Building & Investment (Jan - Feb 2016) (Jan - Feb 2016) - Page 16

Project Highlight New convention centre provides a meeting place under the ‘rainforest trees’ Borneo Convention Centre Kuching in East Malaysia is designed with the theme “let’s meet under the trees” – a concept that most locals can relate to. AS THE first dedicated convention centre on the East Malaysian’s island of Borneo, the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) was designed to blend with it’s natural surroundings. A key element of this design strategy is it’s free flowing roof structure. The roof is shaped in the form of a “ririg” leaf, which in Iban language refers to the species phacelophrynium maximum. Ririg grows in abundance in Sarawak and due to its large leaves, is used by many indigenous tribes for wrapping rice and food. The roof canopy is supported by a series of exposed structural elements resembling the trunks and branches of rainforest trees. 12 Building & Investment | At the tip of the roof canopy there is a stone collection pond, reminiscent of water drops falling off a ririg leaf after a torrential monsoon rain. The combination of function and design come together seamlessly in a form that is truly representative of Borneo island and it’s people. BCCK is located in Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia. Located eight kilometres from the city centre, the centre aims to organise and attract local and international concerts, events, exhibitions and conventions to Sarawak. Sited on a six hectare riverfront site, BCCK forms part of a new marina and tourism development on the ‘Isthmus Island’. Construction began in June 2006 and was completed in October 2009. The actual cost of construction is about RM200 million. BCCK is designed on an east-west access to mitigate the effects of solar heat gain. It is also oriented to face Mecca and incorporates a Muslim prayer room. The building has a gross floor area of 36,500 square metres and the internal design offers complete flexibility with functional spaces able to be sub-divided into a variety of sizes and configurations for plenary sessions, exhibitions and banquets. The capacities in BCCK include 5,000 delegates in plenary, a 2,000 capacity banquet hall and 14 breakout meetings rooms. The