Urban Melbourne Inspiration Behind $1.2 Billion Malaysian 'Empire'


International developers are increasingly looking to emulate Melbourne's urban renaissance over the past decade.

Inspired by the transformation of Melbourne's streets, lanes and other public spaces, Malaysian developer Mammoth Empire Holdings has hired Melbourne architecture and design practice Hayball to use its local knowledge and skills for the development of its $1.2 billion Empire City project in Kuala Lumpur.

Mammoth’s vision for developing the vibrant and cosmopolitan precinct, the size of which is equivalent to Victoria Harbour in Melbourne’s Docklands, relied on Hayball’s understanding of ‘place making’ and its importance in creating liveable, dynamic and sustainable places.

ALSO SEE: How Placemaking is becoming Indispensable for Developers

Active in place making and precinct masterplanning for more than 30 years, Hayball has developed many feasible urban propositions for complex and sensitive projects, including the design of entire suburbs.

“The fact that the masterplan and architectural intent we prescribed have been upheld throughout the development process is a testament to the integrity of the design and its ability to evoke a true sense of place that is distinctive to Empire City,” said Hayball Managing Director Tom Jordan.

With 12 towers and medium-rise accommodation, Empire City will cater to Kuala Lumpur’s diverse population. From studio apartments to luxury residences with their own plunge pools and private terraces, Hayball’s architectural principles remain evident throughout.

Premium tenants include 5-star hotel chains, Marriott and Ritz Carlton, who have signed lease agreements. Empire City is also a retail destination in its own right with 200,000 square metres dedicated to mid to high-end fashion brands. Lifestyle facilities include an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, 4D cinemas, swimming pool, gymnasium and hospitality venues.

Hayball’s relationship with Mammoth Empire began in 2009. The companies have worked closely to deliver multi-residential towers MY80 (2014) and Empire (under construction) in Melbourne’s CBD, with a future project currently underway. Empire City is its first international venture.

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