The new campus for the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) is an urban oasis on a dense, 26-acre site in the heart of Malaysia’s bustling capital city.
The campus design unifies the institution’s four programs: early years, elementary school, middle school and high school. A curved connecting spine aligned north-south links the teaching blocks and forms a threshold between the school’s secure private world and the city’s public realm.
Public elements are at the center of the campus, with the auditorium, recital hall, gallery, studio theater and elementary school theater arranged around a central open plaza. Classrooms large enough to accommodate a variety of teaching methods face central common spaces. The courtyard is the school’s heart—a place where members of the ISKL community can come together as one and also interact with the broader Kuala Lumpur community.
The design borrows from two aspects of traditional Malaysian architecture to improve thermal comfort: screens and shelter. Existing mature plantings and a screened facade shield the eastern elevation with major openings limited to the northern and southern ends. Naturally ventilated, covered walkways lead to the center of each teaching wing.
The school received the World Wildlife Fund’s Eco-Schools Green Flag award and Malaysia’s Green Building Index Platinum rating for sustainable design. Visible utility meters that are part of the building management system serve as teaching tools, revealing the school’s real-time resource consumption and encouraging students to look for ways to save energy.
HOK collaborated with local partner VERITAS Design.