Cruising down the roads in Malaysia, it is difficult not to notice beautiful buildings lining the streets but little is known about the people behind their magnificent architecture. Their architectural prowess has amazingly transformed the skylines in the cities, residential hubs and beyond in more ways than one. Here, Top 10 of Malaysia shares its list of the leading architects in Malaysia, renowned for pioneering trends in architecture, impressive standards, and are responsible for some of the most stunning buildings that have been put up.
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar Hj Esa Hj Mohamed
Established in 1978 by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar Hj Esa and Ar. Goh Hock Guan, Arkitek Jururancang (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (AJM) has a proven track record in architectural, town planning, urban design, landscaping and interior design projects. Primarily responsible for the planning of the satellite township of Subang Jaya, today the multi-disciplinary AJM offers integrated services to clients worldwide and has received several prestigious awards like PAM Gold Award 2006 for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. An architect himself, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar Hj Esa is Managing Director of AJM which has completed several prestigious projects internationally.
Ar Wong Tung Ken
As founding member of Ken Wong Architect which helps make up Unit One Design Sdn Bhd, Ar Wong Tung Ken founded Unit One with John Ding in 1996. Unit One architects generally analyse briefs and talk to clients for a detailed understanding, often designing creative and unexpected solutions by combining architecture, graphics, interior, retail and product design where necessary, to bring out the best of each project. Producing progressive works with design integrity and functional clarity is at the heart of the firm which has received multiple awards like Silver in PAM Awards 2016 under Low-Rise Multiple Residential category for 388 U Thant in Kuala Lumpur.
Ar Nazlan Baharudin
Managing Director of Arkitek Rekabina Sdn Bhd, Ar Nazlan Baharudin graduated from Nottingham School of Architecture in 1984. As a student, many of his works were exhibited by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Having designed and built numerous buildings hoping to return to the traditional master-skills of architects in design and fulfill his vision for Architecture for a Sustainable Future, he collaborates with Sir Miles Warren of Architecture Warren & Mahoney and Bicuadro Architetti of Italy, among others. Arkitek Rekabina has won numerous awards such as the PAM Gold Award 2017 for the Bangunan Azman Hashim, Graduate School of Business at University of Malaya.
Dato’ Sri Ar John Lau Kah Sieng
Graduating from University of Melbourne in 1973, Dato’ Sri Ar John Lau Kah Sieng had a stint with the government sector before forming Kumpulan Design (KD) Sdn Bhd in 1977 at Sibu. Winning the SesCo Headquarters competition in 1979, it has expanded with four offices and 114 staff, becoming Arkitek KDI Sdn Bhd. Arkitek KDI’s decades of existence is training ground for Sarawakian architects. It has completed projects abroad and locally like Menara Rimbunan Hijau, having won numerous awards like Best Business Centre at the international MIPIM Asia Awards 2010 for designing Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) and BCI Asia’s Top Ten Awards for four consecutive years.
Ar Alan Teh Yee Neng
After coming across the story of American Pritzker Prize-winner, I.M. Pei, Ar Alan Teh Yee Neng enrolled to study architecture at university, in Canada. Moving to Australia due to a scholarship from the University of Tasmania, he did an exchange programme in Norway and worked at a few firms before forming Atelier Alan Teh Architect (AATA) in 2005. AATA is studio-orientated, emphasising design, research and architectural discourse in line with commercial viability. Atelier Art Space and Gallery however, allows Teh to collaborate with artists and art communities. Moreover, AATA’s Univ360 Sofo Suites received awards at PAM Awards 2016, StarProperty.my Awards 2017 and Malaysia Landscape Architecture Awards 2017.
Ar Azlan Abdul Aziz
A graduate of University of Houston in Texas, Ar Azlan Abdul Aziz believes architects need to uphold their code of conduct to succeed in challenging economic environments. Driven by discipline and empathy for his surroundings, he aspired to be a marine biologist before deciding to pursue architecture upon mum’s advice. Spending his formative years among industry icons like Dato’ Ar Hajeedar and the late Datuk Kington Loo, he joined GDP Architects in 1991 before co-founding S & A Architects Sdn Bhd in 2000 which has won several awards since, like the PAM Awards 2017 for their Thistle Grove at Denai Alam project by Sime Darby Property.
Ar Chan Chin Yeow
Founded in 2003 by Ar Chan Chin Yeow, multi-disciplinary firm CY Chan Architect (CYCA) offers quality integrated services like master planning and architectural consultancy from design to execution. Trusting that paring down to the essentials brings value and style to homes, communities and environments in a world of limited resources, CYCA also believes architecture leads to a clearer thought passage and aims to exceed expectations with a thinking attitude towards creative problem-solving and with clients’ imperatives in mind. Having won multiple awards since, the most recent was a double win at PAM Awards 2017 for the Twinkle Villa project.
Dato’ Dr Ar Norzam Darmin
Norzam Architect (NA) is a firm with 25 years of experience and over twenty talented design staff founded by Ar Dato’ Norzam Darmin in 1991. Providing detailed designs and fast-paced construction, it integrates architecture, interior design and landscape design to support clients competitively and creatively. Engaged by many high-profile clients, its projects include a variety of developments, including commercial ones and historical buildings. Recently, NA had the experience of working on a conservation project for The Royal Polo Club in Pasir Pelangi for His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor, which it received a Commendation award for at PAM Awards 2017.
Dato’ Ar Michael Ong Leng Chun
Michael Ong Chartered Architect (MOCA) is the in-house architectural design services arm of Quill Group, which is a leading integrated Malaysian company focusing on design, construction and property development. As Group Executive Director of Quill Group, Dato’ Ar Michael Ong Leng Chun co-founded Quill and formed MOCA in 1987. The group also has its own G7 Building Construction division and together, Quill Group and MOCA have received numerous accolades such as the PAM Architecture Excellence Award 2006 for Best Commercial Building and a Commendation award for PAM Architecture Excellence Award 2014 for their work on Philips Lumileds Malaysia in Penang.
Ar David Mizan Hashim
Founded in 1987, VERITAS Design Group is led by Group President and founding Director, Ar David Mizan Hashim along with 12 Principal architects. Offering a full range of architectural and support design services through subsidiaries and associates, VERITAS has offices in 6 countries worldwide. VERITAS’ work is marked not by a fixed signature, but rather a consistent approach inspired by the principles of good design and a sensitive response to site and context. Having presented its works internationally, VERITAS recently won *Gold under the Commercial Low-Rise category at PAM Awards 2017 for the Menara PKNS project which was led by Principal, Azril Amir Jaafar.
* wrongly stated as ‘Silver’ in the print version of Issue 30 of the Top 10 of Malaysia magazine