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Old May 30th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #1
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KL PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE (PentasSeni KL) @ Sentul West


The Actors Studio launches the KL Performing Arts Centre, Malaysia’s great arts hope in Sentul West










by Antares
28-05-2004

Two years ago an email was circulated on the APA list and around the arts community requesting inputs and feedback on the possibility of everyone pooling their resources to set up a new arts centre and performance space in Sentul West.
Sentul West? I suppose some folks reacted with a few s******s at this suggestion. After all, Sentul isn't Bangsar or Brickfields – even if many long-time residents also work for the railways, or had fathers who did. Sentul seemed like a very long way from Yuppie Town – being the sort of neighbourhood one associates with derelict humans and trains rather than sporty trainers and chic cafes.

That email was from landscape architect Carolyn Lau who occasionally does fantastic set designs for theatre and who grew up as a protégée of Five Arts Centre. Her partner Seksan, also a landscape architect, had been commissioned to restore a large tract of parkland surrounding an abandoned 1930s railway godown. The developers were toying with the idea of another exclusive condo complex within the park. But Carolyn and Seksan envisaged it as an ideal location for an arts complex and wanted to know if the arts community might be interested in acquiring and restoring the space.

The idea soon fizzled out from lack of initiative or interest – until the fateful flash flood of June 10, 2003, which drowned Plaza Putra – and The Actors Studio theatre complex – in lumpur direct from the kuala. It was a tragedy not only for Joe Hasham and Faridah Merican, beloved founders of The Actors Studio, but for all who love and support the arts.

Transmuting tragedy into triumph is the essential function of the creative imagination – and this is exactly what Joe and Faridah have accomplished, with a little help from friends in high places.

In December 2004, a spanking new RM25 million KL Performing Arts Centre, or PentasSeni KL, will be officially opened – on the very spot in Sentul West that so thrilled Carolyn and Seksan when they first spotted it. It will house a 500-seat proscenium theatre, a 200-seat experimental theatre, 10 rehearsal studios, a resource centre, a bookshop – and, of course, a performing arts academy plus a set construction workshop. Not forgetting also the balmy park surrounding the site, and the outdoor arena stage that will be constructed in phase two.

Teoh Ming Jin, general manager of The Actors Studio – who holds an architectural degree and is credited with designing all their performance spaces to date – took on the task of planning and designing KLPAC, with the help of award-winning lighting wizard Mac Chan.

The 70,000 square foot venue will also feature a centre for independent filmmakers, as well as a bistro, bar, and alfresco dining on the terrace.

For this glorious milestone in the checkered history of Malaysian performing arts, we have Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, the Prime Minister's better half, to thank. It was she who rallied to the aid of The Actors Studio immediately after the flood disaster, lending her name and wholehearted support to a fundraising campaign to rebuild the facilities that had been lost. A benefit gala, aptly named Banjir, was staged in the Panggung Bandaraya, and it brought together all the biggest names in the performing arts. Hundreds of thousands were raised as seed money – but millions were needed.

Enter Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh, managing director of YTL Corporation Berhad, an ardent patron of the arts who, a few years earlier, had brought in opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, and was now looking for ways to contribute directly to nurturing cultural development at home.

On May 21, 2004, a small assembly of dignitaries, arts luminaries, and the media gathered in the Marriott Hotel to launch the ambitious KL Performing Arts Centre project – a project long whispered in hushed excitement by those who knew its existence but were sworn to secrecy. This long-incubated dream come true has effectively brought together the arts world and the business worlds and a charitable NGO founded by Datin Seri Endon, called Yayasan Budi Penyayang – with the full backing of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and the City of Kuala Lumpur (as symbolised by the presence of Datuk Dr Rais Yatim and Federal Territory Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil).
The atmosphere was formal but celebratory, and the speeches, brief, heartfelt, and meaningful:

Datin Seri Endon: “…It is my hope that those who do not take to performing will at least learn to appreciate the performing arts – they could be the appreciative audience that we so badly need. It is in this context that I would also like to propose that the relevant authorities, agencies or organisation think seriously about audience education. We may have the best facilities and offer the best of performance, but alas, it will be of no avail if we do not have the right audience.”

And Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh: “The arts must be nurtured in tandem with our progress and achievements in the academic, scientific and business arenas. After all, great civilisations are known by their art.”

