Structural Consultants: East Design Architect SDN BHD
MEP Consultants: East Design Architect SDN BHD
Photo Credits: Credit 1-Nusmetro Group, Credit 2-LinHo PhotographyMore Specs
Excerpt: Arte S is a housing project designed by the architectural firm SPARK. The geometry and composition of the towers inspired the dramatic surrounding landform that mediates between the steeply rising Bukit Gambier hillside and the Penang Strait coastline. The two towers and the podium are articulated by the curvilinear movement of balconies, terraces, and pools that echo how man has occupied Penang’s mountainous terrain over time. The mountain landscape has been interpreted as a series of layered flat surfaces that resemble steps. A graduated terracing of the building podium and its twisting towers is the signature of the Arte S project.
(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)
SPARK has completed Arte S, a residential development located at Jalan Bukit Gambier near the city of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. The project consists of a pair of condominium towers containing 460 apartments. The tallest tower is 180m. The buildings together comprise the tallest “twin tower” development on the island.
The client Nusmetro, a Malaysian property developer, commissioned SPARK Architects to design the building and its landscape. The towers’ flowing form was inspired by the dramatic topography of Penang Island. The towers are between the island’s undulating hills (Bukit Gambier) and the Penang Strait.
The Arte S twin residential towers sit at the base of Bukit Gambir, a lush tropical mountain located at the heart of Penang Island off the Western coast of Malaysia. The geometry and composition of the towers inspired the dramatic surrounding landform that mediates between the steeply rising Bukit Gambier hillside and the Penang Strait coastline.
The two towers and the podium are articulated by the curvilinear movement of balconies, terraces, and pools that echo how man has occupied Penang’s mountainous terrain over time. The mountain landscape has been interpreted as a series of layered flat surfaces that resemble steps. A graduated terracing of the building podium and its twisting towers is the signature of the Arte S project.
The geometry of the two towers was generated by the extrusion of an elliptical floorplate, augmented by adding a waveform brise-soleil that is subtly rotated at each floor level to achieve the building’s twisted appearance.
The Western tower sits closer to the mountain, climbing to 52 storeys. It is the third tallest tower in Penang and offers spectacular ocean views. The shorter of the two towers rise 34 storeys from the layered podium. The geometry of both buildings’ steps back at their uppermost levels to create penthouses sculpted from the final three floorplates.
The taller tower has a sky garden at level 35 that incorporates two pebble-form recreational “resident club” pods. The larger pod can accommodate up to 60 people for events. The smaller hanging pod houses a Jacuzzi. Together the pods create a dramatic visual signature for the development while offering the residents spectacular views across Georgetown and the Strait of Penang.
The design provides a variety of apartment types for buyers. Future flexibility is achieved with column-free and beam-free apartment spaces that facilitate interior adjustments as tenant requirements change. Designed for tropical living, the units are orientated to bring in light and air without needing air-conditioning. All common areas are naturally ventilated and day-lit.
The lushly planted perimeter gardens and podium levels shroud the building’s car park and take advantage of the tropical climate to merge naturalistic tropical planting with the building’s geometry. This result is layered, comfortable, shaded pool terraces supplemented by an organic gymnasium pod. The green layering of the terraces continues to form a distinctive street presence. It addresses the development with human scale and lush texture.
“In the early residential work of architects like Mies van der Rohe he created a new ground level by elevating the first floor. In Malaysia, many residential developments sit atop ugly car parks,” says Stephen Pimbley. “We wanted to capture the value of the Mies idea by lifting the piano nobile to create a beautiful landscaped communal space for the residents that steps down as a series of green terraces to the primary street elevation of the development, shrouding the car parking facilities in a manner that is consistent and sympathetic with the layered terracing of the apartment towers” he added.