A Polished Piece Of Soho Architecture
d+a|Issue 120
A polished piece of Soho Architecture by Tan’ck architect rises in the peripheries of Kuala Lumpur’s bukit ceylon.
Nizar Musa

On a sun-dappled street just off Kuala Lumpur’s affluent Bukit Ceylon enclave, Ceylonz Suites sits in calm repose.

Flanked by swathes of urban forest, a 104-year-old Presbyterian church, and two high-rises – one of them the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange – the building exudes a tranquil street-level ambience, harmonious with its neighbourhood.

But gaze upwards, and its incisive architecture is revelatory.

Make no mistake, this is an articulate building for the erudite city dweller.

INHERITED CHALLENGES

For all its confident demeanour, the 39-storey development did not have the most ideal of starts.

Working from home today has become the norm, and with long commutes no longer a mandated necessity, Ceylonz Suites may represent the ideal in metropolitan living, a reflection of the new dynamic in this era of social distancing and self-vigilance.

“This was originally an abandoned project. Already built up to ground floor level, it had been designed as luxury residences, two units per floor with private lifts, that was later abandoned due to bad sales,” shares the tower’s designer, Malaysian architect Tan Chee Khoon.

“When my client took over the site, they asked me to design something affordable for the market yet has a demand.

“Their idea was something similar to the SoHo (Small Office, Home Office) genre. They would call these units ‘suites’, so that they could be used for business as well as accommodation.”

For this new scheme, Tan opted to start from scratch.

“The site is shaped like a trapezium, and the previous design similarly followed that. I found that doing this doesn’t give a good form, so I went for a rectangular design,” he says.

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