Saturday, December 17, 2011

Opera Influencing Fashion Influencing Architecture in Asia

Starhill Gallery: Inspired by Christian Lacroix
"'I was inspired by an exhibition at Singapore’s National Museum featuring French designer Christian Lacroix’s opera and ballet costumes, especially the use of heavy, folded fabrics,' Pimbley, 53, says at an interview after the relaunch ceremony. 'There was an immediate corollary between the quality of Lacroix’s folded fabrics and the fine tailoring of luxurious labels in Starhill Gallery. I never knew Lacroix designed for opera, and I found it fascinating, the way he drew and designed the diaphanous clothing and flowing robes. I translated the idea into architecture so that the building appears wrapped in flowing fabric, which, in fact, required some very complex engineering. Architecture is meant to make people’s lives better' maintains Sparch founding partner Stephen Pimbley. 'I didn’t want to create just another conventional mall but a visual statement for Bukit Bintang that offers a fresh,
contemporary identity that engages people. For example, look at Omotesando in Tokyo, which draws thousands of visitors with its unique architecture for the many brands that are present there. Why not for Bukit Bintang too, as it is Kuala Lumpur’s answer to the Champs-Elysees in Paris or Ginza in Tokyo. Some people absolutely love this sort of modern architecture, and some just as equally hate it, but it creates conversation!' It is visible, talked about and often photographed – such is design consultancy Sparch’s work in the region, from Singapore to Shanghai and most recently, in our own Bukit Bintang area of Kuala Lumpur. Sparch (which stands for 'Stephen Pimbley Architecture,' the name of its Britain-born, Singapore-based founding partner) created a visually arresting façade for Starhill Gallery that was unveiled on Dec 1 at an event that included a free concert-on-the-street by crooner Julio Iglesias. What’s being billed as an iconic design had been creating a buzz over the past few months along one of Kuala Lumpur’s main shopping streets, Jalan Bukit Bintang. The unique crystal-like structure with its sleek facade of glass, granite and lightweight steel is an exciting addition to what has otherwise been a an average-looking shopping street in what is the city’s main tourist hub, especially compared with other well-known streets, such as Orchard Road in Singapore or Hong Kong’s waterfront district." [Source, Source]

Clarke Quay: An equally operatic piece of architecture by Sparch

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