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| Joanne Bernice Chua Yunn Tze 0315905 | Loo Mei Chuen 0317379 | Teh Gie Eng 0316179 | Yeow Yi Chuan 0317576 | Lim Jian Jun 0316867|


Figure 1.1 Bird eye view of Ampang Park Shopping Centre

(Source: Robert J. Steiner, 2006)

1. Malaysias first and oldest shopping centres
in Malaysia in 1973.
2. Designed by ABC Akitek's (currently known
as DP Architect) Chan Sui Him and William S
W Lim
3. Became a landmark to indicate the first
move from main street shopping to a self-contained air-conditioned shopping mall.

Figure 1.2 Right side view of Ampang Park Shopping Centre

(Source: Wang Segget, 2011)

4 The first complex with cinema, hosting car

shows and fashion shows in that period.
5. Once a symbol of beginnings, of progress
and prosperity of the growth of Malaysias architecture, economic and technology.

Figure 1.3 Location map of

Ampang Park Shopping Centre
(Source: Google Map, 2014)

Ampang Park Shopping Centre (APSC)
is recognised as one of Malaysias first
and oldest shopping centres located
near Suria KLCC, in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Designed by ABC Akitek's
(currently known as DP Architect)
Chan Sui Him and William S W Lim,
it was developed by Low Keng Huat
Brothers Realty Sdn Bhd with an area
of 425,000 sq ft, using RM 10 million.
APSC was the idea of the Low brothers
following their successful project, the
People's Park in 1968 which was the
first shopping complex in Singapore.

Figure 1.4 Floor plans of Ampang Park Shopping Centre

(Source: Ampang Park website, 2010)

architecture, economic and technology.

Today,Ampang Park Shopping Centre is
known for their extensive range in Malay fashion. Besides fashion, it also offers
many other services and dining choices.

APSC is conveniently located at the
intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan
Tun Razak, and are well serviced by the
public transportation such as buses,
taxis and Light Rail Transit (LRT) and
within walking distance to the Petronas
Twin Towers, Malaysias iconic building.

Officially opened in March 1973, APSC

became a landmark to indicate the first
move from main street shopping to a
self-contained air-conditioned shopping mall. It was the first complex with
cinema, hosting car shows and fashion
shows in that periods.It was once a
symbol of beginnings, of progress and
prosperity of the growth of Malaysias

Ampang park Shopping Centre is the first
modernized shopping mall with air-conditioning that was much influenced by Le Corbusiers
five points of new architecture. From the exterior of the building to its floor plans , the Le
Corbusier style was clearly portrayed through
its spatial organization, form and shape. In addition, the architect wisely adopted the development of Le Corbusiers idea of street in the
air which offers expedient places for people
in the building to interact with each other .

Figure 2.1 .1 Idea of street in the air

(Source: Google Image, 2014 )

Figure 2.1.2 Idea of street in the air in APSC

(Source: Yeow Yi Chuan, 2014)

2.2 inTERIOR

The middle walkway of the building was actually inspired by the combination of two concepts, the atrium from the western style and
street market from the local style. The atrium
was one of the special features derived from
the ancient Roman dwellings, which was designed to give the building a feeling of space
and light.The concept not only allowed natural
sunlight penetration but also provides a better
air ventilation inside the building, making the
shopping centre more environment friendly.
The shop lots were arranged in a way that
look like a local street, which eventually
gives visitors a more comfortable shopping
experience as people from that era were
used to do all the shopping along the street.

The composition of vertical and horizontal elements gives the building a streamline , modernize feeling. The boxy blank walls protruding out at selected portions and concourses
are set in complementing the boxy wall panels and left open to allow natural ventilation
for passers by along Jalan Ampang to view
the busy-ness of the shopping complex.

Figure 2.2.1 Centralised

shops in APSC
(Source: Yeow Yi Chuan,

Figure 2.2.2 First floor of

(Source: Wang Segget,

Figure 2.2.3 Concourse of

(Source: Wang Segget,

Ampang Park Shopping Centre has featured
elements from the Art Deco period. One of
the features of Art Deco was found from its
external wall, which is the Shanghai plaster.
Shanghai plaster is an interesting, cheaper alternative to stone that has a special kind of
rendering effect that gives the building a raw
and natural feel. The vertical fins or chamfered
windows on the external wall serve not only
for climatic solutions but also play an important role in decorating the building. There is
also quite a number of decorative expression
with different geometrical shapes that can
be seen around the building, such as the columns, wall ornamentation and openings.

Figure 2.3 Left facade of APSC

(Source: Yeow Yi Chuan, 2014)

Pilotis. The load of the structure is supported by the grid reinforced concrete columns to replace the supporting wall. The
lifted structure looks more welcoming ,
as no supporting walls enclose the building. This principle works perfectly fine on
the shopping mall as its a commercial center that should be gathering the people.

