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The Backstory

This year, PAM bestowed a total of 22 awards from 14 categories, selected from 182 entries throughout the country.

This year, 3 entries from Sarawak won prizes thus prolonging our run of winning PAM Awards since 2006.

This year, instead of focusing solely on the winners – we decided to turn the spotlight on the 16 entries from Sarawak – to congratulate them on their efforts and to encourage other Sarawakian architects to participate in showcasing their work.

Well done, guys – keep up the good work!


Veil-suited by Design Network Architects Sdn Bhd *(S&R)


This custom designed gym and health centre is located on a difficult site, a small and angular piece of land near a major highway with its main frontage facing west and to compound its problems, the terrain slopes from the front to the rear where the site entry is located. The completed building appears to take advantage of these disadvantages. The terrain is carved to create a sub-basement carpark, seeming to elevate the building onto a plinth especially when viewed from the highway. The angles of the site are “borrowed” to shape the building whose sculptural form befits its small stature. Throughout the building, there is an economy of finishes; what appears to be a lush and complex sun shade on its facade turns out to be affordable irrigation mats mounted in a matrix.


Container House by Arkitek JFN Sdn Bhd *(A&A)


This project explores the potential of reimagining a tired 1980s semidetached house design, and the possibilities of common industrial materials. The house was reduced to its ‘core’ structural frame and brick enclosure. An insulated metal ‘skin’ was wrapped around the ‘core’ to improve thermal performance. Internal spaces were then rearranged to suit current needs with cabinetry doubling as sliding doors, and walls concealing cabinetry. Intergrated ‘outside rooms’ were created with dense foliage and materials salvaged from the demolition. The house became an elevated, unitary, metal-clad, extruded form, with metal screens finishing the glazed ends. Screens, which provide shading and privacy, transform when viewed from moving vehicles. The architect’s identity was masked during construction to gauge the public reaction to the construction and to generate discourse about the project. Slowing traffic suggests that people are interested in the changing character of the front elevation, thus engaging the public in the process.


KTS Anniversay Park & Function Hall by Integrated Design Consultant (IDC) *(S&R)


This project started as a corporate social responsibility initiative to convert a vacant property into a public space for the benefit of Kuching residents, while waiting for the right opportunity to be developed. It consists of a landscaped public park, a multi-purpose function hall with capacity for 600 persons. The main structural steel frame of the function hall is salvaged from a disused warehouse. Due to its temporary nature, the construction method and most of the materials were selected based on their ability to be recycled or relocated.


Integrated Design Consultant & DesignEast Offices, Jalan Chan Chin Ann, Kuching by Integrated Design Consultant (IDC) *(A&A)

This is a conversion of two adjoining 1960’s shop house units into offices for IDC – creating a spacious and light-filled work environment with views of the Sarawak River. The project uses recycled elements – discarded newsprint tubes is a feature wall while exposed brick is a backdrop for their art collection; the reception desk is lined with oxidized steel plate and recycled timber boards and an industrial steel screen is now a light fixture.

This is a good example of how difficult-to-rent spaces can be re-purposed in exciting new ways.


Unimas Student Pavilion by David Ong Architect *(P&I)

USP originated from the idea of a Student Centre where most students’ activities converge into one common place. USP achieves this on a bigger scale with more facilities provided for students to socialize and relax, at the edge of a man-made lake. The informal setting is achieved by a series of independent single-storey building structures at ground level linked by a covered walkway; blending themselves into the natural surroundings.

USP is a pilot GREEN project by UNIMAS achieving a GBI GOLD Rating.


Visitor Centre at Taman Negara Gunung Gading, Lundu by Atelier Timur Sdn Bhd *(P&I)

This Visitor Centre is an annex to the Park’s existing timber Baruk building on a small sloping site. The new annex reads clearly as the main administrative and information centre, with legible public spaces designed for multiple activities; enhancing ones’ experience of the building and the park. The new open deck with ‘forest of columns’ beneath The Baruk completes the physical and visual linkages while giving the old structure a new lease of life.

Built on a tight budget, the ‘raw boldness’ of the new concrete structure contrasts and highlights the finely detailed existing timber Baruk structure; imparting a graceful co-existence.


Cove 55, Santubong by Atelier Timur Sdn Bhd *(SR)

COVE 55 is a family retreat on two-acres facing the Buntal-Santubong bay with Mount Santubong as its backdrop. The L-shaped plan and careful site placement maximizes views of the bay and creates a semi enclosed courtyard which acts as a buffer between the site and the sea. Vernacular yet contemporary in design, this stately home is imbued with the owner’s rich cultural identity.

