Future-Proofing for Supertall Possibilities

Mustafa Chehabeddine
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, London

Historically, it has been relatively straightforward to predict the future skyline of established cities. With single CBDs and limited available land, the few potential locations for the next building that might have an impact on the skyline could be pinpointed with a degree of accuracy. Predicting this results in a number of advantages when it comes to future-proofing the infrastructure. As cities move more towards multiple centers, the number of possibilities is expanded exponentially. With this comes new challenges, such as predicting future needs in terms of infrastructure. Plus, since a considerable amount of time is required for these upcoming centers to mature into full-fledged city centers, the question of “meanwhile” use becomes essential. New centers need to come of age before development can intensify. The time frame can span years, if not decades. During this time, these places need to develop and acquire their own identity, while at the same time stay aware of their destiny as places of great potential. It is necessary to discuss future-proofing in order for major additional density to be added to a relatively new existing fabric. Examples of this type of integration in historic centers have largely been unsuccessful, due to lack of planning for the increased density.

In the case of Lots L, M and N in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, a new approach has been devised to allow this major site to be utilized in the near future, while at the same time allowing for the option of a major tower to be added in due course. This is being achieved alongside the new MRT station, currently under construction.