I remember one night at a junction in Sentul, when a friend and I were waiting for the traffic lights to turn green. Suddenly, her excited shrieks filled the car, not because she had seen a ghost crossing the road.
My dear friend had caught sight of a herd of cows chilling out by the roadside, in front of the construction site of the then YTL’s newest project in Sentul – a ‘crooked building’ called The Capers that was set to transform the Sentul skyline.
Eleven years ago, YTL unveiled its Sentul master plan, a grand redesign of a corner of KL then better known for gangsters, motor workshops and railway quarters. YTL called it an urban renewal project, with the railway line demarcating Sentul into two parts – Sentul East – the vibrant and colourful side, and Sentul West – modelled after London’s St. James Park development, with a posh English garden anchoring it.
A year later, its first condo was launched in Sentul East – The Tamarind. As Sentul still had its ‘reputation’ you could get a unit for as low as RM200,000. Fast forward to 2011, when The Capers was launched at a minimum price of RM800,000. Now we wait with bated breath for The Fennel. RM1 million, anyone?
While the promised hypermarket and skywalk is nowhere in sight (a bridge linking the commercial blocks of d6 and d7 don’t count) and cars continue to crash into the hoarding opposite The Saffronand endangering pedestrians walking to the train station, the redesign of Sentul is slowly taking shape.
Even though Tamarind and Saffron stuck out from the Sentul landscape when they were first built, they would still look at home in other condo developments. d7 and d6 however, are a stark contrast to the rest of Jalan Sentul.
If you enter this road from the Jalan Ipoh police station (the two-storey building torn down and rebuilt into a complex, complete with a multi-level car park), you will pass greasy motor workshops (with kapcais lined up in e bam!h The landscape changes with d6 and d7.
The facade is all concrete and steel, with lines and angles setting the tone for minimalist architecture. It’s a place you will feel at home in if your shopping list includes Bofi kitchens, Herman Miller chairs and Smeg fridges.
I have yet to walk into d6, but as the The Royal Photographic Showcase is currently taking place at d7, I’ve taken a closer look at it.
The showcase is open on weekends until 28 July. Go on Sundays when there are events. For the talks, drop by half an hour earlier. I was 15 minutes early for one session yet it had started when I got there.
For more pictures Sentul’s modern architecture, jump to my post on the Sentul railway station.