ZLG Design of the BOH Visitor Center in Malaysia
The choice to use metalwork was based strictly on the need to reduce on site construction activities. ZLG Design contemplated to expedite erection of steel frames in order to mitigate delivery problems of the tea leaves to the currently operating factory near by. The structural components were kept very simple, utilizing mainly standard section sizes. No major welding was done, except for smaller components.
The side windows and facade were fabricated off site and assembled quickly and put into place between posts on a span of 9m girds. The steelwork is limited strictly to the upper storey structure; this is then assembled in situ manner to sit atop a reinforced concrete frame consisting of 350x1000 deep beams spanning a 9m grid. The floor slabs are then finished and exposed but sealant treated cement render, these were applied with a dark receding colour.
The ramped concrete floor allows for a truck and general vehicles to pass under for the next phase of construction. The roof was constructed of simple mild steel edge capping assembled to terminate the open trussed metal beams. Such devices were used to reduce the weight of the structure overall and also to ease the distribution of services inside the voids between the trusses. A slight slope towards the back allows draining of the rainwater on the roof towards only one side of the roof, which simplifies building elevation treatment. The bamboo and cementitious board panels are designed to be externally exposed to weather, and are also arrange to provide concealed lighting, using very simple fluorescent battens. These are mounted in between strips of cement boards with sufficient gaps for mounting these luminaries.
Boh Visitor Centre has just won the prestigious 2007 International Biennale Barbara Cappochin Foundation Award for Architecture and Construction Elements Prize, from Padova Italy.