A UNIQUE PROPO­SI­TION

Even with all the on­go­ing devel­op­ment Thought Kuala Lumpur is go­ing through, the scale and vi­sion of 8 Con­lay is breath­tak­ingly im­pres­sive. ThePeak trav­els to Lon­don to speak to the vi­sion­ar­ies be­hind this project.

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Contents - TEXT CHRISTY YOONG

Even with all the on­go­ing devel­op­ment Kuala Lumpur is go­ing through, the scale and vi­sion of 8 Con­lay is breath­tak­ingly im­pres­sive. ThePeak trav­els to Lon­don to speak to the vi­sion­ar­ies be­hind this project.

If you hap­pen to pass by the on­go­ing devel­op­ment of 8 Con­lay, right in the mid­dle of Kuala Lumpur’s bustling golden tri­an­gle, it’s quite un­likely you’ll sense the scale and am­bi­tion be­hind those hoard­ings. The maiden project of KSK Land, 8 Con­lay is about as spec­tac­u­lar an an­nounce­ment you can make as a de­but devel­op­ment – the world’s tallest spi­ralled twin res­i­den­tial tow­ers com­ple­mented by a ho­tel and ser­viced ho­tel suites op­er­ated by one of the most ven­er­a­ble names in lux­u­ri­ous hos­pi­tal­ity. Sit­ting on a nearly 4ac site in one of Kuala Lumpur’s most pres­ti­gious ad­dresses, the mixed-use 8 Con­lay has an es­ti­mated gross devel­op­ment value of MYR5.4 bil­lion and is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2020, The 68-storey five-star ho­tel and ser­viced suites tower will be man­aged by Kempin­ski Ho­tels, Eu­rope’s old­est lux­ury hos­pi­tal­ity group, which will also pro­vide ser­vices for the branded res­i­dences for the two gleam­ing res­i­den­tial tow­ers, YOO8 ser­viced by Kempin­ski.

The two tow­ers will com­prise 1,062 apart­ments that range from one to three bed­room units. The 62-floor Tower A will fea­ture 564 units, rang­ing from 700 to 1,308 sq ft in size, while the 57-floor Tower B of YOO8 will fea­ture 498 units that range from 705 to 1,328 sq ft in size. Two sky bridges will link the two tow­ers at lev­els 26 and 44, while a nine­storey cen­tral podium, con­sist­ing of four sto­ries of cu­rated re­tail space, a ban­quet hall, as well as five lev­els each base­ment and el­e­vated car parks, will com­plete the devel­op­ment.

Joanne Kua, CEO of KSK Group and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of KSK Land, has a clear vi­sion for the branded res­i­dences of YOO8 ser­viced by Kempin­ski. “We have a very clear def­i­ni­tion of branded res­i­dences,” she said at the Lon­don of­fice of in­te­rior de­signer YOO. There are three main pil­lars that un­der­pin the project, be­gin­ning with lux­ury ser­vices pro­vided by Kempin­ski Ho­tels, which is mak­ing its first foray into Malaysia. “Kempin­ski was an ob­vi­ous choice for us – we’ve been to their ho­tels and the one thing that never wa­vered was the lux­ury ser­vice,” Kua ex­plained. Apart from fa­cil­i­ties like Kempin­ski The Spa, gym, swim­ming pool and a va­ri­ety of restau­rants and bars in­side the ho­tel that com­ple­ment the of­fer­ings of the cen­tral podium, res­i­dents can also look for­ward stan­dard and a-lacarte ser­vices by Kempin­ski. This will in­clude concierge, but­ler and maid ser­vices, 24-hour room ser­vice and pri­vate chefs, house­keep­ing and laun­dry, limou­sine ser­vices as well as res­i­dence main­te­nance pack­ages – all of the stan­dard that a Kempin­ski Ho­tel guest would ex­pect.

Just as im­por­tant, Kua said, is 8 Con­lay’s ar­chi­tec­ture. “We wanted live­able ar­chi­tec­ture, which frames the devel­op­ment and de­fines how it’s sup­posed to be like from the on­set,” she ex­plained. “As it sits on a four-acre piece of land, we strived for the bal­ance of liv­ing in the city as well as the space sur­round­ing the devel­op­ment.” The ar­chi­tec­ture’s ar­rest­ing de­sign by award-win­ning Hud Bakar, Prin­ci­pal of RSP Ar­chi­tects, takes a vis­ual cue from the Chi­nese phi­los­o­phy of yin and yang, where op­pos­ing force serve to com­ple­ment each other, which is most clearly re­flected in the spi­ralling res­i­den­tial tow­ers that wrap around each other.

