Menara Mesiniaga is the IBM headquarters in Subang Jaya near Kuala Lumpur. It is a high-tech, 15-storey corporate showcase on a convenient and visually prominent corner site. The singular appearance of this moderately tall tower is the result of architect Kenneth Yeang's ten-year research into bio-climatic principles for the design of medium-to-tall buildings. Its tri-partite structure consists of a raised green" base, ten circular floors of office space with terraced garden balconies and external louvers for shade, and is crowned by a spectacular sun-roof, arching across the top-floor pool. The distinctive columns that project above the pool floor will eventually support the installation of solar panels, further reducing the energy consumption of a building cooled by natural ventilation, sun screens, and air conditioning. Yeang's ecologically and environmentally sound design strategies reduce long-term maintenance costs by lowering energy use. Importantly, designing with the climate in mind brings an aesthetic dimension to his work that is not to be found in typical glass-enclosed air-conditioned medium-to-high rise buildings. The tower has become a landmark, and increased the value of the land around it. The jury found it to be a successful and promising approach to the design of many-storied structures in a tropical climate.
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