Acclaimed practice Broadway Malyan‘s proposal for a waterfront community in Malaysia has won a Gold Award from the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects in the category of Analysis and Planning. The awards is a showcase of exemplary projects from across the Asia Pacific region. Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) was one of a few projects making the final selection from over 70 entries.
TAED project will see the creation of a new community on a 350-hectare site along the picturesque coastline to the south of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state on the island of Borneo.
The detailed masterplan and landscape for the scheme was designed by Broadway Malyan with a major focus on ensuring that the new development embraced the region’s indigenous rainforest character and supported the re-introduction of its rich bio-diversity.
The judges official citation and feedback of the Tanjung Aru project said: “This scheme creates a well-thought new development with many attractions. It is a sensible masterplan with a thoughtful framework at different scale-ability.
“The inclusion of public realm spaces foster community-centric activities. There is potential for integrating the existing trees and vegetation with the new landscape design, through conservation, protection and enhancement, especially of the heritage trees in the Prince Phillip Park. Also, the scheme could explore opportunities for developing the biodiversity matrix beyond theory.”
Ed Baker, Broadway Malyan director and project lead, said the team had worked closely with the Forestry Department of Sabah to create a unique vision for the award-winning scheme.
He said: “There is a growing awareness within society of the necessity to live in closer harmony with our natural environment and there are fewer places on earth with as rich an ecological heritage as the island of Borneo.
“Our work was based on simple client brief – ‘we want a rainforest’ and ‘be inspired by the natural beauty of the island’. Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to Sabah, an increasingly popular tourist destination, and there is a growing responsibility to ensure that any future development is sensitive to the island’s indigenous rainforest character and we hope that our approach will set a new global benchmark in sustainable planning.” – Ed Baker, Broadway Malyan director and project lead
The proposed scheme will see the development of a range of leisure, live and work areas including a waterfront destination plaza and entertainment hub, a world class 12ha public city park, a beach park and a network of public cycle and pedestrian paths – all set within the lush and rich fabric of the existing and reinstated Borneo rainforest.
As part of the tree strategy devised in partnership with the Forestry Department, landmark native trees are being retained while others are being transplanted across the scheme and from nurseries as appropriate. Those that cannot be transplanted will be removed with three more of the same variety planted as a replacement. One recent development for the planting strategy that is currently being explored is the option to retain and re-plant at Tanjung Aru some of the trees that will be removed for the Pan-Borneo highway.
The planting will include a full range of indigenous trees including different varieties of shorea, tualang and kempas trees in the upper canopy, a continuous layer of dome-crowned trees in the main forest canopy to attract birds and densely packed saplings and palms in the lower canopy to support various vines, ferns and orchids. The selection of species also needed to be appropriate to its coastal location.
“As part of our work with Sabah forestry and to aid our research, we conducted a series of workshops. The client organised visits for the team to the Sabah Forestry Headquarters in Sandakan and Danum valley to visit the research centres and tree nurseries and experience the flora and fauna of the rainforest first hand – a truly amazing experience!” – Ed Baker, Broadway Malyan director and project lead.
The new Prince Philip Park is proposed on the site of an existing park but will be twice the size and will include a range of facilities including a nature park, evolution garden and a natural amphitheatre with a central lake. The park will be created within an area of rainforest, providing the opportunity for heritage and educational trails with a treetop canopy walk highlighting the conserved and transplanted trees that are native to the Sabah region.
The park is designed to be universally accessible and encourage use for a wide range of users during the day and evenings. There will be a wider range of play for children of all ages within the park as well as a network of fitness trails and equipment to encourage health and wellness.
The Tarung Aru Beach Park will include an improved waterfront promenade that links the southern end of the beach with the Prince Philip Park and a beachside rainforest park lined with the Aru trees that provide the historic character of the area and give the area its name. One of the most important design features across the whole scheme was also to maximise the views towards the stunning Kota Kinabalu sunsets.