Northern Seafront Public Promenade
George Town, Malaysia
Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

Established in 2015, the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC) is a tripartite partnership between the Penang State Government’s Chief Minister’s Incorporated (CMI), Think City and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Awareness of the role of culture and cultural heritage is at the heart of the approach of the initiatives in PenangThese initiatives aim to provide state-of-the-art solutions to the rehabilitation of public open spaces and restoration and adaptive re-use of historic structures within the World Heritage Site. . This is based on the belief that investment in cultural assets can provide a springboard for socio-economic development. The introduction of advanced conservation and traditional construction skills has in fact been a critically important aspect of the Penang programme pursued through training and practical on-site experience aimed at employment generation and at the enhancement of local skills.

The Seafront project focused on the re-organization of the North Seafront, the largest public space in George Town, with the rehabilitation/reconstruction of the historic seawall and the establishment of an enlarged public promenade.

The Seawall and promenade had reached a critical condition in 2017. An in-depth dilapidation survey revealed poorly repaired wall patches, missing masonry, and extensive cavities along the entire length of the Seawall. These had undermined toe protection and determined the collapse of parts of the structure. The construction approach was carefully selected to reflect the materials and structural principles of the original construction. A particular structural system was chosen to match the materials and principles of the old construction in order to harmonize the character of the new structure with the requirements of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the new mass gravity wall emulates the original construction, it also takes advantage of state-of-the-art building material enhancements to ensure high performance and longevity for the new structure.

Ultimately, the project demonstrates the potential and positive impact of a culture-based approach towards the sustainable socio-economic development of the town’s heritage and the enhancement George Town’s premiere public open space.

Seafront Esplanade, George Town, Malaysia
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Associated Names
Completion 14 May 2022
Commencement 27 August 2020
570 meters in length
Building Usages
open/public space
urban design and development
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