The merging of Bank Bumiputra and Bank of Commerce Bank after the 1997 financial crisis resulted in the requirement of a new corporate headquarters for Bumiputra Commerce Bank. Spearheaded by IJM Properties Sdn Bhd, this project is part and parcel of the redevelopment plan for Jalan Raja Laut which was linked to the SOGO development plan in the early 1990’s.
Appointed by turnkey contractor, IJM Properties Sdn Bhd., we were set to design a 39 storey building located in the center of Kuala Lumpur which will be BCB's New Corporate Tower (Menara Commerce), set to be an iconic building and an identifiable structure in the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
Considered as a special area in DBKL, the impetus for development came with the revised master planning for the undeveloped land behind the KWSP building submitted by IJM Properties Sdn Bhd in Jan 2004. The submission then was for commercial developments of three buildings including the now completed MENARA BUMPUTRA COMMERCE. COMMERCE ASSET HOLDING BERHAD later agreed to the sales of this building for the purpose of building a new headquarters for then Bumiputra Commerce Bank, recently re-branded as CIMB Bank Bhd.
We were inspired by the simple geometrical shape of the exotic tropical plant, Heliconea Caribaea, a unique hardy plant that grows widely as the undergrowth in the equatorial rain forest. The diagonal bracing of the façade and the tapered top of the building is derived from the staggered structural form of the Heliconia flower. The layering effect of the curtain wall façade resembles its sprouted horn-like petals. Heliconia’s distinctive sculptural form with its elegant ornamental flowers symbolizes strength, authority and prestige; the very essence of a modern financial institution. Menara Commerce will surely become a new iconic landmark for a financial institution within the KL skyline.