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Maintenant ou Jamais
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Star Residences, Kuala Lumpur
One of Veritas’ longest-running projects to date is Star Residences in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, KL. The project comprises a 57-storey tower and two 58-storey towers of serviced apartments with a total 1,521 units. The project is part of Star Development, which also comprises five units of 6-storey retail lots called Star Boulevard. The 4.2-acre project has a gross development value of RM2.2 billion.

Veritas was awarded the job in 2002 by Alpine Return Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between Bolton Bhd (now known as Symphony Life Bhd ( Financial Dashboard)) and United Malayan Land Bhd ( Financial Dashboard). However, over the years, the project saw many changes in its stakeholders — Singapore’s CapitaLand Ltd (Financial Dashboard) once held a stake in Alpine Return and Symphony Life executive chairman Tan Sri Azman Yahya has emerged as a major shareholder in the company — and each of them insisted on reviewing the project due to market changes and design preferences, says David.

In addition to reviewing the designs, the new stakeholders also held international design competitions. “We have been through four of these [competitions]. There were at least 30 different designs for this site!” says David.

“It’s been exciting because in a way, the result is a success story. We competed against Zaha Hadid Architects, Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd … you name them! So yeah, we are very proud to say that a Malaysian company competed against international firms four times and we came out on top.”

Over the years, the plot ratio for the site has risen to 12 from eight in 2002, which enables the developer to have three towers instead of two.

Star Residences is also one of the more ambitious projects on the primary market. The developer is confident that it will do well despite the slowdown, says David.

“To show you how confident they are: they were advised to build a tower at a time, but they said no, and awarded the construction of all three towers to Samsung C&T Corp,” he adds.

The first tower, comprising 557 serviced apartments, has been 80% sold since its launch in January last year. The next tower will be unveiled in 3Q2015. The units of the first tower were sold for RM1,600 psf on average. The indicative prices of the units of the second tower are between RM2,000 and RM2,100 psf.

According to Veritas’ design brief, the development is designed to “reshape and create a new character in the urban fabric responding to the neighbourhood”.

Apart from placing the shops on a “grand walk of fame” along the main road to enhance the public’s experience of the urban landscape, the design incorporates urban courtyards to boost retail activities and create “urban nodes and landmarks” that connect the project’s components.

“To encourage tourism and with the support of the government, Star Residences will introduce the Walk of Fame that will stretch over 200m from the intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Yap Kwan Seng to the perimeter of Star Development,” it says.

Meanwhile, the serviced apartment blocks are positioned to provide good views of the KLCC and fit into the triangular site.

The entire development’s façade has a meteor shower pattern that will be created with textured metal and tinted glass. “The geometry of the towers allows the architecture to playfully respond to the changing hours by creating different shadows patterns throughout the day,” Veritas says.

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