Alor Setar, Kedah Client : Bukhari Realty Sdn Bhd Year of completion : 2012 Award : Decorative Concrete Council Concrete Artistry - Over 5,000SF, 1st Place (2019)

The Albukhary International University is located in Alor Setar, Kedah, the second most northern state on the peninsula. The university is sprawled over reclaimed padi fields next to an equally beautiful mosque where some 15 years ago, the driveway was installed with Bomanite.  The Moorish architecture consisting of Islamic elements created a serene yet stately environment to reflect a model of Islamic academic excellence of intercultural and global dimensions.  It is indeed the pride of the Muslim community. 

Elegant fountain courtyards of exposed aggregate using a special design mix of black and golden brown pebbles surround the coping of the fountain structure and complement the borders of the walkways stamped with Slate texture. The quality and skilful craftsmanship are reflected in the intricate mosaic patterns presented themselves into works of art.  

Hostel courtyards were paved with exposed aggregate using granolithic chippings with saw cut joints and timber grouted joints to form linear details of the geometric pattern. The varying shades of grey for were various mixes of grey, white and black chippings.  Reinforced concrete benches were professionally cast in honed sandscape using sand integral color.

The featured pavings are stylized versions of the ‘star’ decorative detail of the buildings’ Islamic form. At the underpass, precision formwork was a requisite to install feature panels, ramps and aprons in their appointed colour hardeners. Well-executed saw cuts gave the majestic Star its cutting edge!

Due to poor structural installation and defective water-proofing of the courtyard, the entire basement car park was always flooded and rendered unserviceable whenever it rained. The exposed aggregate and tile work were crazed and cracked .. in short, a bad job done by some other contractor.  The owners consulted with our team and eventually agreed that the best and most economic solution for the long run was to remove and replace the defective installations.  

It was a tremendous challenge that required perfectly engineered coordination in close concert with the mechanical/electrical, plumbing and waterproofing trades involved in the step-by-step demolishing, rectifying and restoration works.  To date, there has been no report of flooding in the basement car park.  

Our exposed aggregate system was carefully installed over a special waterproofing membrane.  The punctilious precision in the grid layout design for the courtyard’s composite flatwork of pebblewash and grouted 4X4 inch black or gray lava tile, demanded detailing skills and care to achieve perfect alignment over such a very large area.  

Together with the piece-by-piece custom re-built and artistic water features inlaid with turquoise, white and yellow mosaic floor and wall inserts, the team stepped up to the challenge and created another testament combining the strength and beauty of concrete.