Starhill Gallery by Spark, Kuala Lumpur

Starhill Gallery is perhaps Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic shopping mall, featuring an extraordinary array of luxury shops and fine dining restaurants. Spark’s design proposal dealt with the reinvention of the existing façade of Starhill Gallery facing Bukit Bintang. This reinvention of Starhill Gallery is designed by Stephen Pimbley, founding director of Spark and the architect behind Singapore’s hugely popular Clarke Quay.

Stephen says, “Unlike many street-facing malls in Kuala Lumpur, our new façade for Starhill Gallery is firmly engaged with the public realm and generates valuable visual connections along this section of Bukit Bintang via the heavy footfall. We have designed a beacon for Starhill Gallery that celebrates its relationship with the city.”

Spark’s design has opened up the façade which provides a lot of visual interest via a continuous shop front that wraps the existing building in a crystalline skin of glass and stone panels. The new façade resembles the “wet drapery” of the ancient statues of Greece and Rome, and the beautifully crafted gowns on sale inside Starhill Gallery. The fractured variation of solidity and transparency transforms the street façade of the existing building entirely, giving it a new contemporary classic identity that stands out among the quick-fix, ubiquitous shopping mall façades of many of Starhill Gallery’s neighbours.

Spark’s lightweight steel, stone and glass façade is the first of their kind in Malaysia that embraces cutting-edge façade technology from the French engineer RFR, the team that delivered the Pyramid at the Paris Louvre.

Spark replaced the café at the entrance of Starhill Gallery with an iconic triple height shopping pavilion for the French luxury retailer LVMH and their cosmetics brand Sephora. Sephora is, in turn, connected to Starhill via a first floor bridge that pierces the new crystalline façade.

Spark, together with YTL, has deliberately crafted a complex building envelope using only the best materials that resonate with the importance of the building’s position and contribution to the streetscape of Kuala Lumpur. The synergy with high quality of the brands/products, as well as special visitor experience inside Starhill Gallery is undeniable.

Starhill Gallery’s new crystalline façade and the Sephora pavilion have effectively established an iconic new identity for Starhill Gallery, affirming its position as the foremost destination for luxury shopping in Southeast Asia.

source: http://sparkarchitects.com

photo’s: Lin Ho, through Archello. (www.hlinho.com)

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