Inspirational architecture by SHATOTTO & ARCHICENTRE that infuses the sheer genius of traditional Bengalese architecture into a contemporary Malaysian architectural context

1stS P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia
Photo credits: H. LIN HO
Project credits:
Project Name: SP Setia Headquarters
Location: Setia Alam, Malaysia
Architect: Rafiq Azam (SHATOTTO Architecture for Green Living) and Dr. Tan Loke Mun
(Archicentre Sdn Bhd)
Design Team: Siham Shaheed, Ng Hai Yean, Nubaira Haque Shipa, Ms. Inthirani
Client: Bandar Setia Alam Sdn Bhd
Structural Design: Tylin International Sdn Bhd – Sia Pie King and Robin Yip and Weng Cheong
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: Ssp (E & M) Sdn Bhd– Ooi Chee Wee and Lam Kai Min Quantity
Surveyor: Baharuddin Ali& Low Sdn Bhd– Eddie Chin Pak Hoe and Wong Chee Leong Gbi
Landscape Design: Greenscapes Sdn Bhd– David Ong Yaw Hian
Facilitator: SHATOTTO-Md. Rafiq Azam, Landarc Associates- Lee Kwai Pheng
Photography: H.Lin Ho
Site Area: 12300 sqm.
Built Area: 2137 sqm
Design Period: 2012-2014

Shah Alam, a city situated about 25 km west of Kuala Lumpur witnesses one of the largest projects ‘Setia Alam’ by S P Setia. Of this five thousand acre venture, S P Setia ascertained to build its Headquarters on four acres of this land. S P Setia is a powerful and bold company that works in a local as well as a global context and has emerged as a flourishing icon representing Malaysia on a worldwide platform. This backdrop stimulated Architect Rafiq Azam and his passionate and ambitious team at SHATOTTO to pursue a very formal design approach that reflected the dynamism and prestige of S P Setia.

2stS P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia
Photo credits: H. LIN HO

As an initial response to the project brief, the client’s vision, the site and its context, Architect Azam aspired to translate the ideology of the company into positive architectural responses to the environment. The Setia headquarters has been designed according to latest green building guidelines and holds the title of being the first private sector commercial building to receive a ‘platinum’ certification in green architecture.

During the concept development phase, the Setia Persiaran highway located to the south and the expansive rainwater reservoir to the east played an extremely important role in planning strategies and design development. The monumental entrance to the headquarters with its columns rising up to the roof is intended to represent the company’s public identity and is also consistent with two of the city’s key elements located in the vicinity: the major traffic artery Setia Persiaran to the south and the rainwater reservoir in the east. The compact volume of the building is visually perceived lighter by positioning the mass over a grid of circular columns; the highest of which is 36 meters supporting the concrete roof overhang.

3stConceptual sketches of S P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia by Rafiq Azam
4stThe monumental entrance to the S P Setia headquarters
Photo credits: H. LIN HO
5stS P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia
Photo credits: H. LIN HO

The introduction of a large, shallow water body at ground level makes the building look almost as if it is floating, at the same time, honouring the importance of rain in this part of the world. The design of the headquarters bears a subtle influence of Bengalese architecture owing to the deep-rooted and distinguished practice of Architect Rafiq Azam in Bangladesh. The circular aperture in the roof is symbolic of ‘eyes’ which present an opportunity to gaze at the water body from the arcade or from the inner courtyard on the eight floor. The influence of Bengalese architecture can also be observed in the passive climate control strategies adopted by the architects. The introduction of gardens at various levels form an essential contribution to passive climate control in the building.

6stS P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia
Photo credits: H. LIN HO
7stS P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia
Photo credits: H. LIN HO
8stS P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia
Photo credits: H. LIN HO

The facades facing north, east and south are comprised of double-glazing curtain walls with full height low-E glass to allow optimal daylight penetration with minimal solar heat gain and glare. The building services are located on the west facing reinforced concrete façade minimizing heat gain, thus reducing dependence on mechanical cooling. The roofs of the tower and annex building are covered with turf and landscaped to help reduce solar heat gain as well.

9stA view showing the north, east and south double glazing facade
Photo credits: H. LIN HO
10st                The facade and                                                                            S P Setia Headquarters, Malaysia
  Photo credits: H. LIN HO                                                                    Photo credits: H. LIN HO

The building is highly energy efficient. The building envelope is designed to enhance the overall thermal performance, thus reducing the overall cooling load requirement. The use of sustainable materials is emphasized throughout the building. The roof of the structure is strategically used as catchment area for the rain water harvesting system and the water is used for flushing and irrigation purposes.

11stA view showing the north, east and south double glazing facade
Photo credits: H. LIN HO

General open plan workstations with one-meter high clear glass panel partitions allow unobstructed views across the open space, with external views shared by all, enabling a reduction in the need for artificial lighting.

12stA view showing the north, east and south double glazing facade
Photo credits: H. LIN HO
13stA view showing the north, east and south double glazing facade
Photo credits: H. LIN HO

The S P Setia Headquarters exhibits an elegant symbiosis of passive climate control strategies of traditional Bengalese architecture with the spaces, volumes and materials of contemporary Malaysian architecture. Shatotto tries to bridge the gaps between architectural values and the current crisis of a responsible architecture, in order to generate conversation among people, communities and nature for a healthy society.

“My own aesthetic philosophy is in collaboration, not competition, with the local realities. I am trying to imply architecture’s role in the bigger picture, and its responsibilities towards its own communities. The ‘green’ thinking shows the interplay between artistic autonomy and social engagement, and to nurture an obstinate but calm optimism that strives to turn the negatives into positives.”Architect Rafiq Azam
RAFIQ AZAMArchitect Rafiq Azam
– Bhakti Loonawat ,Volume Zero.
14stGround Floor
Photo credits: SHATOTTO
16stFifth Floor Plan
Photo credits: SHATOTTO
17stSixth Floor Plan
Photo credits: SHATOTTO
18stSection -A-A’
Photo credits: SHATOTTO
19stSection -A-A’
Photo credits: SHATOTTO
20st - CopySection -B-B’
Photo credits: SHATOTTO
21stEast Elevation
Photo credits: SHATOTTO
22stSouth Elevation 
Photo credits: SHATOTTO






Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>