Project / Wisma Perkasa, Kuala Lumpur
Task / Wayfinding & Signage
Client / Rohas
Year/ late-90s


WHW Legacy Project

Wisma Perkasa is an early landmark signage project which has been published in many international design journals.

Wisma Perkasa (now known as Rohas Perkasa) was one of Malaysia’s first ‘smart building’ in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The wayfinding and signage requirements were quite standard. The building had a small outdoor space which landscape architect, Seksan Design, transformed into a tropical garden.

Our team wanted to build a strong identity for the brand and designed a signage system based on the concept ‘Technology + Nature’, reflecting the building’s intelligent systems and its surrounding garden.

Wisma Perkasa was one of the company’s earliest, if not the first realised signage project. On hindsight, it appears that clients were more receptive of experimental forms in those days, no doubt invigorated by the country’s heady economic boom of the mid-90s.

whw_Rohas_Parking Sign.jpg
whw_Rohas_Keluar Sign.jpg
We faced some difficulty sourcing for a supplier to produce our sculptural outdoor signs. Finally, Signtech invested in the project by bringing in a million ringgit machine (as I was told) to twist the large structure. Signage technology then was not as sophisticated as it is today.
— William Harald-Wong
I faced obstacles nearly every step of the way when it came to the production of the outdoor signs. Everyone I spoke to told me that our design could not be produced. It didn’t help that the industry was ‘so macho’! But I insisted it can be done, and was very happy when Signtech decided to invest in the project.
— Jesse Wong, Designer, WHW & Associates
Sign_Rohas_Street Lights.jpg
Sign_Rohas_Floating Ball.jpg

This project was among the company’s earliest contacts with landscape architects and artists. Though the work by Seksan Design (street lamps and floating ball of leaves) was done independently—it wasn't a true collaboration—both companies were working towards the same vision and goal.

whw_Rohas_Floor Direction.jpg

Our team interpreted the ‘Technology + Nature’ theme for the interior signs and directory board through an aluminium ‘foliage’—I think my lead designer, Clarissa Biolchini, may have been inspired by a cookie cutter.

During this period, our studio was located at Jalan Kemuning, off Jalan Imbi. Each day, I drive past old Kemuning trees in the area. It was then that I realised that most Malaysians did not recognise our local trees.
— William Harald-Wong

The building’s car park levels were differentiated by the names of local trees. This connection with nature was later proposed as a positioning to promote the company’s green values.