The site is situated on the North East of Penang Island, in the National Park which lies desolate yet rich in biodiversity. Envisioned as a popular tourist attraction in the near future, the design brief requires an eco-friendly and sustainable entity to generate public’s interest ;by introducing a program that conveys the importance of appreciating nature while remaining relevant to the economy’s demand in the vicinity of Teluk Bahang.
Hence, preservation initiatives are of utmost importance in the design proposal.
Visitors could either approach the site by land or by sea. The design intends to be as transparent as possible to avoid disrupting visitor’s view of the island from afar. This is to ensure that the built environment does not affect the visibility of the natural environment.
The layout of spaces within the building is scattered across the site to distribute the building’s load on the sandy soil as well as ensuring minimal geographical change to the existing conditions. Smaller units of spaces will be built along the river ,channeling all operation wastes away from the waters to ensure that the marine life at the river mouth are not harmed.
The long strips of timber skeleton is an important feature that connects the scattered spaces into a continuous form; a seamless building. Although the strips are relatively thin, its generous width creates a series of overhang that forms the entire building’s enclosure and extends into railing, benches and steps.
The use of these strips liberates the building from a monumental massing that opposes the organic form of the natural environment.
The gaps between these strips allow for indirect daylight to penetrate into the spaces without causing glare. These gaps are enclosed with ribbon windows that are operable to allow natural air ventilation as well as keeping the building sheltered from torrential rain.
These strips deceptively create a larger wall surface and mass volume to insulate the building without compromising the indoor and outdoor relationship.