Figure 2.4 .2 Columns used in APSC

(Source: Yeow Yi Chuan, 2014)

Figure 2.3 Comparison of APSC and Villa Savoye

(Source: Wang Segget, 2011; Jeffrey Howe, n,d)

3.1 Characteristics of Building
analysis &
Construction T
Fig 3.1 Ampang Park Shopping Centre in the1970s.
Source: Guide to Kuala Lumpur Notable Buildings, 1976.

he Ampang Park Shopping Centre has a heavy massing in the form of an

inverted ziggurat, elevated on a rows of load bearing columns rising from
the ground floor, a signature of the Art Deco period in the 1930s. The
construction of this building very much follows methods applied in the West
such as the extensive use of bricks to form the walls of the building, which is
also seen in the Chrysler Building in New York City. The Chrysler Building, the
tallest Art Deco Building to be constructed at that period, was constructed with
3,826,000 bricks that were manually laid, to form the non-loadbearing walls of
the skyscraper.
The construction of this building also features the 5 architectural concept
of Le Corbusier, despite the laters rejection of the Art Deco movement. His
concept of Pilotis is applied throughout this building as well as a free plan.

3.2 Walls

ue to its step leveling facade

on both interior and exteriors,
materials such as reinforced
bricks, reinforced concrete and concrete columns are used in this building
to allow layers of mass construction to
be built from the ground. Reinforced
concrete, a material which became
widely used since being introduced
to Malaysia in the 1930s, was used to
form the walls of the building, as the
rebars inside the concrete wall have
high compressive strength. Shanghai
plaster was used on the exterior to
mimic the matt sutfaces of exotic masonry as found in the west. Shanghai
plaster, a good, cheap, external grade
material which could be applied easily, by skilled craftsmen to achieve the
matt appearance of stone, is used as
the finishing for the columns.

being given a paint finishing. The

usage of clay bricks is evident in the
rooftops walls. However comparing
to the progress in the West, Western countries have already started
to adopt precast concrete as well
as insitu concrete which have higher
compressive strength.

Clay bricks were also used as one

of the components to construct the
walls for the shopping centre. Laid in
Flemish bonds, the brick walls were
then cladded with concrete before

Fig 3.2.3 Flemish Bonds sketch

Source: Google Images.

Fig 3.2.1Exterior walls.

Photograph by Ivanka Teh.

Fig 3.2.2Clay Bricks in

Flemish Bonds.
Photography by Ivanka Teh


3.3 Staircase

nother feature to mention

is the staircase design of the
building. The design of the
staircases connecting to each level
is designed specifically according to
the design language of the building
leveling.The bridging of the staircase
from level to level creates an architectural visual of ziggurat steps in its
construction. As the building is split
into two, with a high volume walkway in the middle of the building,
the staircase promotes circulation
around the building with access to
different levels.

mass production of construction

materials such as metal and concrete during the 1930s, when innovation is heavily driven by mechanical industries.
By the 1970s, elevator shafts have
already made their way into the
construction industry in the west
and are implemented widely. A lift
was only added for Ampang Park
Shopping Centre much later on.

The staircase is constructed using

reinforced concrete slabs. To form a
flight of stairs, about 12 slabs that
forms the steps, are cemented onto
one long concrete slab running
across the 10 slabs. The slabs are
then supported by a metal structure
that forms the skeletal frame of the
staircase. This construction method is possible due to the advent of
Fig 3.3.3 Floorplan Circulation
Diagram by Loo Mei Chuen.

Fig 3.3.1Staircase for Circulation

Photograph by Ivanka Teh.

Fig 3.3.2 Construction details of staircase

Photograph by Ivanka Teh.


3.4 Ceiling and Roof

t the ceiling of the top level

is constructed with waffle
slab ceiling, with the use of
prefabricated hollow sheet-metal domes to create a grid pattern
of voids in a solid floor slab, saving
material without reducing the slabs
strength, at the same time relieving
the structural stress load onto the
The roof of APSC is made of structural joist sheated by aluminium foil
in the interior. The aluminum foil is

light and it is able to block 95 percent of the heat radiated. This reduces the load bearing of the roof
on the columns and is able to maintain the cool temperature in the

Fig 3.4.2 Aluminium Foil roofing

Photograph by Ivanka Teh.

Fig 3.5.2 Elongated ribbon windows at rear elevation

Photograph by Ivanka Teh.

3.5 Windows

teel and glass are another prominent materials used in the art
deco architecture. Constructed
with thin framing, the glass panels on
the faade are secured on the openings created on the walls and aligned
in linear with fins in between of them.
The fins of the window are used to
limit light penetration from direct
sunlight and restrict visibility as well.

