Tenaga Nasional Behard tower and park

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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As a precondition, Tenega nasional, the company which manages the country’s energy resources, stipulated three watchwords for the building of its new headquarters: prestige, modernity and tradition. The majority of the Malaysian population is Muslim. Favorably impressed by the Arab World Institute, a developer aspiring to overall supervision of the contract came to see Jean Nouvel. The program explicitly called for a tower. Apart from his Arabo-Parisian experience, Nouvel felt at home with an aesthetic which highlighted water, light, and shadow as its choice features. He therefore designed for the Malaysian company a site inspired by those Indian mogul gardens where water, rock and vegetation are blended in complex geometric motifs to pick out the landscape and provide distinctive perspectives. The tower is located by the main road leading to the city, it stands in a hollow in the middle of a square patch of land; as the building is approached, its reflection soars out of the increasingly omnipresent sheet of water. The tower is similarly square-plan, with no central core, and its façades are given a varied treatment, geometric motifs intertwined into metal grating form a double skin on the east, south and west sides, while the north side features clear, unadorned glazing. In this way, each façade provides the offices with shaded light and shapes which change with the moving sun.



Olivier Boissière