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University of Technology Petronas

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Technical Information

  • Award Cycle:
    Status:
    Award Recipient
    Country of origin:
    Malaysia
    Location:
    Tronoh, Malaysia
    Client:
    Institute of Technology Petronas
    Architect:
    Foster + Partners
    Design:
    Size:
    85'000 m²
    Completed:
    2005

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Press Kit :

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Set in hilly and forested terrain 300 km north of Kuala Lumpur, the University of Technology Petronas responds both to the physical landscape and to the weather patterns of the Malay peninsula. In terms of scale, its radial geometry is more consistent with town planning than with conventional building.

A soaring, crescent-form roof supported by steel columns winds around the edge of the site, covering pedestrian routes and providing a defined, shaded zone for social interaction and circulation. To preserve the natural topography, the core
academic buildings are wrapped around the base of a series of knolls; viewed from a distance, the university’s canopy elevation echoes the tree canopy of the densely forested site.

This is an exemplary use of a performance-based approach to architectural design that goes beyond the diagram. The design has been carried through to completion with meticulous detail, rigour and persistence, and engendered a transfer of knowledge, process and technology between Foster + Partners and the Malaysian firm GDP Architects, which has in turn led to their collaboration on other projects.