‘Protecting’ Encore Melaka Theatre with Mapei waterproofing systems

Overlooking the Strait of Malacca, the Encore Melaka Theatre is Malaysia’s new landmark featuring both a contemporary and an avant-garde design. The project is part of a wider development programme known as Impression City Melaka which, in the coming years, will see the construction of hotels, residences, shopping and business centres, schools, and wellness facilities.

The new theatre shows performances of Impression & Encore Series, an avant-garde production that recounts the history of the city over the centuries, with stories of the first travellers, indigenous settlements and inter-cultural encounters through the medium of song and dance.

Occupying over 60,000 sq m of site area, the Encore Melaka Theatre has a capacity of more than 20,000. Construction work started in 2016 and it was completed in 2018. Main contractor on the project was CCC Construction Sdn Bhd.

The project was designed by architect Wang Ge from the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, who aims to promote the multi-ethnicity and cultural wealth that has been a main attribute of Malacca for many centuries. He has achieved this by creating a structure that may appear to be quite simple on the surface - with facades covered entirely with white porcelain tiles - but is sophisticated in terms of construction technology.

The theatre is equipped with a cutting-edge technology, incorporating a complex hydraulics system to raise and lower platforms built into the stage, a high-tech audio system, a 3D mapping projection equipment and a spectacular platform that can rotate 360 degrees. This platform is reportedly the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, which allows the entire auditorium to rotate automatically during a show, thereby giving a different perspective of the stage.

There are LED panels that illuminate the building at night. The internal spaces, as well as the foyer where spectators are welcomed, are characterised by blue and white colours - which are seen as a symbol of purity and eternity.

Waterproofing solutions

The main contractor needed to waterproof a number of areas in the building, including flat surfaces, lift shafts, bearing walls, pump room, storage tanks, balconies, corridors, bathrooms and kitchens, as well as some sections of the stage. For this reason, the company commissioned Monarch CC Sdn Bhd to carry out the waterproofing work, with the help of Mapei waterproofing products.

For the bearing walls and lift shafts, covering a total area of 600 sq m, Mapelastic Foundation was used - a two-component cementitious mortar specifically developed for concrete retaining walls. The system was applied in two coats with a roller to form a layer at least 2 mm thick.

To waterproof the rainwater collection tank, the pump room, the storage tank for the spray-mist and the storage tank located on the stage (covering a total area of 620 sq m), Mapei supplied its Mapelastic two-component cementitious mortar. This product can remain flexible at very low temperatures (up to -20°C) and protects the surface of concrete from CO2 penetration (carbonation) for more than 50 years. It is resistant to UV rays and CE-certified in compliance with EN 1504-2 and EN 14891 standards. It is also compatible with ceramic, mosaic and natural stone coverings and certified EC1 R Plus by GEV.

For the floor surfaces on the stage and in the corridors - featuring a total area of 8,820 sq m - Mapei Plastimul PU waterproofing membrane was chosen. In the bathrooms, showers, kitchens and areas with the air-conditioning system, the surfaces were treated with Mapei Planiseal 288 two-component cementitious mortar; this product can also be used for waterproofing underground structures, storage tanks and concrete structures in general.

The concrete road surfaces in the carpark and in the loading bays - about 12,000 sq m of area - were treated with Mapei Mapetop SP (natural colour). This surface hardener is used to make both internal and external concrete surfaces more abrasion-resistant when they are subjected to harsh conditions, such as a high level of traffic.

(The article courtesy of Realta Mapei International no. 77)