Location: Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Engineer: Jurutera Perunding TSSC Lim
Contractor: LMK Construction
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of ArchiCentre
From the architect. Nestled in the bustling commercial area of SS15 Subang Town Centre, No. 19 is the reincarnation of a late 1970’s 3-storey shop house refurbished into a green rated modern flexible-use studio gallery.
The brief called for the rejuvenation of an old shop house in an aging and generally dilapidated part of the town centre. It was decided that the new building should incorporate green sustainable features and also be flexible to suit multiple future uses. The architectural language sought to lift the aesthetic quality of the street whilst maintaining the scale and bohemian feel of the area. The poorly maintained 22 feet x 80 feet intermediate shop building was stripped to its original structure and retrofitted for green certification.
In the sea of concrete and terracotta roof tiles, the steel vertical fins of the new facade become a contemporary respite. A devoted mimicry of ArchiCentre’s own office at No. 55 located down the street, No. 19 chose to conceal the contents of its upper storeys instead, except for a punctuation midway where the gallery bares its interiors. The box louvers finished to emulate wood grain soften down the industrial appearance of the existing building and at the same time provide privacy and heat/glare-reduction.
These bar code-like strips were repeated in five modules for the upper floors just halting before the 8 feet height glass facade at the ground floor where the gallery foyer space is housed. Cement floor meets white walls with some exposed brickwork details that call for a flexible open space gallery. A metal cage of recycled steel guards the front door to provide added security.
The stairway - its floor painted a bright tangerine hue – accessible just by the main door leads to the upper levels. Over at the first and second floor, the juxtaposition of how each surface was treated result in a raw yet cosy atmosphere. The ceiling whilst painted was kept in its skeletal form and when the eye hits the exposed concrete wall, a conclusion may have been surmised of the prolific crass and under-finished aesthetic.
Upon ascending the attic level, the key design lingo is industrial sleek. The stretch of glossy painted walls, floor and the aluminium foil of the sisalation is factory-loft inspired. The rainwater harvesting tanks were left uncovered to complement the vacant space and also to minimise redundant material expenditure.