Sparch Design Studio have completed the redesign of the existing façade of the Starhill Gallery shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur.
Starhill Gallery is perhaps Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic shopping mall, featuring an extraordinary array of luxury shops and fine dining restaurants. Sparch’s design proposal dealt with the reinvention of the existing facade of Starhill Gallery facing Bukit Bintang. This reinvention of Starhill Gallery is designed by Stephen Pimbley, founding director of Sparch and the architect behind Singapore’s hugely popular Clarke Quay.
Stephen says, “Unlike many street-facing malls in Kuala Lumpur, our new facade for Starhill Gallery is firmly engaged with the public realm and generates valuable visual connections along this section of Bukit Bintang via the heavy footfall. We have designed a beacon for Starhill Gallery that celebrates its relationship with the city.”
Sparch’s design has opened up the facade which provides a lot of visual interest via a continuous shop front that wraps the existing building in a crystalline skin of glass and stone panels. The new facade resembles the “wet drapery” of the ancient statues of Greece and Rome, and the beautifully crafted gowns on sale inside Starhill Gallery. The fractured variation of solidity and transparency transforms the street facade of the existing building entirely, giving it a new contemporary classic identity that stands out amongst the quick-fix, ubiquitous shopping mall facades of many of Starhill Gallery’s neighbours.
Sparch’s lightweight steel, stone and glass facade is the first of their kind in Malaysia that embraces cutting-edge facade technology from the French engineer RFR, the team that delivered the Pyramid at the Paris Louvre.
Sparch replaced the café at the entrance of Starhill Gallery with an iconic triple height shopping pavilion for the French luxury retailer LVMH and their cosmetics brand Sephora. Sephora is, in turn, connected to Starhill via a first floor bridge that pierces the new crystalline facade. Sparch, together with YTL, has deliberately crafted a complex building envelope using only the best materials that resonate with the importance of the building’s position and contribution to the streetscape of Kuala Lumpur. The synergy with high quality of the brands/products, as well as special visitor experience inside Starhill Gallery is undeniable.
Starhill Gallery’s new crystalline facade and the Sephora pavilion have effectively established an iconic new identity for Starhill Gallery, affirming its position as the foremost destination for luxury shopping in Southeast Asia.
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Principal Architect: Stephen Pimbley
Project Architect: Michael Gibert
Team: Darmaganda, Kim-Lee Tan, Sevena Lee, Wenhui Lim
Local Architect: A. Mariadass Architect
Interior Consultant: NA
Lighting Designer: Snfor Sdn Bhd
Structural Consultant: RFR Shanghai
Main Contractor: Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd (SPYTL)
M&E: Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd (SPYTL)
Building Area: 2,000 sqm