“This is a time to celebrate architecture by extension the city,” Ar. Ang Chee, Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival (KLAF) 2017 Director said the festival that will focus on better architecture and better cities is the perfect platform to gather ones efforts, talents, attention and ideas on issues affecting the urban scheme; spaces both public and private.
Pix: Ar. Ang Chee with Ar. Ezumi Harzani anticipating KLAF2017’s website launch by Tengku Zatashah
Themed, “Power is/ and/ to/ with/ of/ for architecture”, the two-month festival to be held from July 4 to September 3 is the annual flagship event that is hosted by the Malaysian Institute of Architects also known as Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) with KLAF 2017 festival partners NS BlueScope Malaysia Sdn Bhd, platinum sponsors Akzo Nobel Paints (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd and Sika Kimia Sdn Bhd.
“The festival is open to all demographics beyond the architectural fraternity. Architecture is the fundamental of food, air and water hence re-focusing energy into the city of Kuala Lumpur is only timely as we live in the city. In addition to this, the theme selected is only befitting as 60 per cent of the Malaysian population lived in cities with migration rates increasing by the day. It is also closely associated with the growing interest of who and how the city is used.”
Explaining the word ‘Power’ in the theme, Ang said that it was mooted by the shifting natures and complexity of architecture; it’s position; public and private and what powers it.
Meanwhile, Ang said that with the increasing developments in the city, KLAF 2017 will relook at architecture; the basic necessities of housing and accommodation; reviewing the role of public buildings in particular. “We will then focus our efforts collectively to promote better architecture for a better city by making policy recommendations”, he said.
Extended programs to be held city-wide across Kuala Lumpur, KLAF 2017 aims to celebrate talent, intelligence and energy of individuals and groups that are catalysts of change in the Malaysian architecture industry today.
“The capability of Malaysian firms are not any less able than foreign partners. Having said that, we would like to express our confidence by displaying the diversity of approaches, richness in design and talents such as the recent JKR tower which is a complex building”, Ang added.
Ar. Ezumi Harzani Ismail PAM’s President later revealed that some 3,000 architects, designers, economist, development agencies, planners and academicians are expected to participate in the event that will feature international and local industry experts that will take on key roles as Datum: KL speakers such as the groundbreaking partnership of Anne Lacaton et Jean-Philippe Vassal from Paris, Anton Garcia Abril and Debora Mesa from Madrid based Ensamble Studio, Bangkok Project Studio’s Boonserm Premthada, Kayoko Ota, curator and architectural specialist from Japan, and many more who will share their experience and expertise.”
“This is in addition to KLAF2017 official launch which will be held at Publika Boulevard, Kuala Lumpur on July 12. As a prelude, the KLAF2017’s manifest : Modernism at Merdeka Exhibition Opening and book launch will take place at the Galeri Petronas, Suria KLCC on July 6”.
“We are also expecting 37,000 visitors at the ‘International Architecture, Interior Design and Building Exhibition (ARCHIDEX) which will take place from July 19 to 22 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre”, he said.
KLAF2017’s Royal Patron YAM Tengku Zatashah binti Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah also pointed out that she would love to see Kuala Lumpur as a more sustainable city with more spaces to appreciate culture and entrepreneurship.
“We need to be creative and smart; to think of the various ways to be more sustainable”, she said while pointing out to Shah Alam where 75 per cent of its occupants were youths and that it was one of her current projects which worked on re-energizing public spaces.