Design competition in search of innovative ideas for Kuching site

The 0.4ha site for the design competition in Jalan Tabuan, Kuching.

An architectural design competition has been launched for a commercial development in Kuching’s central business district.

The competition, believed to be the first of its kind in Sarawak, is organised by property developer Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) and the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM).

The design brief calls for a commercial development on a 0.4ha land on Jalan Tabuan, which can be mixed use, excluding a hotel, with a maximum gross floor area of 30,000sq metres.

“This is an ideas competition. A piece of land in such a good location should have a great building on it, ” HSL properties development general manager Tay Chiok Kee said.

“We want the best ideas from the start. Our judges will scrutinise all entries.

“As the developer, we will build what is best for the location and for the people of Kuching, ” he added.

The competition is open to all PAM-registered corporate members, who may collaborate with foreign architects, with no limit on the number of submissions.

Judges will include Sarawak PAM chairman Ivy Jong, PAM president Datuk Ezumi Harzani Ismail, prominent local architects and a representative from HSL.

They will focus on the community engagement aspect to enhance public use of the building, optimum building orientation and economic viability.

Jong said the competition was forward-thinking and significant for property developers as well as architects.

“The industry I represent has long wanted a competition. We want to be challenged and to be competitive, ” she said.

She added that while HSL would gain innovative ideas and design plans from the competition, it

is the public who would ultimately benefit from it.

“The public stands to gain a new architectural icon, business ventures, job opportunities and a new public space at an easily accessible location, ” she said.

Registration for the competition is open until April 19, with the results to be announced in late May.

The winner will walk away with RM100,000, while second and third places will receive RM50,000 and RM25,000 respectively.

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