Grant Associates harnesses the healing power of nature at mixed-use Malaysia project

A high-end, mixed-use development that forms part of a new urban township called Medini in Iskandar, Malaysia, is nearing completion.

The flagship scheme for Medini features over two hectares of green space designed by UK and Singapore based Grant Associates and aims to promote residents’ and visitors’ wellbeing through therapeutic horticulture.

Envisaged by developer Pulau Indah Ventures to offer an oasis of urban wellness, Afiniti covers a total area of 1.9 hectares and comprises five zones; serviced apartments, residential units, a wellness centre, corporate training centre and wellness-themed retail.

Afiniti, with architecture designed by Kuala Lumpar based aQidea Architects, is a key project in the ongoing development of Medini, a township spanning 9.2 sq km that has been earmarked to become the Central Business District of Nusajaya in the southern economic zone of Iskandar, Malaysia.

The Oasis­

All of Afiniti’s zones are distinct, with each converging on a shared green podium courtyard which sits upon the development’s three storey basement car park. Designed and delivered by the Singapore office of Grant Associates, The Oasis is a three dimensional green space with landscape features on multiple levels including a central ravine, colonnade, water walls and overhead walkways.

The Oasis aims to provide a welcoming retreat where people with varying backgrounds can enhance their emotion and physical wellbeing by immersing themselves in nature.

Landscape concept – ‘The Healing Power of Nature’

Grant Associates took the structure and physiology of a fruiting tree as its inspiration for The Oasis. In this concept, the garden takes root and grows in harmony with the architecture. Shoots and stems (paths and linking walkways) create a three dimensional network across the space where fruits and pods (individual gardens) occur at key nodes. These nodes provide protective spaces for seeds and flowers (art, play and water features).

The key theme of multi-layered green space continues into the five zones in the form of sky-rise, rooftop gardens and vertical planting. The planting palette uses many indigenous species to Malaysia and South East Asia that allow the gardens to be rooted in the ecological and local context. Plant species traditionally related to healing have been incorporated throughout the scheme.

The overall aim of the landscape concept is to interweave nature into the built environment, emphasise the interconnectedness of all life forms and enable people to experience the healing power of nature.

Afiniti’s completion marks an important milestone in the development of Medini, which was created in 2008 with a focus on sustainability and ‘future living’.

Carly Lamb, Senior Associate at Grant Associates, commented:

“Afiniti’s landscape concept is a fundamental part of the identity of this key scheme for Medini, which centres on the theme of wellbeing.

“Every aspect of the landscape aims to enhance residents and visitors’ sense of wellness and, furthermore, inspire the imagination and excite the five senses.

“The scheme offers a range of experiences from adventure and discovery to therapeutic areas of reflection and calm. Social experiences are also provided for in the form of barbeque areas, play areas and places to sit together and enjoy the surrounding, natural lushness.

“This project is significant as it demonstrates the possibilities of creating unique and characterful spaces whilst dealing with the associated complexity of establishing a landscape upon a podium structure.

“More broadly, the completion of Afiniti helps to further establish this area’s identity as a place that values corporate, personal and environmental wellbeing.”