Langit judges include both Peninsula and Sarawakian heavyweights

The jury members for Langit. From left: Jong, Boon, Ezumi, Tay and Yu.

KUCHING, March 10: Architecture industry heavyweights from Sarawak Ar Ivy Jong and Ar Mike Boon are among the lead jury members for Sarawak’s first ever architectural design competition ‘Langit’.

In unveiling the jury members for Langit, competition organiser Malaysia Institute of Architects (PAM) Sarawak Chapter emphasised that the selected jury members reflect the promoter’s high-rise intentions and public function.

The jury includes Peninsular Malaysia heavyweights Ar Lilian Tay, who is Veritas Design Group vice-president and PAM president Datuk Ar Ezumi Harzani Ismail as well as Yu Ji, a representative from competition promoters Hock Seng Lee and Next Phase (NP).

Langit is looking to build a commercial high-rise on an acre of land in the city centre for mixed-use with 30,000sqm of floor space.

HSL property development general manager Tay Chiok Kee, in a publicity release yesterday, shared that any commercial building is also an opportunity to create more public spaces.

“Furthermore, the strategic location of the land means it is easily accessible to all,” he said.

Prize money for the competition in total is RM200,000, with the winning entry entitled to RM100,000, while the first runner-up will receive RM50,000 and second runner-up RM25,000. There are also two slots for honourable mentions.

Registration and submission for queries began on Feb 8. The posting of answers to queries will be on March 19, while the closing date for architectural submission is April 19. The results and prizes will be awarded in late May.

Here is a look at the jury members and the expertise they will bring to Langit:

Jong, who is the jury chair and PAM Sarawak chairwoman, is the founding partner of Atelier Timur Sdn Bhd. She has worked in Sarawak since returning from London in 1997.

She has been involved in a wide range of projects, from institution buildings to community based projects. Her recent projects include the Visitor Interpretation Centre at Piasau Nature Reserve in Miri and the Beacon Project at Samalaju National Park, Bintulu.

Her goal for the projects are to engage and educate the public on conservation of our natural resources. She is also a member of the Malaysian Green Building Council and a Green Building Index Facilitator.

Multi-award winning conservation and green architecture specialist, Boon is one of Sarawak’s most established architects, with a firm grasp of diverse architecture from mass housing to historical building conservation.

Boon, who is past PAM Sarawak chairman and principal at Arkitek JFN, graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Western Australia University in 1989 and has been practicing in Kuching since.

His highly photogenic Toyota 3S Centre in Sibu was also one of the first to obtain Green Building Index certification in east Malaysia.

Ezumi, is a board member of the Board of Architects Malaysia and Board of Engineers Malaysia. In 2015, he was appointed as the Advisory Board Members of Kuala Lumpur City Hall for four consecutive years. He was re-elected as the PAM president for 2020/2021.

He is the director of Arkitek MAA Sdn Bhd, one of the largest architecture practices and a winner of various awards including PAM Architecture Awards, CNBC Asia Pacific Property Award, MIP Excellence in Planning Awards and BCI Asia Top 10 Architects Awards.

Ezumi holds a Housing Building and Planning Bachelor degree, and another Architecture Bachelor degree from University of Science Malaysia. He also holds a Master of Philosophy (Policy Studies) from University of Technology Malaysia.

Tay, is the senior design principal at VERITAS Architects Sdn Bhd, an award-winning architectural firm founded in 1987. VERITAS aspires to create responsible and resilient architecture that uplifts lives and inspires appreciation of the local place and culture.

In her recent tenure as PAM president, Tay sought to promote the expertise, skills and talent of Malaysia’s professional architects, which has been long under-valued and to enhance opportunities for our architects to serve the community and contribute meaningfully to nation building.

Trained at Princeton University, USA, Tay worked at KPF, New York before returning to Kuala Lumpur where she has been a director at VERITAS since 1995.

VERITAS’ notable projects include Menara Binjai, DiGi HQ, One Sentral, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Putrajaya Sentral, KL MRT1 stations, W Hotel, Angsana Penang, Sinkeh Hotel, Star Residences, Oxley Towers and most recently, Saloma Link Bridge.

Yu, is a director at Next Phase, a family owned property developer. Before engaging in business, Yu was a reporter, first with The Borneo Post for five years, then with The Star for six years.

Yu intends for Next Phase to be a professional and design-led company. He also aims for his properties to be more affordable than most.

Next Phase is an offshoot of Hock Seng Lee (HSL), a multi-disciplinary construction specialist in Sarawak. HSL’s properties have won the trifecta of property awards — from the Malaysian Institute of Architects, Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association.

Both Next Phase and HSL operate out of its own Green Building Index certified headquarters at La Promenade.