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The Glory Transportation Hub

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Project Typology:

Design (Public)


Johor Bahru, Johor







The Glory
Transportation Hub that  Gambier and Pepper Built

Remembering the past, embracing the new is a statement that we hoped to capture into the design of our facade by exploring the rich history of Johor. Linked together with Singapore by a causeway bridge that is slightly over 2 kilometers in length.  A scene of “army of ants” formed by the lines of motorists at the causeway border may seem like a common sight in today’s time.

The causeway was first opened in 192 and it was not built for the commuters, rather it was built for the natural riches of Malaya to be shipped out to the world – and two of the products shipped out were Gambier and Pepper.

Our façade design seeks to pay homage to the forgotten history of Johor by highlighting the past glories that the Gambier and Pepper trades have brought to the state. Johor was, at one point, the world’s largest exporter of Gambier. This industry has put Johor on the world map and brought tremendous growth to the local community – a fitting statement for the new RTS Bukit Chagar Station that will help to elevate the causeway congestion while boosting Johor’s stature and economy in tourism. The Gambier and Pepper inspired façade is also an indication of the strong collaborative effort forged between Johor and Singapore, where both cities have shared a familiar history and glory in the Gambier and Pepper trades in the past.


Welcome to Johor, the Jewel of Malaysia.

Visitors or returning Malaysians coming into Johor will be greeted on arrival by a large overhang roof known as the “Hanging Verandah” (Serambi Gantung). Two Hanging Verandahs on each ends, connected together by series of pitched roofs is inspired by the novelty and the traditional values of a Malay house.

A Hanging Verandah, in the context of a traditional Malay house is the transitional space between the “Outdoor” and “Indoor”. This is the place where guests are being entertained before they are being welcomed into the house. As a host, it is also customary for us to look after the well-being of our guests. This is a symbolic gesture that we want to overlay into the design of our roof, and to welcome the tourist into our Home with the warmest hospitality that a Malaysian can provide.


Sculpting the history on the walls

At the height of Johor’s glory during the Gambier and Pepper trades. Plantations from the 1840s began planting Gambier and Pepper together, whose vines seemed to have a symbiotic relationship with one another. A discovery that led to the increased number of exports, growth and eventually to the formation of Johor Bahru (Formerly known as Iskandar Puteri)

A visually striking, multi-faceted façade is designed as an abstraction to symbolize the symbiotic relationship between Gambier and Pepper. Each panel is consist of two large frames that resembles the shape of a folding Gambier Leaf. Within each modular panel, smaller 3-dimensional shading elements will form the exterior cladding of the façade. These shading elements are an abstract representation of the pepper seeds, they are sculpted, studied and arranged to provide the most optimal sun shade for the MRT Station.

With the intention of making Bukit Chagar Station a new Landmark. The proposed façade design provides a three-dimensional canvas that was strategically applied with accents, colours and details to create a striking and image-able form that is easily and instantly recognisable from afar, yet increasingly fascinating up close.

The changes of colour tones on the façade, from Darker brown to lighter brown and eventually to a full transparent element is to highlight the laborious process behind the production of Gambier. Gambier leaves are extracted and boiled until the leaves turned brown. The leaves will then be pressed repeatedly to extract the juice, this is process that will be repeated many times until the dark brown leaves have decolourized completely (transparent).

All these elements are conveyed together as an architectural language to create an attractive urban element that is holistic, sustainable, and respectful of its past while complementing the ever-growing cityscape of Johor Bahru.