Savour: Cuisine Hub

The Kuala Lumpur City Council’s Kuala Lumpur Tourism Masterplan 2015–2025 proposes to make the city centre as the region’s gastronomic hub, a food haven, with food festivals, cooking workshops and demonstrations to help promote the art of Malaysian cooking, the diversified food culture and the city.

In this student project, Muhammad Izzat Mohd Daruis designed a cuisine hub to reflect the flavours being promoted. This hub will showcase and promote delicacies to tourists and the public in general, with spaces to cater for diversified methods for food preparation, serving and eating. The project is sited south of Medan Tuanku monorail station, on part of the existing open car park. The main access is from Jalan Medan Tuanku 1, which is off Jalan Dang Wangi. To its east is the Heritage Row on Jalan Doraisamy, and to its west is the famous Loke Mansion. It is moderately noisy during peak hours due to traffic, and at night, the nearby night clubs and bars come alive.

The site is also surrounded by several types of buildings—institutions, office, retail, restaurants, hotels and several exclusive residential buildings. While there is an abundance of food selection—from Asian cuisine to Western, fine dining to street food—there seemed to be a lack of authentic Malay food offerings. Hence, the project entails creating a cuisine hub that promotes Malay traditional food.

This project had to emphasise the importance or connection between food tourism and culture to ensure the hub will become a new public node, while creating a sense of place for this part of the urban enclave.

The context around the site lacks signature structure and significant building features. Hence, this project is designed with its own distinctive architectural identity, yet still able to fit into the existing context. Among the highlights of this design is the enhancement of public space on the ground level, which is done by lifting the space, to create a visual linkage for the public. An exposed escalator forms part of the building façade to attract visitors.

The building has three different zones — a food truck area at the ground floor public area, a food market area at the middle levels (semi-public area), and a food farm area on the upper level (private area). The food farm area comprises an aquaculture farm and vertical garden, where organic food is produced.

The design takes into consideration a simple post-and-beam structural system and construction method. Materials for the main structure are reinforced concrete column and beams, as well as metal columns and beams towards the upper floors. For the central core, where the main services are located, concrete sheer walls are used. Metal bracings are also applied around the building envelope area to enhance the building image. The floors are generally concrete, except for the outer part, where metal grating floors are used.

For this project, sustainable and Green design is integrated to improve the building performance. Passive design strategies include natural ventilation, solar energy and rainwater harvesting system. The flow of external air to the indoor space is very important in a big eatery area. Solar panels are used as a supplementary source of energy for heating water. A simple rooftop water catchment collects and stores rainwater to be used for landscaping and toilets.

The presence of a homeless food distribution centre right beside the site is taken into consideration as the cuisine hub will also act as a community engagement hub. The homeless community can participate in vegetable planting programmes in the vertical farming area in exchange for free or cheap vegetables. This community programme will help make the hub the centre of life in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Student Name: Muhammad Izzat Mohd Daruis
School: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Programme: Bachelor Science of Architecture
Supervisor/Instructor: Ida Suriana Ismail
Project Name: Savour: Cuisine Hub
Location: Jalan Medan Tuanku, Kuala Lumpur
Site Area: 3,000 square metres
Building Height: 5–8 storeys
Images: Muhammad Izzat Mohd Daruis وان ایکس بت بت فوروارد