The delightfully festive spirit was generated by short, sweet performances by Rhythm In Bronze, Sutra, and Hands Percussion. Jit Murad (who co-emceed the event with Harith Iskandar) pointed out the marvellous multi-ethnicity of Malaysian performing arts by cracking a funny about the fact that the traditional Malay gamelan was being played by a mostly non-Malay group, while Ramli Ibrahim, a Malay, was promoting classical Indian dance. Getting the dynamic all-Chinese Hands Percussion group to bring the performance to an explosive climax augurs well, I'd venture, for the commercial viability of the KLPAC project. In any case, it was a genuinely happy and significant occasion – and the fact that Joe Hasham was observed wiping away a few tears of joy made the launch of PentasSeni KL all the more moving.

The KL Performing Arts Centre, mainly funded by YTL, will be managed by a board comprising The Actors Studio, Yayasan Budi Penyayang, and YTL.

Datin Seri Endon, the nation is truly blessed to have you as a Guardian Angel of the Arts. Joe and Faridah, take a curtain call for showing us all the way to go. Syabas indeed!
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Old May 30th, 2004, 03:41 PM   #2
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Lively launch of KL Performing Arts Centre






By ESTHER CHANDRAN




SOUNDS of gamelan from the Rhythm in Bronze ensemble reverberated around the JW Marriot Hotel on Friday as guests were given a preview of the kind of magic to expect from the newly-launched Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. With the crowd already entranced, the following performance by Sutra Dance Theatre with dance guru Ramli Ibrahim and his student, T. Revathi, took guests to a higher plateau, giving new depth to the performing arts scene in the country.

Then it was baritone Eddie Chin's turn to capture the audience with his rendition of the popular Malay folk song, Gadis Kampung.

Hands Percussion provided an energetic finale to the event as the seven-member team gave a pulsating performance on drums.

These performances received loud applause, showing that there was hunger for such shows, hence the endeavour by YTL Corporation, non-governmental organisation Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia and private theatre group Actors’ Studio to set up the centre was timely.













Ramli Ibrahim and T. Revathi putting on a captivating performance.








Guest-of-honour and patron of the centre (also known as PentasSeniKL), Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood, hoped that the initiative would be a significant milestone in Malaysia's road to rejuvenating and rekindling interest in the performing arts.

“I am an ardent supporter of the performing arts and will try to help initiatives which aim to develop the field,” she said.

The Prime Minister’s wife, who launched the event, said she was concerned about the current state of the performing arts.

“Based on my observation, I feel the performing arts need an extremely nutritional shot in the arm to ensure continuity and growth,” Endon said, adding that love for the performing arts should be inculcated in our young.

Endon suggested that parents, teachers and peers played an influential role in developing children's interest in performing arts.

YTL Corporation managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh described the centre as a cultural icon and a gift to the nation’s capital and her people.

“By the end of the year, Kuala Lumpur will have a new and dedicated performing arts centre that is surrounded by lush parkland and lakes, and only minutes away from the city centre,” he said.

PentasSeniKL will be located at The Park in Sentul West and is expected to cost RM15mil to set up and a further RM10mil in administrative costs.

The building with an innovative design will have comprehensive and cutting-edge facilities.

Occupying 6,300 sq metres, the four-storey building overlooking a lake will retain the 100-year-old mellowed brick facade of the former KTM warehouse, with the addition of modern glass and a steel structure.

PentasSeniKL will have a 200-seater experimental theatre in addition to the 500-seater main theatre, a bistro that seats 100, a bar and an outdoor terrace dining area.

There are also 10 studios, a resource centre, bookshop and a construction workshop.


Also present at the launch were Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, local theatre stalwarts Faridah Merican and Joe Hasham who head the Actors’ Studio Theatre, and Penyayang chief executive officer Leela Mohd Ali.

Last edited by szehoong; May 30th, 2004 at 03:47 PM.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 03:46 PM   #3
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PentasSeni KL launched








EMOTIONAL:Faridah Merican with a tearful Joe Hasham.






The Malay Mail, 25 May 2004

ENTERTAINMENT
RM25 million centre for performing arts to open in December



By Amir Hafizi
for Stage Pass


Like summer tempests came his tears...


Joe Hasham was crying, overcome by the emotion of the moment.

It was too far away to see whether his nose ran too, but the tears running down his cheeks showed how deep his feelings ran.

His wife, Faridah Merican, standing by his side, said: “Hey, I’m supposed to be the emotional one.”

Well, it was a fairly emotional moment. No one can actually blame the guy for turning on the waterworks.

The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), or PentasSeni KL, was finally launched last Friday by Datin Sri Endon. And what timing!

Almost a year after the flood which practically destroyed the Actors Studio Academy at Dataran Merdeka, its replacement could not have come in a more elegant manner.

