Client: IJM Corporation Bhd
Location: Gurney Drive, Penang
Project Theme: Wave of Prosperity
Completion Year: 2008

• Gurney Roundabout, Penang (winner of Small Spaces category: Honour)

The centrepiece of the sculpture was completed in 2008 and has been the landmark of Gurney Drive ever since. The project was a social contribution sponsored by IJM Properties Sdn Bhd.

The sculptural design concept ‘Wave of Prosperity’ with seagulls hovering over undulating stainless steel bars made of the predominant materials was meant to represent prosperity and catalyse the gentrification of the surrounding areas. A sloping waterfall cascading around the circumference of the stepped water feature was inspired by natural elements to subtly explain the concept.

The centrepiece of the sculpture consists of 3 sections with a total diameter of 40 metres and a total height of 9.3 metres. The outer section, closest to the traffic, is a plateau covered with tropical turf and surrounded by shrubs that form a barrier against encroachment. 

The central section is the cascading pebble wash staircase connected by individual flat rubble stone slabs, while it is surrounded by an outer low pebble wall ring bearing the logo of the client IJM.

In the upper section is the concept of the ‘Wave of Prosperity’. A series of 7 stainless steel bars with a diameter of 150 mm form a dynamic wave pattern that transforms into a different pattern at every angle. A flock of 13 seagulls is the successor to our first installation at Jelutong Expressway, demonstrating the sustainability and resilience of the design concept even years later.

The state of Penang is also known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. The spherical design elements are reminiscent of the ‘Pearl’ and convey happiness and a sense of wholeness to the locals.

Seagulls or gulls are resourceful, intelligent and usually very long-lived birds. The ‘Flying Seagull’ hovering over ‘waves’ of undulating stainless steel bars reflects on Penang’s multicultural successes and also on the commitment required to ensure that these successes continue into the foreseeable future.

The spherical design elements or ‘Pearls’ are made of polycarbonate and serve as lighting to illuminate and aesthetically enhance the promenade at night. While the ‘Pearls’ made of stainless steel shine during the day or serve as a light interval together with the ‘Pearls’ made of polycarbonate.

A new landmark that has breathed life into the area is the COD (City of Dreams) project in the background, which we completed in 2020.

COD (City of Dreams) project in the background

From an urban planning perspective, it enlivens the context of George Town and is an important wayfinding signpost to most of Penang’s tourist attractions and business districts. At the same time, it encourages interaction between different communities and raises people’s expectations of a dynamic urban navigation landmark.