Asia New financial district to revive Kuala Lumpur's nostalgic heritage

New financial district to revive Kuala Lumpur’s nostalgic heritage

Exchange 106 represents a unique retelling of the significance of the city’s early township and structures, most of which were built in the early 20th century coinciding with the tin mining boom, in an area that was once known as “Pak Luk Kan”

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The Exchange 106 (formerly TRX Signature Tower) a skyscraper under construction within the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) area, a new financial district being developed in Kuala Lumpur, will revive the nostalgic heritage of Kuala Lumpur.

The 106-floor building is topped with a 65-meter, 12-storey high illuminated crown making it 452 m (1,483 ft) tall. It will have a net lettable area of 2.6 million square feet (240,000 square metres), and it will redefine the city’s changing skyline.

With the promise that it will put Kuala Lumpur on the world map again, it will create job opportunities for thousands of people during and after construction.

It has also been the subject of much discussion the world over, as a demonstration of architectural skills, construction excellence, and an interior that sets a new international standard in quality finishes and amenities.

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But more than just an amazing building, Exchange 106 is a link to Kuala Lumpur’s, or KL as it’s affectionately known, historical roots. It represents a unique retelling of the significance of the city’s early township and structures, most of which were built in the early 20th century coinciding with the tin mining boom, in an area that was once known as “Pak Luk Kan”.

Yap Ah Loy Era

Kuala Lumpur means “Muddy Confluence” – not really the sexiest moniker, but that’s what it means in Bahasa Malaysia, Malaysia’s national language. The name was taken from its location, right at the junction of the Klang and Gombak rivers, which were trading and transportation arteries in days gone by.

During the late 19th-century, some of these areas were administered by the local “Kapitan Cina,” who recruited Chinese fortune seekers eager to find their fortune in the riverbeds of the young city’s fledgeling mining industry.

One of the greatest “Kapitan” of that era, Yap Ah Loy was credited as the founder of Kuala Lumpur as he was so influential and well respected among the growing Chinese community in the area that he could get them to build, develop and share the space towards the creation of the now shining city. With the wealth of the time, many of the local workers soon saved their own fortunes, making homes.

With the economic boom, grew the administration of public services under the Federated Malay States and its future incarnations. So too, then grew the need to house the public service employees which resulted in public housing enclaves in Kuala Lumpur like Federal Hill, Cochrane and Pak Luk Kan.

The new Heart of Kuala Lumpur

The Pak Luk Kan area and now Exchange 106, is located in the heart of the Tun Razak Exchange development in the city’s Golden Triangle area, being famously distinguished as Malaysia’s main attraction with world-class amenities that are bordered by Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Imbi. In a huge milestone in April 2017, the development of Exchange 106 was completed by 60 continuous hours of pouring of concrete on an area that is the size of eight Olympic swimming pools, making it the second largest concrete pour to be recorded in the history of mega structure development.

With the arrival of this megastructure, it will change the way most complex infrastructure projects of the future will be delivered. For one, the development offers excellent public transport connectivity by way of its accessibility for its tenants with access to major roads and highways just a stone’s throw away.

Throughout its development, globally recognised new technologies and modern practices were applied contributing to faster completion of the building, and this elegant and grand structure was being built with some of the most advanced and innovative strategies that adhered to the highest standards of construction safety and security. All parties involved made sure that technologies and practices were shared among all counterparts, ensuring high productivity.

One of the noteworthy and amazing architectural details of Exchange 106 is the imported marble floors and walls of highest quality in the lobby and common areas coupled with the high ceilings finished in an English Burl wood veneer. This breathtaking finishing alone gives this evolutionary building its royal grandeur and appeal; almost a reminiscing of the “Pak Luk Kan” mansions that were once the epitome of old and luxurious Kuala Lumpur.

Aside from that, for those who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, this building is designed with sustainable technology that is acknowledged under the Green Building Index (GBI).

It boasts the latest in-building technology including high performance insulated glass, energy efficient MEP systems, 100 percent LED lighting and state-of-the-art lift technology; plus the adoption of landscaped greenery and effective recycling management.

These unique characteristics alone makes Exchange 106 an architectural gem that will inspire and become the benchmark for future tall structures in the country and region.

“Exchange 106, it is truly amazing for the development of this paradigmatic structure located in Jalan Imbi that pays homage to the “106 Bungalows, “says Mulia’s Chief Executive Director, Dato’ W H Lai. For him, the area brings back fond memories of childhood days of visits to that area referred to as Pak Luk Kan.

Now the ‘Pak Luk Kan’ charm is revitalized with a new iconic image and updated to ‘Pak Luk Lau’. “In time to come, I believe Exchange 106 will be as fondly nicknamed as Pak Luk Lau, as popularized by the Pak Luk Kan of yesteryears.

For its tenants, Exchange 106 is not only a place to be able to showcase their stature and success; it is also an opportunity to be part of the heritage modernised area that once was known as KL’s “Pak Luk Kan” explains Dato Lai. -/TISG

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