Located in Sentul West and set to open in December, the RM25 million venue will have a 500-seater proscenium theatre, as well as a 200-seater experimental theatre. It also comes with 10 studios, a resource centre, a bookshop and a set construction workshop.

A performing arts academy, which also caters for young, independent filmmakers, would also be at KLPAC.

Other facilities available at the 70,000 square feet venue will be a bistro, bar and outdoor terrace dining area. The project is mainly funded by YTL Corporation Berhad and is advised by The Actors Studio, which has 15 years experience managing venues, an academy as well as producing performances.

After completion, a board consisting of YTL, The Actors Studio as well as the Yayasan Budi Penyayang (a charity foundation founded by Datin Seri Endon) would manage it.


“It shows that in Malaysia, if you want to have things done, you have to know the right people,” said Faridah Merican.

Well, quite rightly so, it seems. In any case, the result is spectacular. KLPAC is not just another new building project, or Joe Hasham would not have teared.

What this means is, first and foremost, a new performing arts venue has arisen where more shows from inside and outside the country will be staged.

This is definitely a positive development and a major step towards developing Malaysia as a performing arts hub.

Secondly, it is recognition to the growing importance of performing arts as a means to bring the people together as well as educate them in an indirect manner.








GALA LAUNCH (from left): Datuk Rais Yatim and Datin Masnah, Joe Hasham, Leela Mohd Ali, Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, Faridah Merican and Tan Sri Francis Yeoh look over the model of PentasSeni.







“The arts can help stimulate our natural desire to understand, and in doing so, motivate inquiry and learning,” said YTL Corporation Berhad managing director Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh. “In short, the arts have the power to develop human potential,” he added.

He is certainly right there. The arts have been so far mostly overlooked as a tool for education and information dispersal. Ideas, emotions, hopes and wishes could all be communicated to the public through the arts.

Rather than tell people of what to do and how to think, showing them is a better alternative. And one of the means to do this is via the arts, no matter if it is a concert, movie or stage play.

And the nature of the performing arts in this country being mostly non ethno-centric, could very well be an important tool to build a Malaysian community.

Arguably the most renowned Indian classical dancer in Malaysia is Malay, while the one leading gamelan group is staffed mostly by non-Malays. This is very different from other Malaysian art forms which mostly exist in encapsulated circumstances.

The third most vital impact of this project would be to pave the way for active involvement from the public sector in the performing arts world.

YTL’s willingness to actually invest in such a project would hopefully encourage other corporations to step up and do likewise.

The fact that Datin Seri Endon has decided to get involved with the project is another bonus.

“The performing arts scene has been in need of a shot in the arm to ensure continuity, development and growth,” said Endon.

“I am sure that the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage would welcome this effort from corporate sponsor YTL, NGO Yayasan Budi Penyayang and private theatre group the Actors Studio.

“Kecik tapak langan, nyiru kami tadahkan,” (a Malay expression to indicate gratitude for a gift), said Culture, Arts and Heritage minister Datuk Dr Rais Yatim.

“We have been crying out for participation from the private sector and hopefully it will be a bit easier to get others to contribute after this.”

And the work is still not done yet. Hopefully the KLPAC is just the beginning of a new era of possibilities.

Already, the big players in the project have ideas for the KLPAC.

Endon spoke of educating the young in appreciating the arts through KLPAC’s academic programmes.

Dr Yeoh elaborated on initial plans to expand the KLPAC with an amphitheatre and Faridah Merican told of how the KLPAC is to be managed after it was completed.

Dr Rais Yatim, meanwhile, insists that areas outside KL would not be forsaken and that plans have been made to bring people in to watch the shows at KLPAC.

The Government, private companies and an NGO working together towards one goal: The development of the performing arts – no wonder Joe Hasham is shedding tears of joy. Now, if we can apply that principle to other worthwhile projects in the country, perhaps more people would be crying... for the right reasons.

