Situated in Kuala Rompin – a quiet coastal town facing the South China Sea about 400km southeast from Kuala Lumpur – this new hostel complex for teenage athletes offers 120 bed spaces and communal facilities spread over a floor area of approximately 3000m² within a very tight budget. Rather than design a large single building with institutional overtones which would look out of place in a small town like Kuala Rompin, the program is divided into a series of elongated low-lying mass, connected in their materiality and facade treatment.
There are 3 separate blocks, each organised according to function and arranged around a large central courtyard. The courtyard is open on one side to the main road allowing views of the whole development which gives it a gentle civic presence. This central courtyard also becomes the heart of the development with all rooms facing onto it. Trellised walkways connect the different blocks and are used often as midday heat and afternoon downpour are the norm here. In the communal block, the walkway along the facade helps soften the transition between the inside and outside.
The individual rooms are compactly and economically planned in 2-bed and 4-bed units. They are open-planned, but configured in a way that offers some sense of privacy and ownership. Each boarder has a nook in which their beds and study table are placed. Low walls of handrail height are employed to further enhance the sense of personal space.
Completion: Nov 2011
Location: Rompin, Pahang, Malaysia
Building in a hot humid climate with a very small budget can prove to be challenging as the aim is to keep the building cool at most times without resorting to expensive mechanical installations. Here, efforts are concentrated in the sectional design and on passive cooling methods to ensure that air can move around and escape up the highest point of the building. These efforts are perhaps most evident in the dormitory blocks. The corridors of the double-banked room arrangement tend to be dark and will be prone to overheating if left unventilated. To counter this problem, the roof above the corridor is raised and clerestorey glass louvers introduced along its whole length, allowing natural light to percolate through and hot air to escape. Further to this, void openings punched in the first floor corridor slab at intervals help air to move from ground floor up and above to the top of roof by stack ventilation.