in malaysia, SPARK has completed ‘arte S’, a residential development located in george town, penang’s capital city. the project comprises a pair of condominium towers that contain a total of 460 apartments. the sinuous geometry and composition of the structures was inspired the dramatic surrounding land form that mediates between the steeply rising hillside of bukit gambier, and the coastline of the penang strait.

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

 

 

the project was commissioned by nusmetro, a malaysian property developer who asked SPARK to design the building as well as its surrounding landscape. the two towers, as well as their shared podium, are articulated by the curvilinear movement of the building’s balconies, terraces, and pools. meanwhile, the mountain landscape has been interpreted as a series of layered surfaces that resemble steps.

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

 

 

the geometry of the two towers was generated by the extrusion of an elliptical floorplate, augmented by the addition of a waveform brise-soleil that is subtly rotated at each floor level to achieve the building’s twisted appearance. the western tower, the taller of the two structures, comprises 50 storeys, while the second tower rises 32 floors above the podium. both towers step back at their upper three levels to create penthouses.

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

 

 

the taller tower has a sky garden at level 35 that incorporates two recreational pods. the larger volume can accommodate up to 60 people for events, while the smaller hanging pod houses a jacuzzi. perimeter gardens create shaded pool terraces and surround the development’s gymnasium pod, which sits directly atop the podium.

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

 

 

‘in the early residential work of architect like mies van der rohe he created a new ground level by elevating the first floor,’ explains stephen pimbley, SPARK founding director. ‘in malaysia many residential developments sit atop ugly car parks. we wanted to capture the value of the mies idea by lifting the piano nobile to create a beautiful landscaped communal space for the residents, that steps down as a series of green terraces to the primary street elevation of the development, shrouding the car parking facilities in a manner that is consistent and sympathetic with the layered terracing of the apartment towers.’

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

spark arte S towers
image courtesy of nusmetro group

spark arte S towers
image by lin ho, courtesy of SPARK

spark arte S towers
image courtesy of nusmetro group

spark arte S towers
image courtesy of nusmetro group

 

 

project info:

 

total GFA: 72,500 sqm
tower A: 29 residential floors plus penthouses
tower B: 47 residential floors plus penthouses

 

design architect: SPARK
project directors: stephen pimbley, lim wenhui
project lead: carlo joson
design team: ethan hwang, luca maccarinelli, mark mancenido, peter morris, jay panelo, lintang wuriantari
client: nusmetro
local architect: east design architect SDN BHD

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