The Actors Studio Box Office is at 03 2094 0400.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 07:47 PM   #4
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yesss in time it will age and snobbyness will leave profound marks.

also, independent movies will get plenty of good publicity from KLue and would be 'underground but-mainstream-to-art-fags classics'

but hopefully the arts sector would vary a lot more with this center and breed more names. as it is not a fully governmental affair (though balai seni lukis negara is pleasant enough) i don't think i have to worry about distasteful high school-like dewans. i'm hoping to see a bit of nostalgia in the premises. curious about what mac chan would do for lights!
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Old June 1st, 2004, 08:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lepainperdu
also, independent movies will get plenty of good publicity from KLue and would be 'underground but-mainstream-to-art-fags classics'
Oh yeah...I heard there are lot of this mainstream-to-art-fags classic thing. Again, the response to all this kind of play is encouraging enough I assume. I only heard of "Angle" and..oh I totally forgot the title already..something about 4 friend, 2 guy and 2 girl in high school, where the rich guy fall for the poor guy and this lesbian fall for her sucessful but straight female friend.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZaHiRnYa???
Oh yeah...I heard there are lot of this mainstream-to-art-fags classic thing. Again, the response to all this kind of play is encouraging enough I assume. I only heard of "Angle" and..oh I totally forgot the title already..something about 4 friend, 2 guy and 2 girl in high school, where the rich guy fall for the poor guy and this lesbian fall for her sucessful but straight female friend.
hehe i was probably vague with that phrase. i meant like these people, they make very low budget films but with good contacts and well, a high reputation (and a bit of humour and wit) their DV films manage to get 'mainstream' in the market and get shown in places like actors studio :P (example would be Amir Muhammad's 6horts---- anybody here seen this before? it's not refined but it sort of brings out the third-world spirit of malaysia/ns... very low budget.) apparently, the vcd got bootlegged and became pasar malam material. of course these things are still pretty much unknown to the mass consumer, but to appear on the cover of KLue magazine--that really means that you've achieved some level of success. so many other film makers and threatre-ish people seem to start off with a ****-mainstream mentality but with work-progression comes also the need to spread the word or whatever their aim is (like to get bigger audience) and rarely do they hold on to that so called unrealistic naive frame of mind, so they start to become media whores but "not too much, to preserve integrity."

i guess you don't have a lot of options within a city where people who appreciate hedonistic things like independent films-- it's either you remain shaded by the tree of underground and get your message across to a handful of people who bother to actually look into your name, or you could ***** yourself (just a little) until you erm.. get your message across to a bigger audience. and if indeed you become AIM/award-worthy, please don't let fame destroy quality.

i think centres like Pentas Seni would benefit the scene here because there would be a good bridge between mainstreamers and the underground (got experimental theatre hor), and would serve as a nice, bigger brewing pot for these people to mingle/get famous (within art/theatre/klue niche.) look out for intimidating bookshop-cafes in the future

-------

also yar zahirnya, i think you were refering to "angel"? i didn't see but i went to an anti-war gig in the actors studio box on the same night as the premier of that i think, and i saw a lot of chinese celebrityish people (it was a big hit.)

i think got another homosexual play called "sam and jet". also in chinese one. no raids at all ;]
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Old June 4th, 2004, 09:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lepainperdu

i think got another play called "sam and jet". also in chinese one. no raids at all ;]
Yeah..that is the title of that play that I'm looking for. I happen to know cause they publish and have a little story about the play inside "The Star" which I think is a thing I rarely read cause independent, small and out of the normal genre are unlikely to be included in a national newspaper
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Old August 6th, 2004, 04:59 PM   #8
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Model shots







Datin Endon

http://www.propertynetasia.com.my/ne...p?newsid=11118
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Old November 1st, 2004, 07:39 AM   #9
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So is it u/c now?
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Old November 13th, 2004, 04:23 AM   #10
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these pictures reminds me a bit of the metropolitan opera in New york..one of the world's leading opera house








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Old February 20th, 2005, 06:00 AM   #11
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Is it u/c now?
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Old March 24th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #12
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From TheStar
Thursday, March 24, 2005
A new park with an old-world charm
By CHOW HOW BAN



Park at Sentul West is fast shaping up on a 14ha land and is poised to become one of Kuala Lumpur's premier landmarks when it is ready middle of the year.

The RM35mil park, developed by YTL Land and Development Bhd at where the Sentul Raya golf course was, will not only benefit house buyers in its vicinity, but other city folks, too.


Cherry trees line the walkways in the park.
Gone are the golf course's lawns and in their place are cemented walkways that are framed by trees, slopes and gleaming ponds.

Together with the Red Flames, Golden Showers, Raintrees, Frangipanis, Cinnamons and Fucus that have been on the land for years are new cherry trees and species such as the Sentol, Pelawan, Merawan Siput, Tualang, Kelat Nasis, Tembusus, and Gleams.

?Ficus trees that are growing on a brick wall that was part of the Sentul railway workshop remain where they are,'' said principal architect Ng Sek San. The 100-year-old wall will serve as a façade of the new Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre at the park's Festival Plaza.

When completed, the RM25mil centre will become the new home of The Actors Studio that lost its base at Dataran Merdeka to floods a couple of years ago.

