Sunday, May 04, 2008

Another day @ KLPac

I guess I must have been so fascinated by KLPac since my last visit in Jan 08, I was eagerly waiting for a reason - any reason - to go back there again.

The opportunity arose when YTL announced its 2nd Climate Change Week. Part of its agenda was free screening of a documentary called "The 11th Hour". I quickly registered for tickets (specifically requesting for a weekend screening) and crossed my fingers that I get what I want - which actually happened when I received the email from YTL group to collect my tickets for Saturday morning's screening. I invited Mi Sook as I really wanted her to check out KLPac as well.

We reached KLPac around 10am and had a comfortable 1 hour prior to the screening. I intended to visit its surroundings as the last time i went it was during night time.

All I can say is that I totally fell in love with this place.

Next to KLPac is Sentul Park (or is it that KLPac is located within Sentul Park?) Unlike the conventional parks, the concept of Sentul Park is very simple. According to its website, the design was inspired by the style of 18th century country English gardens. There are lots of wide open spaces, surrounded by lakes and scattered with trees. There were few or no flowering plants in sight. What we were greeted by were some beautiful birds, some with blue wings, some with melodious tunes. It seemed that Mi Sook enjoyed bird watching, so she was really excited to catch sight of those birds which not seen elsewhere in KL.

There is a Koi centre located within the vicinity of Sentul Park. While we didn't step into the Koi centre, there were quite a number of koi in the lake. There are platforms build around the lake, where one can just hang around and relax, or even feed the koi and ducks in the pond. The flooring are made of steel and I can see the koi swimming beneath me. Somehow this is more assuring than the glass floors that I'm still not used to.

We wanted to venture more into Sentul Park but due to time constraint we headed back to KLPac.

The design of KLPac is breathtaking on its own. Upon entering the vicinity, one may wonder why the building is a mixture of old brick walls, alternate with glass panels at the entrance. It seemed that the building was formerly an old, rundown engineering workshop used by KTM. Rather than tearing down the old structure and rebuilding a completely new centre, YTL instead merged old and new. The brick walls of the workshop was preserved. A modern steel and glass structure was then incorporated into the old building, providing both functional and aesthetic spaces to the centre. Some of the original building materials were also incorporated into the interior of the centre, hence enhancing the historical and cultural value even more.

The company went one step ahead by reusing building and natural materials, something not commonly heard of in Malaysia. Hence was no surprise that KLPac had won the Persatuan Arkitek Malaysia award in 2006 for the adaptive re-use category for its creative blending of old and new architecture.

When we walked around the building, I was impressed by the effort they made to preserve the walls which was already covered with roots from the old trees. I thought that added a touch of nostalgia to the building. I also loved how they created structures for the ceiling creepers. I can't wait for them to be fully grown, as I imagined to be even more beautiful.

My favourite bit of KLPac? It's gotta be the out-of-this-world sofa sets made of pre-shaped wire mesh. Lightweight and surprisingly comfortable, we took a some photographs sitting and posing silly on those sofas. I wish i could bring them home! My guess is that it's also very practical for these to be built in Malaysia. Unlike the conventional wooden benches which remains wet after the rain, i think the wire mesh will dry easier. If not just shake them dry! Only problem I can think of if these were placed in the common parks is that people will steal them away!

We originally intended to walk around the park more after the screening. But it was already lunch time, the weather wasn't too good and my camera ran out of battery!

I initially wanted to take my pre-wedding photographs in Sentul Park and KLPac, but then I found out through forums that I needed to pay RM500 for 'permission' to take photos in KLPac, and a whopping RM10,000 in Sentul Park! Why so expensive? It seems that Sentul Park is actually a private gated park, exclusive for those staying in The Maple and other YTL high-end condominiums around Sentul West. I guess that's the price you pay for wanting to take exclusive wedding photographs!

I certainly do not mind to come back to KLPac again. At least taking photos is free if it's not wedding related!

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