The Vertically Cavernous Lobby of YTL Headquarters Spans Over 7 Floors in Height | Malaysia | MOD

Ministry of Design | YTL Headquarters | Malaysia

The Ministry of Design (MOD) has recently completed the interiors of YTL Headquarters- a large Malaysian conglomerate spanning oil & gas, cement, construction, property development and hotels, with more than 1000 staff across 12 departments residing in various offices. This is the first time all key departments are residing under 1 roof, and they wanted MOD to present a unified brand identity for the GF Lobby and Levels 8-10 (cafe, meeting spaces etc). The architectural concept was by KPF architects while the rest of the architectural design was done in-house by YTL. Check out the exclusive interiors of the YTL headquarter at SURFACES REPORTER (SR): 

Previously occupying various offices in different locations, this YTL Headquarters located in Central Kuala Lumpur (along Jalan Bukit Bintang) brings together for the first time, the entire suite of YTL departments, each of which have developed their own culture and operations.

A Future-Forward Design Concept


The design challenge for MOD was how to enhance the majestic quality of the space, yet not dwarf the human scale and provide a welcoming entrance

ytl headquarter

There are 2 main public area zones, the Ground Floor lobby, and 3 upper floors (levels 8-10) which comprises a host of collective meeting zones, and a cafe.

At the Ground Floor, visitors are greeted by a vertically cavernous lobby which spans more than 25-meters in height (7 floors). 

YTL headquarter

As such, the lobby is a study in proportion, light control and a disciplined use of materials. The soaring space has been designed to capture the rays of light in the daytime, and glow like a lantern in the evening. 

YTL headquarter

Design-wise, while MOD wanted to keep the entrance experience entirely symmetrical from the drop-off to the lift car, there was an existing stair core which prevents this symmetry; in response, the firm created a bronze-clad “portal” to anchor the lift portal and draw a visitor’s eyes towards that lift lobby when he enters the main lobby.

YTL headquarter

The lift lobby is accented with the same bronze metal as the main lobby for a consistently disciplined material palette.

A Glittering Art Installation

An art installation by Studio Sawada hovers like a cloud over a series of pavilion niches, which provide a sense of human scale in this vast space. 

YTL headquarter


MOD designed the seating areas as architectural pavilion niches rather than mere decorative benches. These seating areas provide iconic Barcelona Couches for visitors to sit on and admire the lobby’s majestic cavernous quality, and the pavilion niches are also designed in the same restrained material palette, featuring bronze bead blast metal trims for consistency.

featuring bronze bead blast

After a visitor signs in at the reception desk and proceeds past the turnstiles, they would indicate the destination floor number at the lift call button area before entering the lift lobby (incorporating a “destination-dispatching” elevator system). 

Myraid of Meeting Spaces

YTL headquarter

MOD has created a myriad of meeting spaces. Levels 8 to 10 comprise a café, multiple types of open & closed meeting spaces and a 122-pax function room.

These spaces range from casual communal tables, open discussion areas, hot-desk / banquette seating / booth seating areas, to semi-enclosed meeting rooms, acoustically private rooms, a VIP room and a large multi-function meeting area that can seat 122 persons. 

The upper-level meeting zones have been conceptualised to be the point of interface between YTL staff and external visitors/consultants. 

A Void and A c

Spiral Stair To Introduce Connectivity

MOD introduced a void and a feature spiral stair, designing an arresting and dynamic cage-like stair with vertical rods made of powder- coated bronze metal, sitting on a bed of black gravel.

YTL headquarter

This is to introduce connectivity between level 8 and 9. A visitor is meant to feel a sense of timeless elegance and beautifully crafted materiality whilst climbing the stair, with one hand on the elegant leather handrails.

A Warm and Elegant Palette and Furnishings

Ranging from casual cafe style tables, semi-enclosed rooms, acoustically private rooms and large multi-function conference rooms, the spaces are designed with a warm and sophisticated palette, with bronze powder coated metal, warm oak timber, handsome grey granite, silver mink marble flooring and tactile leather furniture and black powder-coated metal trims for lighting fixtures.

Grey Granite Café Counter 


The tables feature either striking black Nero Marquina marble or elegant white Calacatta marble. The enclosed meeting rooms feature handsome carpet flooring from the Net Effect Collection, elegant brown leather chairs and timber tables.

Grey Granite Café Counter 

MOD designed the marble-clad columns such that its rhythm is denser and more grounded at the bottom, yet getting lighter towards the top, giving the impression of ascending lightness. 

They inserted horizontal striations and ridges using bronze accents, in the continuing pattern of white Bugatsa Marble, to provide visual relief rather than a continuous ascension to the top. 

Grey Granite Café Counter 

The café, banquette and booth seating are upholstered in German-based innovative fabric from Saum & Viebahn whose “magic” range features high quality fabrics built for high-usage and easy maintenance. 

Grey Granite Café Counter 

Grey Granite Café Counter 

The “heart” of L8 is the handsome grey granite café counter with bronze shelves and oak timber ceilings and walls.

Serving up freshly baked confectionary as well as aromatic espressos, this café counter is designed with a rough-edged split-face granite on its vertical surfaces and a smooth black sesame polished granite for the horizontal counter.

Project Details

Project Name: YTL Headquarters
Location: Kuala lumpur, Malaysia
Architect: Ministry of Design
Built area: 3,045 sqm
Year: 2020
Photography:David Yeow

Project Credits:

Ministry of Design: Colin Seah, Joyce Low, Ruth Chong, Kevin Leong , Damien Saive, Namrata Mehta, Fai Suvisith, Justin Lu, Zhang Hang, Maggie Lek, Kaye Mojica, Richard Herman, Rais Rahman, Tasminah Ali, Azilawanti Wati, Faiz Jasni

About Ministry of Design

Ministry of Design is an integrated architectural, interior design and branding firm that has won Singapore’s President Design Award twice, New York’s Gold Key Award thrice, and named “Designer of the Year” by International Design Awards (USA), and been featured in Wallpaper, Frame and Surface.

*Text and Image Courtesy: Ministry of Design

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