Architecture Competitions

Top architects shortlisted for Penang reclaimed island project including Foster + Partners, Studio UN, MVRDV and BIG

January 24, 2020

Following an international competition, Foster + Partners has been shortlisted for a mega project which will see the winning firm design three new artificial islands off the coast of Penang in north Malaysia.

The UK-based practice has partnered with Kuala Lumpur-based GDP Architects, WSP, Grant Associates, Urban DNA, and Pragma – on a star-studded list comprising 124 submissions. Other top names on the shortlist include Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) with Hijjas Architect & Planners; MVRDV with aLM Architects; US-based Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design with EOWON Architects; and UN Studio with Architects61 Sdn Bhd.

Longlisted teams included WilkinsonEyre, PLP Architecture, Snøhetta, RMJM, and Nikken Sekkei. About £450,000 will now be shared between the finalists as an honorarium. The winner will be announced in early February, following which the shortlisted designs will be exhibited.

Open to collaborations between local and international teams and organised by the Malaysian Institute of Architects, the competition will select a team to design and deliver a 1,821-hectare network of three reclaimed islands, that will be located south of Penang International Airport.

“We are extremely delighted to be shortlisted for the Penang South Islands masterplan, a truly iconic, strategic project on Penang’s southern shore. The PSI masterplan will be an integral part of Penang’s new Economic Vision 2030, to diversify the economy, improve liveability and create a new model for restorative urbanism innovation and rebrand Penang as a hub for diversity and prosperity. Together with GDP Architects, we look forward to working on the next stage to illustrate our collaborative vision for the future of Penang.” – Foster + Partners

The masterplan for the new islands indicates a mix of industrial, commercial and tourism projects. It will help raise funds for a new tunnel connecting transport services on the island of Penang with the Malaysian mainland. This project comes even as Malaysia has delayed, rescheduled or slowed down its progress on several other infrastructure projects as a cost-cutting measure by the current government including a much anticipated high-speed rail project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

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