The Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) is a ‘think tank’ agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (MOSTI) that has been actively engaged in all related matters in the fields of science, engineering and technology. In 2011, ASM and the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) had organised an architectural design competition for the new ASM headquarters.
The competition saw 38 entries from various architectural practices around the country. The new site is located next to the former ASM headquarters building on Jalan Tun Ismail. The 1.45-acre site is also neighbouring some other institutional and government buildings in the vicinity.
ATSA Architects’ entry for the competition was inspired by the concepts of nanotechnology and carbon nanotube, particularly the strength and flexibility of carbon nanotube and the unique forms of graphite and graphene in the nanotechnology. It had resulted in the unique layout planning based on the graphite and graphene forms, while the strength of carbon nanotube was translated into the structural and façade design in the hexagonal grid pattern.
The crossings of certain intervals from the hexagonal grid created spaces that were fitted into the required spaces. The grid was replicated on the various levels to obtain the optimum design, while promoting the open and interconnected spaces. Vertically, the graphite form of the hexagonal grid is enveloped around the building that acts both as a façade element and also to reduce the daylight heat.
The overall development concept is based on the Green Building Index (GBI) that outline six strategies. They are achieved through various ingenious applications, including the building form and orientation that controls the solar gains, along with the green roof on the rooftop floor. The rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic systems have been proposed that would also further boost the green building criteria.
The new headquarters will enhance the activities and management of ASM with the provision of many new and additional spaces. Among them are the innovation gallery, seminar rooms, an auditorium, ASM gallery, ICT lab and library, cafeteria, various office rooms and apartment housing units for ASM staff members.