Fig 3.5.2 Glass Panels used for showcase in shoplots.t

Photograph by Ivanka Teh.


Elongated ribbon window at the

back of the faade is as well constructed with glazing window glasses
to reflect heat from entering the

Moving to the interior of the buildings, glass panels with aluminum

steels are extensively used to showcase and the display the products of
the shops.

component analysis
4.1 streamline moderne


4.2 decorative expression

he Ampang Park Shopping Centre manifests an essence of Streamline Moderne architecture. From the exterior, there is a strong emphasis on the vertical and horizontal elements.
It is shown through the horizontality of the faade and the verticality of the columns beneath.The color palette used in the building were of subdue shades; base colors were typically light
earth tones or off-whites, such as beige and light yellow, while the trim colors were dark colors
such as dark orange and green to contrast from the light base. In addition, walls had smooth surface
finish made of stucco to enhance its sleek linear appearance.

Figure 4.1.1 External faade

Figure 4.1.2 Sketch illustrating the horizontality

(Source: PAM, Dec 1987)

and verticality of the facade

Due to influence from the Art Deco style, fundamental geometrical shapes such as circles,
squares and rectangles were used as minor ornamentation for the building to achieve a monolithic appearance with applied decorative motifs.

Figure 4.2.1 , 4.2.2 Geometrical shaped elements inside building

(Source: Teh Gie Eng & Loo Mei Chuen, 2014)


4.3 windows and openings

4.4 Horizontal banding

The building comprised of a few types of windows, one of it being

the punctured openings, either square or small circles, to preserve its
streamline appearance. Ribbon windows wraps around the corner of
the building to provide further linear exaggeration and predate the
glass wall found in future modern architecture. Vertical fins or chamfered windows were used for climatic solutions, in relation to the use
of energy conservation devices.

Wide eaves which keep out the sun and rain were adapted as horizontal banding devices that merge into the heavy horizontal articulation in
the building. The banding devices were also used to form vents above
glazed window openings, hence the fine line between decorative form
and practical function..

Figure 4.3.3 Ribbon windows in the front facade of the building

(Source: Loo Mei Chuen, 2014)

Figure 4.3.1 , 4.3.2 Round openings and chamfered windows

Figure 4.4.1 Horizontal banding cornering the building

around the building (Source: Teh Gie Eng, 2014)

(Source: Loo Mei Chuen, 2014)


4.5 threes
The influence was clearly seen in the building, as everything seems to
come in threes; the staircase railing being the most obvious.

Figure 4.5.3 Railings of staircase

(Source: Loo Mei Chuen, 2014)
Figure 4.5.1 Decorative element within building
(Source: Teh Gie Eng, 2014)

4.6 LOGO
The use of logo on the building is a significance of art deco.

Figure 4.5.2 Sketch illustrating elements coming in threes

Figure 4.6.4 Logo of APSC (Source:Yeow Yi Chuan, 2014)



The staircases in the building were of tower-like
construction and were used to accentuate the
corners of the building.

The building had a flat surfaced roof as to not disturb the horizontality of
overall building besides giving a distinct modern look while the exterior
walls were extended beyond the roof line to form a parapet that wraps
around the building.

Figure 4.7.1 Sketch illustrating placement of main staircases

Figure 4.7.1 APSC (Source: PAM, 1987)

Figure 4.7.2 Tower-like staircase

at corners of the building
(Source:Yeow Yi Chuan, 2014)

Figure 4.8.1 , 4.8.2 Flat roofline of the building

(Source: PAM, Dec 1987; Loo mei Chuen, 2014)


t is conclusive that the spatial arrangement, form and shape of Ampang Park Shopping Centre was
able to portray Corbusiers points
of architecture and it was clear that
Art Deco elements and features
were incorporated into the building.
The use of grid reinforced concrete
columns which acts as support structures allowed a free facade, giving
way to the emphasis on the horizontalily and verticality of the building.
Since the building was free from load
bearing walls, the plan could be designed in a way that expresses the
idea of street in the air, offering a
similar shopping along the street experience just as how people used to
do during that era. With the use of
subdued colors, it creates an essence
of Streamline Moderne feel within
the building. Emerged as one of the
most successful shopping centre in
Kuala Lumpur, the modern looking
APSC is constructed with the advanced construction methods with
reinforcement technology and materials for a 5 storey high shopping centre, highlighting the liner stretchedring circulation in the building.

Built with the influence of modernism and art deco movement, APSC
is no doubt an spectacular design
in the 1970s , very much influenced
with the local context to accommodate the busy streets and also
the weather condition in Malaysia.


Figure 5.1 Rear facade of APSC

(Source: Ivanka Teh, 2014)

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