Built on a 6,300sq metre site, the centre is a collaboration between YTL, the studio and Yayasan Budi Penyayang and its aim is to, not only offer classical, contemporary and innovative acts, but also interest the public to the performing arts.

Blending with the rustic features of the old railway workshop is a new-age four-storey glass and steel structure.The facilities in it will include a 500-seater proscenium theatre with top-of-the-line acoustics and a 200-seater experimental theatre with movable seating, ideal for smaller productions.

Also in the works at the structure are pre-function foyers, a performing arts academy, a resource centre, a bookshop, a bistro and a workshop where props are made.

Ng said what is unique about the centre was that visitors could view the entire park through its steel and glass atrium at the holding foyer.

?The interfacing is crucial,'' he said. ?We don?t see very many differences between the park and the centre's architecture. All of them complement each other as a whole.

?We like the idea of bricked buildings on green lawns where performances can be held in the open.''

Among the other features at the park are seven red-bricked walls that have been built on a straight line as if to draw visitors' attention to the arts centre. The centre itself is situated on the park's fringe.

Ng said the old railway workshop's glory had been retained on purpose.


The Sentul Raya golf course is slowly making way for the new park.
?When we began conceptualising the park, we wanted it to be all about lines and train stations,'' he said, adding that should one takes a hot-air balloon trip over the park, he or she could see from above people moving along the parks corridors to converge at ?destinations'' that interest them. ?Just like on a railway track.''

Plans are afoot to build a hot-air balloon centre besides a pet hotel for condominium buyers. Along with these will be movie lawns and areas for picnics, weddings and other celebrations.

He said by July, besides the Festival Plaza, the South Gardens, East Fields, West Fields and Central Lake - where a camping site and a bird viewing island are located- would be ready.

?The park is half completed,'' said Ng. ?The second phase will include themed and water gardens.''

An interesting feature will be the Koi Centre, a hub where the fishes will be bred and sold. It will also serve as an educational centre for enthusiasts and students.

Ng said the general idea was to bring to indoor activities to the outdoors. ?We may even put sofas in the open.''
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Old June 4th, 2005, 07:17 PM   #13
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4th June 2005

Out of boredom after visiting the very disappointing Property Showcase thing in PWTC I took the STAR LRT to the Sentul station, then walked for about AN HOUR(?) stepping through very scary bushy areas and finally stumbling into the beauty that is KLPAC:





Outdoors there were interesting catwalks leading from the ticketing area to the main 'lobby' - very beautiful at night I would presume.







The shallow pool areas looked quite contemporary, like how art centres should be?







Indoors it looked quite German to me, I don't know why, maybe because it looked pretty Artsy-Foreign-Cold-No-Leaf-Trees etc. Also because of the black/orange colour scheme. Orange chairs, leaflets, etc, with the nice black ceiling, fitted with interesting lamps.





I sneaked into the main theatre, the chairs were all colourful, and there was a rehearsal for a contemporary French circus show



A lot of steel / glass / natural-looking elements. I can't wait to see how it looks like at night lah. Got a lot of listings for performances there now at www.kakiseni.com ...

Must drive la I think, public transport could be fine to get there, but going out need to walk a long way before reaching Jalan Ipoh.

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Old June 4th, 2005, 08:08 PM   #14
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What a TRUELY GORGEOUS building!!! Surely, this is one of the prettiest dedications to moden design in M'sia
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:29 AM   #15
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Fantastic pictures lepainperdu! Thanks! It was an incredible idea to maintain the Sentul railway workshop façade ~ blends very well with the newer architecture.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 08:32 PM   #16
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thanks LP! My type of building
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Old June 6th, 2005, 03:39 AM   #17
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Great find...the place is still under construction right?
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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #18
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some areas are indeed preetty gorgeous congrats! i like how the theatre looks, colourful seats, and french circus
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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZaHiRnYa???
Great find...the place is still under construction right?
yar it seems that most of the theatre halls are in use now, got a workshop looking area that still has construction tools, but it looks more like an art workshop more than anything :]
i didn't go up the highest level - there were people practising, but everything seems set to go actually hm!

outside there was a lake with glassy enclaves at the end of tiny 'jettys' - those seemed very newly-constructed. it looks so interesting actually, please if you have time go and take a look but PLEASE REMEMBER TO DRIVE IN :o
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Old June 7th, 2005, 01:58 AM   #20
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...please if you have time go and take a look but PLEASE REMEMBER TO DRIVE IN :o
thanks for the info..shall remember that
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