Our first two projects (PJ Trade Centre and point 92) challenged the conventional design of office buildings. In our third project, named Tamarind Square, the intention is to re-invent the traditional Malaysian shop-office, while adhering to the core principles of using simple materials, being eco-friendly and bringing in nature.
The traditional shop-office development creates many problems – chaotic carparks, dirty backlanes, messy corridor walkways, dark stairwells, damaged lifts, lack of security.
The aim is to overcome all these problems, and to bring in all the benefits of a shopping mall – convenient carparking, escalators for ease of movement, security, property management for a clean environment. At the same time, however, the goal is to break away from the air-conditioned box mall that was invented for temperate climates, particularly in America.
The idea is to lay the shops at Tamarind Square around two gardens, in a figure 8. The gardens will be the heart of the development, and visitors will circulate around these gardens. The gardens will act as a town or village square, a place for the community of Cyberjaya to gather.
Together with the idea of a 'mall in the garden' is the idea of ‘gathering under the tree’. In the villages and small towns of Asia, people have always gathered under the tree – to have a meal, a haircut, to gossip, to watch a puppet show or a movie. Trees will be planted not only at the ground level of the retail centre but also on the upper levels, to form a cascading ‘hanging garden’.
Tamarind Square will be a place where people gather under the tree, where people connect, ‘where Cyberjaya connects’.