Press Index



Malaysia Chic | December 2008

The Edge | Opinion | 27th Feb 2006

Harper's Bazaar | August 2006

TRENDS Magazine | September 2006

New Asia Bars + Restaurants | design book | coming soon

Faces | Sept 2006 | Issue 70

Metro | M40 Food | 11th August 2006

Corporate Journey Magazine | September 2006

Le Prestige | June 2006

Star | September 23rd 2006






TRENDS | Design

September 2006

Text :

Charles Moxham


Photos copyright sevenatenine | untold

O  P  E  N     E  X  P  R  E  S  S  I  O  N     

The new Sevenatenine restaurant and bar in the heart of Kuala Lumpur offers fine dining in quirky, informal surroundings - design elements capture the eye at every turn

In any city it's easy to spot the latest hip nightclub - the energy of the crowd can be felt from the street. A dynamic crowd and vibrant environment are a venue's best advertisement. But on a constrained urban site, finding the room to create such a space may mean moving beyond traditional ideas of walls and boundaries.

This was the approach taken when architect Ed Poole was asked to create Sevenatenine over the top of an existing dining premises. Opening up to the environment was particularly appropriate here, with the venue sitting on one of the most sought after addresses in the Malaysian capital. Poole explains aspects of the design and some interesting features that have helped Sevenatenine capture the well-heeled public's imagination.

"The client wanted a restaurant and bar with a level of food that approaches fine dining, but without the formality, with a capacity of around 200 seats. Former operations in the same space didn't work, possibly because it wasn't big enough to feel happening.".

"We started by placing a central island bar on the ground floor. As the plan took shape, there was no way to fit this within the restricted existing glass enclosure, so we removed the building's facade and fully surrounded the property with a 2.45m high wall of glass." says Poole. "This created a micro-climate on the ground floor, trapping the air conditioning in - existing eight-meter tall trees block the hot sun and wind from entering the site."

To further tame the heat of Kuala Lumpur in the opened-up venue, standard solutions like air curtains, ceiling fans and non-drip air vents were employed.

LED lights trapped in resin help this ice bar appear to live up to its name. The reflexology chairs provide another of Sevenatenine's many points of difference. They mould to patron's shape when in use.



Sevenatenine, created by Poole Associates offers a restaurant and bar environment with a difference. The open-air venue was achieved by dramatically altering the space it now occupies. The nearby Petronas Towers provide evidence of the central city location.

Adding to Sevenatenine's capacity and sense of drama, Poole used the existing buildings columns to support a new mezzanine that pushed out directly from the building frontage - this means the existing glass facade was removed from  the second floor as well. The overall result was a radical alteration to the inner-city building.

"After several weeks of visiting the site, we noticed there was a problem with occasional falling objects, such as a child's toy, from the tower block residences above," says the architect. We added a giant tempered glass roof over as much of the alfresco and mezzanine areas as was structurally practical, eventually covering about 80% of the site."

This massive glass protrusion provided protection for diners from both falling objects and the rain. It also served as a sound buffer to the venue's music and hubbub for surrounding apartment buildings.

In terms of layout and functionality, the kitchen's position was restricted to being on the ground floor, again, partially due to space constraints - a Tapas style of food service was introduced for casual dining at this level, with more serious private dining catered to on the mezzanine floor overhead.

Restaurant tables echo the feel of the ice counters, while tall panels of LED lights provide a beckoning element as seen from adjacent streets.

A separate Private Dining room was created with a fully air conditioned space at the upper level that could also be used as a private dance floor for events. This contains a private bar, tucked behind operable doors.

"Leather wall surfaces and leather chairs in the same tone and texture were chosen for this room, to give the space a cozy, club feel and contrast with the more open and light finishes on the floor below."

On Sevenatenine's interiors, material contrast was an important factor generally. Elements include bleachable white fabric for the sofas, matched with other white elements in fibreglass and polypropylene. The timbers were treated with a lime-wash to introduce a beach-side feel appropriate to the open-air feel. The architect used 400 year old railway sleepers for the flooring, with each sleeper cut in a trapezoid shape to fan around the site. This introduced a subtle Asian quality to the venue.

"As the project was 80% alfresco, we wanted cooling visual effects and so we created a bar that llooked like a giant block of melting ice. This is made from crackled resin, with inset blue LED lighting providing a cool contrast to the rich dark flooring.

In the toilet area, the architect introduced thousands of hand-ground cut glass elements, adding asparkle when the lighting catches them, the overall effect is of a dazzeling, eye-catching 1970's disco feature.

The bar and restaurants open-to-air design allows potential customers to look in, as well as dining patrons to feel part of the close-at-hand city buzz.

"Tall LED panels with sheet covers, were introduced partly as an eye catching element that could be seen from the street." says Poole. "As the LEDs can change to any of 16 million colors, the feature has a very strong impact on the mood of the space."

A sense of excitement pervades Sevenatenine's interior and this is partly due to the sheer diversity of elements within the space - right down to pampering seating options customized by the architect.

The open plan design provides several vistas through the space to features in other areas.

The Accupunto reflexology seating was sourced by Poole at a Jakarta Trade Fair. These chairs temporarily meld to their occupants for consummate relaxation. However, Poole customized some aspects to suit the up-market setting. The original bar stool design, for example, had a low steel frame back but more comfort was added to the back of the chair.

A large white sculptural element on the stairs, a little like a series of connected cones, plays with light and shadow and creates another point of dramatic interest. A similar 3d surface is found in black on the toilet doors. Little mirrors were attached for a touch of sparkle.

"Seen from the street, with its glittering LED wall panels, glass overhangs and glass filaments catching the light, Sevenatenine has all the space, coolness and sparkle of an inviting ice cave, found in a dessert of heat, movement and urban crush," Poole says.




The Ascott Kuala Lumpur

9 Jalan Pinang, KL

noon till 1:am Mon-Sat | closed Sundays

Reservations : 603 | 2161 | 7789

Office : 603 | 2162 | 7789

Fax : 603 | 2163 | 7789