Painting, Drawing, then Building(s)

Architecture is one element that we cannot escape from in our daily lives. Whether it is traditional or modern – depending on one’s taste.

For traditionally spawned architecture, it may take days and even maybe years to complete should it be an extraordinary structure since they did not have the technology then. Take the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt for an example. Serving as a tomb to the Egyptian Pharaohs, the Pyramids were built over a total time of between 10 and 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. Standing at a height of 146.5 metres and is one of the wonders of the world, they were built by dragging and lifting all building material into place.

Fast forward to our era and we have all the upscale equipment and tools to do anything we require. However, before building, we need design and to design, we need architects. For Matthew Gaal, long before he became an architect, he was interested in all things art and design. He loved painting and drawing during pass times and the most wanted toy for him; Lego! As with design and art, he was also interested in Mathematics and Science. Pursuing Advanced Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Art was the perfect next step for his tertiary education.

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Matthew Gaal, Director of Development for South East Asia, Woods Bagot

If you didn’t know already, Matthew has extensive experience as Project Director for many successful projects all over the world. Among them are the Nakheel Tower, MSWC Tower, KLCC Traders Hotel and so on.

Recently, bringing a big name to our local architecture scene was added to his resume. Currently the Director of Development for South East Asia, Woods Bagot, Matthew also had set up a new studio in Kuala Lumpur. Recent project wins in KL are keeping him and his team busy on both Architectural and Interior Design projects.

Kuala Lumpur is at the nexus point for South East Asia, Woods Bagot feels that a studio here increases our footprint in the region and further bolsters our local capabilities. It also enables us to assist clients locally who have projects internationally where our other studios are.

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Greeting as you arrive at Woods Bagot, Kuala Lumpur.
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Ground floor; cozy and comfortable.
The Workshop
Upstairs (Level 1), Woods Bagot, Kuala Lumpur.

Woods Bagot’s vision for the studio is that it will be a Global Design Studio that functions and operates like any other studio of Woods Bagot around the world – expanding and contracting to suit the demands of projects and client needs. It provides world-class design solutions by eliminating the inconvenience of geography and time zones. Adding to their profile that is still in discussion is a very prime project. I don’t know about you but it’s all eyes on them from now on for me.

With 17 studios and over 1,000 staff, Woods Bagot is responsible for many renowned projects all around the world including the National Australia Bank Headquarters in Melbourne, Chongqing Tower in China, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide, Ham Yard Hotel, London and many others.

Projects by Woods Bagot

His advice to aspiring architects is to be brave.

“Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and put your ideas out there. No idea is a bad idea. Don’t be scared to venture out into parts unknown and explore the world. Architecture is an intrinsic part of life. Getting out there and experiencing everything the world has to offer and immersing yourself in it will not only make your life richer, but give you amazing experience to draw on when you are designing.”

*For more information on Woods Bagot and their projects, log on to http://www.woodsbagot.com /

Photos: WOODS BAGOT

Esther Chin

Thalassophilian. Wanderluster. Lovable ice cream monster. Martial arts newbie.

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