The fi­nal pil­lar is the de­sign of the res­i­dences. “De­sign is more than just how it feels like vis­ually or how things ac­tu­ally look – that’s just be­ing a dec­o­ra­tor,” Kua said. “A de­signer de­signs spa­ces – and this is ex­tremely im­por­tant where branded res­i­dences are con­cerned. You need to think of ev­ery­thing for the in­di­vid­ual, from when they walk into the apart­ment to the way they want to live, and a good de­signer helps de­fine ev­ery­thing that you do.” It is this very rea­son why, from the very be­gin­ning, KSK Land col­lab­o­rated with YOO.

A pi­o­neer­ing vi­sion for liv­ing and the re­sult of a part­ner­ship be­tween prop­erty en­tre­pre­neur John Hitch­cox and cel­e­brated de­signer Philippe Starck, YOO has worked with the world’s most vi­sion­ary de­vel­op­ers to de­sign res­i­den­tial and ho­tel projects in over 30 coun­tries through­out Asia, Aus­tralia, Eu­rope, Africa, North and South Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East, spear­headed by creative di­rec­tors that in­clude Jade Jag­ger, Kelly Hop­pen, Mar­cel Wan­ders and Steve Le­ung. 8 Con­lay is YOO’s first project in Malaysia.

“Our name is not a spell­ing mis­take,” Hitch­cox clar­i­fied with a laugh. “Ba­si­cally, the idea is that it’s about you – your life, your home. We’re a con­duit, a pro­ducer, if you will, with a con­cept and we em­ploy the most skilled peo­ple we can find to work to­gether.”

“YOO had al­ways been our first choice,” Kua said. “We were very spe­cific – we knew what we wanted and it was cru­cial we found some­one who un­der­stood branded res­i­dences. When we met YOO, we dis­cov­ered that the two of us were speak­ing the same lan­guage. Ad­di­tion­ally, go­ing with YOO gave us the op­por­tu­nity to work with dif­fer­ent creative minds.”

Tower A is de­signed by Steve Leong & YOO, and con­sists of two de­sign con­cepts – Wood and Wa­ter. “This is Steve Leong’s def­i­ni­tion of 8 Con­lay and how he vi­su­alises peo­ple will ac­tu­ally live in the devel­op­ment,” Kua said. “Tower B is de­signed by Kelly Hop­pen for YOO, and will also present two con­cepts – Ur­ban and Spring – that are her in­ter­pre­ta­tions of east-meets-west de­sign.”

Hop­pen – whom Kua de­scribes as “a force in in­te­rior de­sign” – is no stranger to de­sign afi­ciona­dos. The Cape Town-born and Lon­don- based Hop­pen be­gan her de­sign ca­reer at the age of 16. A suc­cess­ful author, en­tre­pre­neur and in­te­rior de­sign maven, Hop­pen’s trade­mark style draws in­spi­ra­tion from Eastern cul­tures, with an award-win­ning ap­proach that is hinged on a neu­tral colour pal­ette as well as min­i­mal­ist forms that in­tro­duce calm and bal­ance to liv­ing spa­ces.

“I’ve been in this busi­ness for 41 years now and my pas­sion is de­sign­ing the home. At a very young age, I loved go­ing to show apart­ments with my mother. I was in­trigued by the way peo­ple lived, and I was very for­tune to be brought up in a fam­ily where my par­ents in­volved us with their friends, who in­cluded artists, po­ets and cooks. And that way of us­ing your home as a way to com­mu­ni­cate and live re­ally ap­pealed to me.”

Har­mony and calm de­fine the Spring con­cept suites, which fea­ture sooth­ing swathes of green set against a fresh, nat­u­rally hued back­drop. Th­ese spa­ces make the most of neu­tral ma­te­ri­als, weath­ered sur­faces, un­bleached fab­rics, deep pile car­pets and white milky glass, bring­ing to mind a sense of re­newal as well as long, leisurely days spent in a lux­u­ri­ous coun­try hide­away. In­side the bronze-toned in­te­ri­ors of the mas­ter bath­room, you’ll find Hop­pen’s iconic Origami bath­tub, spe­cially cre­ated for Apaiser Bath­ware.

Ur­ban con­cept suites, on the hand, ex­udes time­less el­e­gance, ap­peal­ing to the in­ner cos­mopoli­tan with lin­ear muted tones and re­peated mo­tifs that bring on a feel­ing of un­der­stated glam­our, Th­ese chicly done up spa­ces are en­hanced with ambient light­ing,

while aes­thetic har­mony is achieved through the in­clu­sion of taupe stone, dark tim­ber floor­ing as well as spe­cial­ist plas­ter fin­ishes and tex­tiles.

Asked about her in­spi­ra­tions for the de­signs, Hop­pen said: “I cre­ate homes for peo­ple to live in, not just to look at. My first book was ti­tled East Meets West and it was about global fu­sion, and this project is ex­actly that. I wrote that about 28 years ago and it was all about how the world was get­ting smaller and de­sign for me was about putting east and west to­gether. Wher­ever I work around the world, my de­sign re­flects the par­tic­u­lar city I’m in but what I want to do is take a bit of the world and put it into that de­sign.”

