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KUCHING, Aug 5: Results for Langit — Sarawak’s first architecture competition to find the best ideas for a high-rise in Kuching city centre — will be announced this Saturday at 10am.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who will be the guest-of-honour, will announce the winners in a ceremony livestreamed across social media platforms.
Langit Design Competition is organised by Hock Seng Lee (HSL) in collaboration with Next Phase (NP), which is the land owner, and the Malaysian Institute of Architects, Sarawak Chapter (PAMSC).
Competition jury member Yu Ji, who is the developer representative from HSL-NP, said that they have received 112 registrations for the competition which began in March, with entries submitted from across Malaysia, with some being joint designs with architects practising overseas.
“The number of architects interested in designing a skyscraper in Wast Malaysia really surprised and motivated us,” he said in a press release issued today.
Cash prizes for the event competition total RM200,000.
The location of Langit is a compact but fantastically located site along Jalan Tabuan, in between Kuching’s historic core and established commercial centres. HSL-NP fully intends to build one of the winning entries.
The panel comprised renowned architects from Kuching and Kuala Lumpur, including Malaysian Institute of Architects president Datuk Ezumi Harzani, PAMSC immediate past chairman Ivy Jong, Veritas Architects director Lilian Tay, multi PAM award winner and conservationist Mike Boon, and Yu.
Judging criteria include public spaces, environmental design aspects and building feasibility.
In HSL-NP’s design brief, the floor area was capped at 30,000-square-metre, ensuring design entries would be buildable and not unrealistically large for a city of under a million people.
Competition convenor Chai Si Yong, who is PAMSC’s current chairman, explained that the scoring and deliberation process was anonymous from start to finish.
“It was important to the developer-client that the identities of those who submitted were never revealed. The judging was solely ideas-based and is merit driven. As the convenor, we did not even indicate how many were by architects inside or outside Sarawak. The results unveiling is going to be quite an excitement for professionals across Malaysia,” he said.
Jong, a Sarawakian architect notable for her eco designs, pointed out that the competition was a refreshing development model.
“For the first time ever, architects are given a site by an established and reputed developer with an open brief and an emphasis for community engagement. By starting a dialogue with the wider community on what can be built on the selected site, the developer has demonstrated their desire to be public-driven in their buildings, which is welcoming,” he said.
The results ceremony will be held at HSL Tower of La Promenade, the developer’s flagship 200-acre gated community.