New icon of Iskandar development regionEdit profile
A gift to the citizens of Johor, the new pedestrian park on a former Palm tree plantation will give the public a library and a mosque carved out of the natural topography in the surroundings of a beautiful park landscape. Iconic towers with waterfalls symbolize the fountain that gives life to its surroundings. Buildings will nestle comfortably in their surrounding landscape with little impact on nature. The new park is composed of rhythmic, metric patterns, an arabesque, that is centred around the symbols and motifs of Islam, with radiating geometric patterns throughout the landscape, on walkways and inside and outside of buildings.
The hexagonal landscape pattern faces the holy city of Mecca with two perimeter roads that provide access to the park. The commercial buildings are located in this transitional area leading into the park; from natural topography to urban landscape. Placing the buildings in the transition zone keeps their impact on the park low, and creates circulation patterns throughout the park with plazas that link to the geometry of the park design.
Fountain of life
Water; one of the most symbolic and important element of Islam, providing ablution and representing the infinite is featured throughout the park. Hexagonal water ponds collect rainwater and irrigate the park while flowing into a natural lake creating a graceful transition in the sloping landscape. The waters’ source is sprung from the two iconic building towers at the top of the park’s slope, a fountain of life from their waterfalls.
The landscape features only local vegetation ringed concentrically. The first ring of vegetation creates a mysterious gateway to the park with a border of the plantation’s original palm trees. Tea plantings comprise the next ring of vegetation on steeply sloped and inaccessible areas of the park. The Tea plants create and accentuate the rhythm of the terraced slopes and provide a contemplative landscape.
Recreation grass meadows and sculptural flowers are in the park’s centre where the earth is level. This makes it suitable for friends and families to come together and enjoy picnics and play or relax or attend public events. Ficus trees with their large twisting roots create natural sculptures and the indigenous flowers are of the most vibrant and beautiful.
The park’s fountain is formed by two iconic towers that project out of the mountain overlooking the park. A waterfall flows into the park’s water ponds providing rhythm and sound. The towers are symbols of life and balance, with cantilevered plates that allow the water to fall from the tower tops. The building’s skin is glazed with differing translucencies giving the appearance of water itself. The water not only reflects an important Islamic symbolism, but also provides natural cooling and water collection. During special occasions, the waterfall can begin its flow from the towers’ tops. At the buildings’ base are the cultural and congress centre with offices above.
Mosque of light
The dome shapes of the mosque surface like air from a turbulent water, providing bubbles of peace and contemplation. The dome’s ceiling is cut through with hexagonal arabesque perforations allowing in natural light. These patterns echo those experienced throughout the park and constitute an infinite pattern that extends beyond the visible material world. In the mosque’s interior is a mihrab indicating the qibla bathed in natural light.
Library and open air amphitheatre
The amphitheatre is cut out of a slope, taking advantage of the natural topography. The steps leading to the library serve not only as an entrance, but also as seating for the open air amphitheatre. In this way, the amphitheatre is never a lonely space, instead, it is vibrant with visitors and readers. The library lays under grass and is naturally cooled. Skylights punched in the ceiling allow natural light to permeate throughout.