Celebrating the diversity of Malaysian architecture
Malaysia’s growth in property development over the years has created opportunities for local architects to stretch their imagination, producing quality work that is transforming the country’s skyline.
This year’s Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) Awards saw 121 entries vying for recognition in 10 categories: single residential; multiple residential-low rise; multiple residential-high rise; overseas; adaptive re-use; industrial; commercial; interior design; showroom; and special.
Overall, there were five gold award winners, five silver award winners and six recipients of commendations.
“This year’s submissions showed a clear consideration for sustainability,” says PAM president Saifuddin Ahmad.
“For example, in some categories, designs showed modern architecture mixed with passive design elements.”
However, compared with last year, there was a drop in submissions. “The drop in submissions was due to the shorter deadline for entries,” Saifuddin explains. “But I anticipate that we will see more entries next year.”
In terms of the local architectural landscape, Saifuddin sees a broadening of ideas. “Overall, there is a lot of improvement with a balance of international and local works in the city,” he remarks.
The annual PAM Awards honour architects, clients/owners and builders/contractors who pursue architectural design excellence to promote the advancement of quality built environment that has a beneficial social, physical and cultural impact on Malaysia as well as recognise the diversity of Malaysian architecture.
“The projects are adjudicated by eminent representatives of the architecture and design fraternity, including one each from PAM, the architectural academic and design fraternities, and an eminent Malaysian architect and an eminent international architect,” says Saifuddin.
The convener of the awards was See Kim Piow while the five jurors were Saifuddin, Associate Professor Ramli Abdullah of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying; Michael Goh, president of wREGA (Graphic Design Association of Malaysia); Professor George Kunihiro of the Department of Architecture at Kokushikan University, Japan, and president of ARCASIA 2011-12; and Teo Ah Khing of Teo A. Khing Design Consultants Sdn Bhd. The awards ceremony was held on June 8 at PAM’s annual dinner.
There were two gold award winners this year, one of which went to House 484, designed by Design Collective Architects in association with Essential Design Integrated Sdn Bhd for interior design. The house is balanced on the edge of a 65ft slope and designed as a cantilevered structure that extends out from the grounds. The jurors described the house as one that displays “wit and ability in the adaptation and execution of seemingly ‘universal’ design topology”.
The other gold award went to a holiday home in Janda Baik, Pahang, by AsSaffa Design Practice that sits on 20 acres and used plenty of wood for a rustic luxe abode. Christened Retreat House on Lot 8583, it impressed the jurors with its design. They commented that the architect had “successfully read the site context, with faithful execution of blending the traditional Malaysian architecture, echoing the message of sustainability”.
Multiple residential-low rise
There were no winners in this category, although two projects were short-listed — Archicentre Sdn Bhd’s The Rainforest Villa in Shah Alam’s Section U13 and GDP Architects Sdn Bhd’s Villas By the Sea/“Martinique”.
Multiple residential-high rise
A gold award went to yhsA Sdn Bhd’s Kiara 1888 in Mont’Kiara, which was described as “a much-thought-out solution to a complex challenge with successful manipulation of spaces that enhances the user’s experience”. This refers to the project being built on a sloping site with a 75ft-long terrain. The design also creates a flow of communal spaces that promotes community living.
A commendation was given to GDP Architects Sdn Bhd for its collaboration with Foster + Partners’ The Troika in Persiaran KLCC.
Chan Sau Yan Associates’ Mont Timah on Hindhede Drive in Singapore received the gold award. The project had a “nice and good composition of simple forms that enhanced the existing environment. The contrast of materials added rhythm to the architecture”. Off-form concrete, wood and natural stone were used in the construction of the project.
The silver award went to RT+Q Architects’ House in 3 Movements, also in Singapore. The house was built on a narrow site that saw a semi-detached house turned into a detached house with setbacks on both sides. The design was a “clever solution to a very tight site yet not compromising on the natural lighting and ventilation”.
There was no gold award winner, but a silver award went to Razin Architect’s Denai SOHO in Kempas Baru, Johor Baru. This free-standing building had been converted into an artful design office, turning the original 1,600 sq ft, 1-storey house into a 2,000 sq ft work area. “An ingenious transformation from a typical link house to an articulate and tasteful work space,” the jury commented.
A silver award went to The Skin located in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, designed by T.O. Hew Architect in collaboration with YL Design Consultancy Services. This 4-storey building hosts a company headquarters and a warehouse. The perforated skin serves to allow daylight in, minimise heat gain in the internal areas and provide contact with the outside.
The gold award went to GDP Architects Sdn Bhd’s Lone Pine Hotel in Batu Feringghi, Penang. Established in 1948, it is the only boutique hotel in the area. While it had undergone several renovations before, the recent intervention has created a modern contemporary retreat.
