Birth Of A Typology

DA Square, Damansara Avenue
DA Square, Damansara Avenue

Birth of a typology
Sometimes it takes a near cataclysmic event to trigger a reflection of our headlong rush into the mantra that  ‘Big is Everything’  in our retail and social spaces. The pandemic has caused public desire to move away from large crowds to more open spaces as a natural response to avoid the covid infection. This market behavior has influenced retailers to follow suit, migrating from large malls to more scalable community based places without the excessive crowd build ups.

Sometimes it takes a near cataclysmic event to trigger a reflection of our headlong rush into the mantra that  ‘Big is Everything’  in our retail and social spaces. The pandemic has caused public desire to move away from large crowds to more open spaces as a natural response to avoid the covid infection. This market behavior has influenced retailers to follow suit, migrating from large malls to more scalable community based places without the excessive crowd build ups.

Uniqlo, one of the largest influencer retailers in the world has located their first roadside store in Malaysia at this location. It anchors the Square with alfresco fine. dining and beverage outlets spanning four key verticals elements- retail, dining, arts and events.

It integrates two floors of multifaceted preselected delights including Starbucks and The Brew House. There is also a separate drive through lane providing convenient and contactless service for takeaways. A dynamic range of Asian delight restaurants and a new style 7-Eleven promises an elevated in store technological experience via interactive digital pathways, finger pong tables and instagram worthy neon fixtures.

Uniqlo, one of the largest influencer retailers in the world has located their first roadside store in Malaysia at this location. It anchors the Square with alfresco fine. dining and beverage outlets spanning four key verticals elements- retail, dining, arts and events.

It integrates two floors of multifaceted preselected delights including Starbucks and The Brew House. There is also a separate drive through lane providing convenient and contactless service for takeaways. A dynamic range of Asian delight restaurants and a new style 7-Eleven promises an elevated in store technological experience via interactive digital pathways, finger pong tables and instagram worthy neon fixtures.

Sustainability
Covid 19 has accelerated the consciousness for the appreciation of uncontaminated fresh air.

This provides the impetus for the fundamentals of sustainable architecture to grow, anchored by passive environmental design.

In this instance, the passive environmental concept actively focuses on developing the use of comfortable external spaces functioning on minimum energy needs. It does so by responding to the prevailing local climatic forces to shape the design. It starts by observing the well understood principle of orientating the buildings in a North South direction to minimize any solar heat gain. The naturally ventilated alfresco spaces at the F&B cubes are all orientated towards the South Westerly winds acting as wind catchers, funneling air into the building to maximize the cross ventilation. The site is entirely surrounded on the perimeter with landscape and mature trees providing shade and natural cooling. This approach means that the air conditioning needs can be reduced significantly with 40% of the overall built up area being naturally ventilated spaces.

The Uniqlo building is cladded in a composite insulated panel. It act as a wrap in a double wall envelope to minimize the air conditioning loading with further heat gain exclusion. A prerequisite of climatic control by this retailer for their users.

Shallow floor plates and long external spaces allow for good natural light penetration into the building. It assists in creating attractive well lit spaces with strong shadow and light play reminiscent of the ever changing tropical ambience throughout the day.

The New Normal
DA Square is the beginning of the shift in pocket sized placemaking on a human scale where the local community once again becomes relevant. It returns the communal space to the residents and respects its identity set as part of the lifestyle elements of urban KL. The opportunity opens up for  the big corporate entities to engage the community on a socially relatable level. This in turn reinvigorate the neighborhood place setting to achieve a positive social outcome where there is ownership of both social and environmental governance. This new normal is where sustainability is not just a technical concept but a conscious commitment to live and sustain the natural passive environment.

Facts and Figures
Client
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Press Release
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Completion Year
2020
Team
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Services
Full Architectural services
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