PERMATApintar Auditorium and Sports Park are located on 20.15 acres in the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia campus in Bangi, Selangor. As part of the PERMATApintar education programme, the school provides gifted Malaysian students with a focused and holistic learning environment. The design concept initiated a strong yet simple form, where the structural shape was organically derived through the abstraction of the site’s natural valley and surrounding forest. The sloping nature of the site directs the integration of the buildings’ formation to the land, enhancing the campus by anchoring the new auditorium as a primary gateway, and activating the sports park as part of the physical landscape.
The success of the project was in delivering a distinctive building within an undulating site and with a limited budget that reflected the client’s aspiration of providing world-class facilities for the future leaders of the country. Carefully thought-out forms and selection of finishes were key factors in keeping the project within the budget. The architects implemented a raw approach to the walls and flooring, as well as the principle of “form follows function”, avoiding the dreaded pre-conceived idea of what a school should look like. Natural and earth-coloured materials were used to accentuate the organic composition of the auditorium—where a seamless aluminium cladding scales the façade, inspiring a rhythmic dual-toned skin. Both the building’s interior and exterior materials were made out of nonconventional materials, encouraging students to explore the walls by touching it. A juxtaposition of materials was chosen to give contrast and highlight its respective elements. The double skin façade consists of aluminium cladding on the outside and ZenBes CMU blocks on the inside further accentuate its organic language. The CMU blocks were custom-made for this project.
Made up of three connecting levels, the auditorium building comprises a lobby; an auditorium hall; a stage; and a back-of-house facility. The main feature is the 600-person capacity auditorium hall, primarily catering to lectures, convocations and the school’s musical theatre programmes. The back of the house serves as a dressing room and a rehearsal area, with VIP seating located at the second tier. The extended auditorium foyer generates a new public space, linking the plaza with visible meeting points.