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HSL announces second Nationwide Architecture Competition

Looking For The Best Masterplan Ideas For Project Near Kuching Airport



LOGO: “AIR — Building With Nature.” Air is Malay for water, presenting the nature of the competition site. The developer also envisions a development surrounded by greenery and fresh air.


KUCHING: Hock Seng Lee (HSL) today announced its second national architecture competition — after Langit in 2021 — jointly organised with the Malaysian Architecture Institute (PAM).


The new competition is called “AIR — Building With Nature” and is for a 13acre piece of land between Kuching International Airport and Saradise.


The AIR competition is to find the best masterplan ideas (while 2021’s Langit was to find the best high-rise).


HSL is the landowner and competition promoter, while PAM is the organiser.


The competition is open to PAM members nationwide.


Prize monies total RM245,000, with a top prize of RM120,000, second prize RM60,000 and third prize, RM30,000. There are also seven commendation prizes of RM5,000 each.


Just like Langit, the competition will be professionally run with judging based purely on merit. PAM will present all entries anonymously for the initial shortlisting, after which, individual architects (or teams) will be called to present to jurors.


PAM has recommended a seven-juror penal, which will include a PAM Gold Medalist, the institute’s president, the Sarawak chapter head, a Green Building Index specialist and notable Sarawakian architects.


“The success of any project starts with a good idea,” HSL managing director Datuk Paul Yu Chee Hoe said.


“HSL wants to have more open competitions because we believe in the value of good ideas. Competitions are progressive in nature and among the best ways to uncover new talent.”


AIR is a challenging site, Yu said, adding that he hoped the competition would find the best design solutions.


“First, it is next to the airport, so there is a clear height limit. All sides are already surrounded by other developments. Third, and hardest of all, there is a small river that runs through the entire land.”


Yu said submissions would be judged on environmental and commercial considerations.


“We are asking for eco and financial sustainability. For any development to be truly green, it must be financially sustainable. We want to build and maintain something long-lasting.”


Yu said the name AIR was chosen, as it represents “the air above us”, and also, in Malay, ‘air’ means water, representing the river through the site. “We want plenty of fresh air and water for this project,” Yu said.


AIR is PAM’s only architecture competition this year. Its most recent was last year in Penang.


PAM president Ar Adrianta Aziz, who is the jury chair, commended HSL for being a forward-thinking and open-minded builder.


“On behalf of architects in Malaysia, I would like to thank HSL for organising their second competition. This is a platform for architects to showcase our ideas, talent and hardwork,” Adrianta said.


“More importantly, HSL is supporting an open and transparent town building process. Architects get to submit their ideas and have these ideas put on public display. Everyone gets to see, comment, and discuss openly about the merits of submissions.”


The AIR competition encourages engagement between public, private sectors, and across industries, from designers to consultants and suppliers, he said.


“Ultimately, the people of Kuching will benefit the most from open competitions.”


In 2021’s HSL and PAM Langit competition, a total of 112 design entries were received. This April, HSL and Ascott announced they would build and operate the Langit Citadines Kuching, a 27-storey twin-tower development based on a winning entry in Kuching city centre.


SITE: The competition is for a 13acre piece of land between Kuching International Airport and Saradise.


AIR: A small stream runs through the middle of the land.



(Left to Right)

PAUL YU: Competitions are progressive in nature and one of the best ways to uncover new talent.

ADRIANTA: HSL is supporting an open and transparent town building process. The people of Kuching will benefit greatly.


MATURED: The site is surrounded by established developments, including the highest residential prices and commercial rental rates in Sarawak.


CASH: Prizes for AIR total RM245,000. All PAM members are eligible to participate.


HSL: Hock Seng Lee is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak. Its HQ is the region’s first privately built Green Building Index certified office.

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