“Full appreciation of the site context with innovative solutions that blend old and new, with a good grasp of natural settings to create fantastic feelings of openness,” the jury said.
The silver award went to Design Network Architects Sdn Bhd’s new administration building for Asean Bintulu Fertilizer Sdn Bhd in Bintulu, Sarawak. This project shows how existing structures on the site can be incorporated with new designs without compromising on the old or new.
A juror said, “Well-designed office space that utilises good composition of forms that sit well with the surroundings and has well-executed spatial connection.”
RT+Q Architects in collaboration with YTL Design Group’s D6 in Jalan Sentul, KL, and Garis Architects Sdn Bhd’s Symphony Hills Office in Cyberjaya received commendations.
There were no Gold or Silver Award winners in this category, although a commendation was given to Archicentre Sdn Bhd’s Bakita bar-lounge-restaurant in Jalan Berangan, KL.
DNP Land/Wingtai Asia Alma Gallery in Penang by Design Collective Architects in collaboration with Akitek Akiprima Snd Bhd and Essential Design Integrated Sdn Bhd for interior design received a commendation. There were no gold or silver award winners.
A silver award went to the St Mary’s School Museum in Taman Intan Baiduri, Selayang, that was designed by Ngiom Partnership in association with Octagon Creative. This entirely voluntary, low-budget project was born out of love for an old school that was demolished and rebuilt in another location.
“A celebration of good collaboration between client and architect in the execution of historic preservation and capturing the essence of the learning environment,” the jury said.
A commendation was given to Professor Dr Jimmy CS Lim’s Teak Pavilion in Jalan Perak, Penang.
Category: Single residential
Winner: House 484
Architect: Design Collective Architects in association with Essential Design Integrated Sdn Bhd
As the house is balanced on the edge of a 65ft slope, it required a great understanding of slope design as well as other factors such as the 270º views. It is designed as a cantilevered structure that extends out from the grounds. The jury said it displayed wit and ability to adapt and execute a ‘universal’ design topology that gives the structure its unique design.
Category: Single residential
Winner: Retreat House on Lot 8583 (Janda Baik, Pahang)
Architect: AsSaffa Design Practice
The property sits on 20 acres of land in Janda Baik, Pahang. The client’s requirements had been for a house intended for use as a family retreat and meeting place with friends. The house made use of timber (chengal) frames and load-bearing walls for the kitchen and main bathroom for a rustic and natural look. There was an artful blend of traditional local architecture with sustainable elements.
Category: Multiple residential — high rise
Winner: Kiara 1888 (Mont’Kiara, Kuala Lumpur)
Architect: yhsA Sdn Bhd
The Kiara 1888 project showcases a high-rise tower and a low-rise block with 182 units that are supported by a series of open yet shielded communal spaces. While the project sits on a sloping site with a 75ft-long terrain, this rectangular development met the challenge with a successful manipulation of spaces that enhances the users’ experience.
Winner: Lone Pine Hotel (Batu Feringghi, Penang)
Architect: GDP Architects Sdn Bhd
This boutique hotel in Penang was established in 1948 and is located on a beautiful stretch of Batu Feringghi. Its latest renovation and refurbishment saw the two new blocks blend with the existing structures. The revitalised retreat maintains its nostalgic air amid luxurious surroundings.
Category: Adaptive re-use
Winner: Denai SOHO (Kempas Baru, Johor Baru)
Architect: Razin Architect
A free-standing 1-storey house was converted into a lovely workspace with a rugged exterior. The original house with a built-up of 1,600 sq ft was transformed into a 2,000 sq ft designer’s office. The house was given a fresh look with a new steel structure in the front and side entrance façade. Every workspace is guaranteed a garden view.
Winner: The Skin (Seri Kembangan, Selangor)
Architect: T.O. Hew Architect in collaboration with YL Design Consultancy Services
This 4-storey building hosts a company headquarters and a warehouse. The perforated skin allows daylight in to reduce artificial light, minimises heat gain in internal areas to minimise air conditioning, and provides contact with the outside. At night, the skin produces a lantern effect when the lights are switched on.
Category: Special Category
Winner: St Mary’s School Museum (Taman Intan Baiduri, Selayang)
Architect: Ngiom Partnership in association with Octagon Creative
This project was done on a limited budget out of love for an old school that was demolished and rebuilt in a new location. It was a project that revered the past, using recycled windows, doors, floors, ceiling beams and balustrades, while preserving such things as desks, chairs and chalkboards. The design captured the historical elements of an established learning environment that preserved memories of a beloved school.
This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 915, June 18-24, 2012
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