Dezeen Magazine

Penang Global City Center by Asymptote

Architects Asymptote have announced Penang Global City Center (PGCC), a large development in northern Malaysia.


The million square metre mixed-use development features two sixty-story towers and is part of the Malaysian government's plans to boost economic growth in the area.


It was unveiled in Penang last week by Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last week.


Image credit: Asymptote: Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture. Here is Asymptote's press release:



PGCC – Design Concept

Asymptote’s design for the PGCC complex is centered on the idea of creating a new and powerful image for the city of Penang and the new initatives associated with the development of the Northern Corridor of Malaysia. The design achieves its elegance and stature through the simultaneous embrace of natural landscapes and contemporary urbanism. The PGCC will become a vital new precinct that complements and enhances the unique characteristics that typify Penang as a remarkable island metropolis. The design of the iconic towers in particular draws inspiration from not only the lushness and drama of the surrounding mountains and seascapes, but also from the rich and diverse cultural heritage that makes up the Malaysian nation and Penang in particular.

The forms of the two towers are comprised of both horizontal and vertical elements: sculpted horizontal components move across the plinth, rise up and transform into articulated vertical structures. Set against the backdrop of the nature reserve of Penang Hill, the twisting, glass façades of the towers “perform” various surface effects—reflecting, refracting and distorting views of Penang, the surrounding landscape and the seascape beyond. The vast, cascading plinth, which functions as a public plaza with multiple gathering spaces, are venues for the performing arts center, convention center and various facilities for residential, office and urban life.

PGCC – Program

The PGCC project is remarkable for its monumental proportions and programmatic diversity as well as its innovative design. The main components of the program include:

Retail Complex: 400,000 sq. m.
Convention Center: 100,000 sq. m.
Penang Performing Arts Center (PenPAC): 75,000 sq. m.
Condominiums: 70,000 sq. m.
Hotel and Service Apartments: 50,000 sq. m.
Offices: 25,000 sq. m.
Observatory: 1,500 sq. m.
Parking: 190,000 sq. m.

Many aspects of the PGCC incorporate the latest in sustainable design and engineering technologies including building-integrated wind turbines; high-performance façade engineering and design with integrated, thin-film photovoltaics; high-efficiency central mechanical systems utilizing trigeneration; comprehensive storm water management and water recycling. The incorporation of these site-wide strategies into Asymptote’s design represents the highest commitment to the creation of energy-efficient and environmentally conscious architecture.