As for her thoughts on 8 Con­lay, Hop­pen was sure the project would be a suc­cess: “I started my busi­ness when I was re­ally young, and was very pas­sion­ate then and, to my ab­so­lute sur­prise, still bounce out of bed ev­ery day still want­ing to de­sign. I’ve done any­thing in my en­tire ca­reer that I didn’t be­lieve would be suc­cess­ful. And I can say that the rea­son I got in­volved in 8 Con­lay was be­cause all of us were cer­tain it would be a suc­cess.”

All three, how­ever, were con­vinced that 8 Con­lay was more than just a sim­ple suc­cess. “The home is the most im­por­tant place in your life – it’s your place of se­cu­rity, a place for fam­ily, for life. Philippe and I started this busi­ness with the idea of work­ing with great de­vel­op­ers and like-minded peo­ple around the world to en­hance home-own­ers lives through bet­ter de­sign and bet­ter place-mak­ing,” Hitch­cox said.

“Twenty years down the line, we’ve worked in more than 50 coun­tries around the world on more than 80 projects. Things has also evolved in that time, es­pe­cially mas­sive ur­ban­i­sa­tion and be­ing so­cial an­i­mals who like liv­ing in the city, projects like 8 Con­lay have be­come the new vil­lages. And be­cause you know this project has a great de­vel­oper, un­der­pinned by lux­u­ri­ous ser­vice by Kempin­ski, and as Kelly has a par­tic­u­lar style of de­sign, which will at­tract a par­tic­u­lar type of peo­ple, chances are you’ll be mov­ing into this vil­lage with like-minded peo­ple, whom you’ll prob­a­bly get along with and share the same kinds of as­pi­ra­tions.”

Hop­pen added: “I be­lieve that what we’ve done with 8 Con­lay is cre­ate some­thing new, al­low­ing peo­ple to get out of their norm and into a cer­tain life­style. Nowa­days, we want to live near the peo­ple we know and this is it. The apart­ments in 8 Con­lay, of course, are smaller than the houses I nor­mally work on, but size doesn’t re­strict you from cre­at­ing beauty and time­less lux­ury.

“I’ve never worked in Kuala Lumpur be­fore but it’s al­ways been a place I wanted to work in. Steve Le­ung is a great friend and we liked the idea of the project. You get the chance to cre­ate some­thing dif­fer­ent, some­thing that hasn’t been done be­fore in the area, which is a wel­come chal­lenge. I think we’ve done that and it’s a good feel­ing.”

“We are a young com­pany – KSK Land is only five years old – but we’d al­ways wanted to be de­vel­op­ers even be­fore that be­cause as a de­vel­oper, we ac­tu­ally have the power to set the stage for peo­ple to live, and to work and play in,” Kua said.

Ul­ti­mately, she added: “Our tagline, ‘Your Place, Your Story’, means that 8 Con­lay is a place where you cre­ate your own story. You live here and you cre­ate your own mem­o­ries. The branded res­i­dences life­style means that ev­ery­thing is taken care for you so that you’ll have time to life your life. There might be three dis­tinct parts of in 8 Con­lay – the res­i­dences, ho­tel and re­tail – but all share the same vi­sion of be­ing a world on its own that wouldn’t work any­where else.” A unique propo­si­tion, in­deed.

THERE MIGHT BE THREE DIS­TINCT PARTS OF IN 8 CON­LAY – THE RES­I­DENCES, HO­TEL AND RE­TAIL – BUT ALL SHARE THE SAME VI­SION OF BE­ING A WORLD ON ITS OWN THAT WOULDN’T WORK ANY­WHERE ELSE

The Ur­ban­themed mas­ter bed­room is a rest­ful refuge, with a com­fort­ing

01 Cre­ated with the de­sign-savvy in mind, Hop­pen’s Ur­ban-themed liv­ing room cou­ples a starkly sim­ple lay­out with sleek ma­te­ri­als and fin­ishes. 01

02 The Ur­ban­themed mas­ter bed­room is a rest­ful refuge, with a com­fort­ing colour scheme with warm browns and al­lur­ing greens adding a wel­come pop of colour. 02

03 Kelly Hop­pen, Joanne Kua and John Hitch­cox at the YOO of­fice in Lon­don. 06 Meld­ing seam­lessly with the kitchen, the lounge area of Spring-themed liv­ing space is an al­cove of tran­quil­ity. 03

04 05 Hop­pen’s iconic Origami bath­tub per­fectly com­ple­ments the bronze-toned in­te­ri­ors of the Spring-themed mas­ter bath­room.

05

0606 Na­ture serves as the ul­ti­mate in­spi­ra­tion for the Spring-themed mas­ter bed­room that brims with warmth and ease.

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