Parasol and columns
S P Setia is one of the largest real estate developers in Malaysia. Their new large venture, Setia Alam is located in Shah Alam, a city on the western border of Selangor. In these approximately five thousand acres, S P Setia decided to build their headquarters on a four-acre plot of land. This promoted the idea for a very formal design approach, to emphasise the company’s social commitment to Malaysia’s national development and to establish itself in this new city.
The building was designed throughout according to state-of-the-art green building standards and incorporating high performance features of green architecture to reflect SP Setia’s ability to provide a positive response to the environment. At the conceptual phase, the Persiaran Setia Alam to the south and the large rainwater catchment pond on the east side played an important role in determining the design decisions. The southeast facing façade was developed with special care to maximise public connectivity from a distance. Nine columns rising 40 metres lift the building like a parasol into the sky, translating classical Greek architectural language into the Malaysian context. A large, shallow water body at the ground level makes the building look almost as it is floating, while also honouring the importance of rain in this part of the world.
The avoidance of any typical boundary demarcations on the eastern flank, together with physical and visual links with the rainwater catchment pond and the surrounding landscape, endows the building with a certain humility without downplaying its actual identity.