Human life is a construct of expressions, as a means for the human soul to manifest in tangible means, and it is of human nature to utilise tools to enable themselves to express. Limbs act as tools for movement and creation, the mind acts as a tool to formulate opinions and values, and artefacts of human craft has always been evident throughout centuries.

The force of nature in the formation of healthy and habitable spaces is undisputed. It is also an expressive force by nature, being repetitive enough to be predictable and yet volatile enough to be unpredictable. Vines and shrubs are persistent to occupy space in the absence of human presence.

The assigned site is located in between Taman Ehsan, a calm and matured suburb located in Kepong, Selangor, and Kepong Botanical Gardens, belonging to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia, which lies at the foot of the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve. The site hereby presents a dichotomy between the built and orderly neighbourhood, alongside the untamed forest.

This project acts as an enquiry into the middle ground where these two expressive forces meet; and the investigation into the creation of a mutually beneficial space for both entities through the notion of expression. The term "expression" is defined as "the action of making known (one's thoughts and feelings), which was then translated into a three-step process of manifestation and progression, whereby it first initiates with expression as the root that initiates, a reflection of a desire and an ability. This root grows into an imprint, that is, the manifestation of an expression in the creation of an object. The imprint, with time, becomes a memory as the imprint develops a narrative driven by time, fostering attachment.

It was through the aforementioned three-step process whereby the intent was formed around the design of space which enabled nature to express itself - which in turn allowed humans to express themselves through nature.


Location: Kepong Botanical Garden (FRIM), Kepong, Selangor, Malaysia.
Floor area: 900sqm
Usage of building: Wellness Center PLUS, a communal health and recreational facility
Programme: Information centre, kitchen, cafe, sensorial garden, steeping station, grinding station, crafting and coworking spaces, drying station, pressing station, library, community gardening spaces, multipurpose open-air community event space.

Author: Daryln Sia
Supervised by: Nazmi Anuar, Hazazi Hamzah
Institution: Taylor's University, Malaysia


Daryln Sia