WISMA GREAT EASTERN

LOCATION

Penang

BUILT-UP AREA

110,000 sqft

SITE AREA

1.24 acre

STATUS

Completed 2017

Awards
PAM Award for Excellence in Architecture – Honorary Mention, Conservation Building category (2008)

Wisma Great Eastern, Penang

Wisma Great Eastern (GE), a conservation project, is located at the corner of Lebuh Light and Lebuh King, Penang. The original art deco building, with classical architectural feature, was believed to had been built between the 1920’s and 1930’s and was dilapidated.
The Local Council requires the original square building with its entrance portal be kept for adaptive reuse and limit a new 5-storey L-shaped extension occupying the rear and side adjacent to Bank Negara. An element of ‘time’ was adopted in the design whereby the old is differentiated from the new in contemporary style without mimicking the original. The new extension in curtain wall was designed to act as a backdrop mirror reflecting the heavy masonry conserved building, projecting it as the jewel of the development.
The original large fore lawn was retained and kept unfenced which seems like an extension of the “Padang” across Lebuh Light. This fore lawn with its century old trees provides another urban landscape relief which has become a popular wedding shooting venue. Instead of being at the fore lawn, all carparks are kept in the single level basement which has a cascading water featured air-well to allow natural light and ventilation into the otherwise dark space. The old and new was deftly intertwined where a modern glass covered canopy portico was introduced and in contrast with the adjacent old building.
WISMA GREAT EASTERN
WISMA GREAT EASTERN
Extra attention was given during the substructure works in view of the poor marine clay soil condition and also to the stability of the adjacent sensitive pre-war buildings. Existing materials in good condition such as bricks, clay roof tiles, timber from roof trusses, windows from the conserved house were rehabilitated and reused as much as possible in the spirit of conservation.
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