The Food Exchange serves as a catalyst to connect users of TRX, members of the public with the diverse culinary offerings within the Malaysian and South East Asian regional context located at the confluence of Kuala Lumpur’s soon-to-be coveted high-end retail, residential, commercial and financial district.
The proposal for the food court by Studio Bikin address the following key considerations:
1. CREATING A VISIBLE ACCESS AND ATTRACTIVE ENTRY POINT FROM MARKET STREET TO FOOD EXCHANGE BELOW.
This is proposed by, where possible, creating a double volume frontage at the main central entrance from Market Lane and rearranging the elevator and escalator core into the Food Exchange below.
Visitors at the entrance of the Market Lane are able to view the multi-level offerings of the development from one standing point, the view of the cinema media wall directly across, the potential visual merchandising offerings from the retail spaces above and sense the buzz of activity from the food courts below.
Flanking the escalator and elevator core are two connecting bridge-gantries proposed to take those from the Market Lane level directly into the mall retail corridor, giving a glimpse of the exciting dynamics of the Food Exchange from above.
2. BRINGING NATURAL LIGHT AND DRAMA INTO AN OTHERWISE TYPICAL/PREDICTABLE COMMERCIAL FOOD COURT ENCLOSURE
Most food courts are located in the basement levels of retail developments therefore suffer from the lack of light and low ceilings creating a claustrophobic atmosphere, at the Food Exchange, we have proposed a radical move of removing the ground floor plate above the food exchange to create an atrium-like space where installations / visual merchandising / advertising related or/not to the Food Exchange can be suspended from above creating a focal point from the Market Lane and the retail corridor, enhancing the sense of arrival of users arriving from the retail spaces leading up to the Food Exchange. The mall retail corridor at the entrance of the Food Exchange is an important confluence of customers from the MRT, department store and supermarket.
3. PUTTING THE LOCAL IN FAVOUR AND FLAVOUR
The Food Exchange proposal inherits its narrative from the locations of the original foodstalls and foodcarts in Malaysia. Foodstalls are commonly found inhabiting leftover spaces within the city such as under flyovers, squeezed between a tiny lane or overtaking streets and five foot ways that connects the shophouses creating an atmosphere of intimate exchange between the vendor and his customer. The other commonly found location of foodstalls, organic or planned are wet markets within cities around Malaysia where food ‘stations’ are built within the markets as mini restaurants serving customers a fresh bowl of noodles or salad as they shop for their daily goods.
The Food Exchange is divided into two main areas, The Food Arcade that frames the perimeter of the central eatery, and the organically laid out Food Market that serves to invite and tantalise users from the retail spaces below into the folds of the Food Exchange.
The Food Exchange is characterized by its usage of ubiquitous, usually-dismissed food carriers utilized by people of the trade. Materials such as PE crates, galvanised trolleys, tin cans will be used as part of the architectural and interior detailings of the space.
The Food Arcade is framed by a colonnade of prefabricated industrial plastic crates that form an attractive signage and lighting wall.
The double height columns are cladded with layerings of the tin cans typically found in most food stalls, ie condensed milk, sardines, Milo etc to form an homage to Malaysia’s favourite canned goods.
The Food Market feature stalls with detailed vegetation troughs and tree planters to recreate the open-air market experience. The introduction of greenery is an important element to invite and soothe the eyes of the weary shoppers looking for a bite of respite from their retail experience.