PAM Awards 2013 Creative & thoughtful use of space

Some of the entries for the 2013 Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) Awards were praised for their creativity, success in creating an architectural identity and thoughtful use of space and form.

This year saw 209 nominations, of which 182 qualified for the 14 categories available — single residential, multiple residential low rise, multiple residential high rise, public and institutional, education, alteration and addition, conservation, overseas, interior design, commercial low-rise office, commercial high-rise office, sports and recreation, planning and master planning, and special.

For this year's edition, there were 10 gold winners, four silver winners and eight commendations. The awards were presented at the PAM annual dinner on May 11.

According to Saifuddin Ahmad, immediate past president of PAM and a member of the jury, although this year's submissions were commendable overall, he was expecting a bit more.

"There were a lot more submissions for the overseas category this year, but we were slightly disappointed with the quality of the overall submissions," he says. "The quality was not there and there were fewer submissions this time around. Some were innovative but when it came to design and creativity, they fell short."

Saifuddin hopes that a new category should be introduced at next year's awards. "The awards should include a Building of the Year award for the best building out of the whole lot."

Also on the jury this year were; Datuk Hajeedar Abdul Majid, PAM gold medalist 2012 and principal of Hajeedar & Associates Sdn Bhd; Cheah Kok Ming, architect and senior lecturer at the National University of Singapore; Robert Such, architectural photographer and writer at Robert Such Photography; and Dr Naziaty Mohd Yaacob, senior lecturer at Universiti Malaya.

Single Residential

Only two commendations were awarded in this category. The first was for Cocoon 17 in Bukit Damansara by GSD Architect. The house was described as a bold attempt at engaging building porosity with the challenges of the tropical lushness and climate, suggesting architecture synergy with ecology, and supporting biodiversity. The second was for No 18 House in Petaling Jaya designed by Dr Tan L M Architect, which advocates architectural expressiveness through materiality and construction.

Multiple Residential Low Rise

This category yielded one gold winner — Seri Pilmoor in Ara Damansara by GDP Architects Sdn Bhd. The unit "represents a play of passive strategies in achieving thermal comfort for a tropical dwelling. The outcome is an orchestration of voids, layers, screens and canopy to attain appropriate scale, texture and spatial ambiance for a housing community," said the jury.

Multiple Residential High Rise

The gold went to Rhombus in Bangsar by Ken Wong Architect in collaboration with Unit One Design Sdn Bhd. The development was praised for working creatively around the goals of real estate and the quest for place-making with a distinct architectural identity. The jury commented that its geometrical design, planning and façade are translated from the provisions of views, optimisation of floor areas and individual unit branding.

Public and Institutional

The gold winner went to Sasana Kijang on Jalan Dato' Onn by Hijjas Kasturi Associates Sdn Bhd. It is an institutional architecture that "thoughtfully weaves the programmatic needs of a museum, gallery, resource centre, training and conference facilities into a comprehensible composition of space and form".

Surau Ali Bashah Neocyber in Cyberjaya designed by C'Arch Architecture & Design Sdn Bhd received a commendation. The surau's periphery fins are a multi-valence affording structure, with daylight modifier accessibility and screening, said the jury.


Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman campus in Kampar, Perak, won the gold. Designed by The Architectural Network, the jury said it epitomises a design rigour that manoeuvres fluently along the scale spectrum, and demonstrates design consistency that integrates the landscape with the building and its architectural details.

The silver went to Matahari Chinese Private School in Skudai, Johor, by Y. Architects Sdn Bhd which "conceptualises streets and communal hubs from corridors and shared spaces, envisioning the school as a learning community".

Alteration and Addition

The Container House in Kuching, Sarawak, took home the gold. Designed by Arkitek JFN Sdn Bhd, it was praised for contributing a refreshing approach to renovation in which spatial versatility and intimacy are achieved with architectural interventions using profile sheeting, screens, louvres and moving panels. The Container House was the only winner in this category.


BYG Architecture Sdn Bhd's 23 Love Lane in Penang came up tops in this category. "This adaptive reuse inculcates the consciousness of retaining the genius loci involving architectural heritage with enterprises to sustain cultural authenticity and remembrance," said the jury.

The silver went to the restoration for the copper dome, roof and associated works for Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang, by Arkitek Urbanisma Sdn Bhd. The jury noted that the stellar effort lies in the surgical approach that repaired and restored the copper dome, and it reflects the thorough research and technical investigation that had gone into the restoration process.

A commendation was given to St George's Church in Penang by East Design Architect Sdn Bhd for its sensitive restoration which brings the historical building back to its full glory.


Teh Joo Heng Architects took home the gold award for 137 Market Street in Singapore. "The merit of the design is its wisdom to avoid a massive redevelopment by critically examining the life cycle and energy impact of the existing building," said the jury.

The silver went to Madrasa at Kampong Siglap Mosque also in Singapore by the same architects. The scheme was praised for establishing a focal point that unites the different buildings found in the existing mosque compound. The jury noted that the interventions are intricate, carving out informal spaces useful for social activities and student interactions.

A commendation was given to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London designed by Llewelyn Davies Yeang. The hospital architecture was highlighted for its skilful mediation between its programmatic demands and its operational challenges to achieve a green and high performance building.

Interior Design

Only a commendation was given in this category, and it went to Glad Tidings Vision Centre in Petaling Jaya by Archicentre Sdn Bhd. "The design borrows strategically from its external palette of materials and architectural elements for colour, texture and form to shape the imageability of its interior," said the jury.

Commercial Low-Rise Office

The gold went to YTL Community Centre II in Sentul Park, Kuala Lumpur, by Tan Eng Keong Architect. The jury noted that Sentul Park's heritage landscape continues to be enhanced by this development which has successfully captured the scale and grain of the defunct railway sheds. "As an office space, it capitalises on its context to deliver an impressionable workplace with playful nooks and pods to support a creative work culture," said the jury.

Commercial High-Rise Office

Menara AZRB, located along Persiaran Gurney in Penang, by Ahmad Zaki Sdn Bhd won the gold award as it was a testament to "a well-executed served and servant space planning strategy to achieve a desirable workplace".

The silver went to Menara PJH in Putrajaya by Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd which distinguishes "itself by skilfully overcoming its programmatic bulk with a composition of podium blocks and slab tower nestled at a waterfront site".

Sports and Recreation

The gold went to Veil-Suited 3-Storey Fitness Centre in Kuching, Sarawak by Design Network Architects Sdn Bhd. The stand-alone gymnasium was cited as an outcome of a thoughtful plan with a pragmatic use of the site terrain. The jury said the spectacle arises from the celebration of solar shading and an integration of façade maintenance need.

There were two commendations awarded for this category. The first went to KTS Anniversary Park & Function Hall in Kuching by Integrated Design Consultant, for offering a lesson on the concept of cradle-to-cradle in architecture. The second commendation was for The Straits View Residence Clubhouse designed by Y. Architects Sdn Bhd. It was praised for its design that exemplifies how the tenets of a vernacular typology are interpreted appropriately and delightfully.

There were no winners for the planning and master planning, and special categories.

This story first appeared in The Edge weekly edition of May 13-19, 2013.

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