The house is spacious yet intimate with thoughtfully articulated interior spaces that highlight the family’s art collection.


56 Hotel by Intodesign Laboratory in Collaboration with J.H. Bong Architect *(P&I)

The facade of this 6-storey business hotel was derived from the hotel’s corporate logo which is inspired by the Dayak ‘manik’ beads- transforming it into a 3-dimensional pattern that envelopes the building. This vibrant and colourful treatment aims to make up for the hotel’s lack of visibility from the main road; being on lower ground and behind shop houses.

The exterior motifs are continued into the ground floor lobby area, wrapping the ceiling and interior wall like a band that loops outside in. The facade design then becomes the new ‘corporate identity’ of the hotel; through its architecture.


Sungai Apong’s Public Toilet by Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Sarawak *(P&I)

This public toilet was one of Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan’s in-house project implemented in 2012. It supports the popular Sg. Apong market where different ethnic communities congregate to sell seafood, vegetables and jungle produce. The toilet structure is planned with a central courtyard in order to preserve an existing tree; there a tank collects rain water to cleaning and flushing of toilets.

This project succeeds in its aim to be a ‘green toilet’ – designed to maximize the use of natural ventilation, daylight and rain water.


Sarawak State’s Education Department Office (JPNS) by PU Architects Sdn Bhd *(P&I)

Located at Petra Jaya as part of masterplan for Federal Complexes, this 5-storey office building is the new headquarters for the State Education Department. It sits on a hilltop along an East-West axis to optimize views all around & to maximize natural light on all sides. It contains administrative spaces, public areas, a reception lobby, 240- seat auditorium with conference and meeting rooms as well as space for a future Multipurpose Hall.

The building aims to portray the strength and authority of a public institution reminiscent of the past.


Sarawak Youth & Sports Complex & New Aquatic Centre by PU Architects Sdn Bhd *(P&I)

The Sarawak Youth & Sports Complex cum New Aquatic Centre is one of the best sports training facilities in the country, complete with an all-weather 8 lane FINA standard swimming pool, badminton courts, a gym and courts for futsal, basketball and volleyball. An administrative block with lecture halls, two hostels blocks and a canteen completes the list of faciclities.

The building’s long street frontage faces west – deep overhangs and a rhythmic facade of louvres were used to address the street, shield from the sun and to break down the buildings’ mass.


Sarawak’s Civil Defence District Office (JPAM) by P U Architects Sdn Bhd *(P&I)

The Sarawak Civil Defence District Office (JPAM) is located at Jalan Diplomatik, Petra Jaya, Kuching, sits on a 5.10 acre land that comprises 3 storeys of Operation Block, & a 4 storey Training Tower. The facilities were designed based on the operation of the agency to provide a conducive, comfortable, effective and efficient working environment. The linear gridded design, like built-up lego blocks is to accomodate the usage of IBS system in this project (IBS blocks, precast concrete slab, metal roof structures, standardized windows and doors). The architecture is responsive to the client’s needs for a strong public identity, clockwork-like efficiency, discipline & organized, thus, character strongly etched and imbued in the design.


Academic Complex for Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Campus by PU Architects Sdn Bhd *(EDU)

The project is conceived as a series of low rise buildings symmetrically laid out in response to the site and is interconnected with pathways around a central courtyard in order to optimize natural daylight and protection from glare while open courtyards ensure air movement to ensure comfortable work environment. The building forms interact with the open spaces to allow interaction between movement of people and their activities.

The building complex is able to sits comfortably in context with its surroundings while presenting itself as a unique and engaging landmark.


Laboratory in Collaboration with Chaisiyong Architect *(SR)

The owners’ family has occupied this site for three generations in an old timber house which was later extended to serve as an automobile workshop. Recently, the old house was demolished to make use for a weekend house for three families; not before salvaging components from the old house to be used in the new one. As such, the rebuilding of the house was much like a process of reassembling remnants of the owner’s past for the owner.


Upgrading Of Teachers Training Institute, Batu Lintang, Kuching by Konsortium Bumi Consultants & Services Sdn. Bhd * (EDU)

The upgrading of the Teacher’s Training College in Kuching required a sensitive approach as many of the adjacent buildings were built in 1960’s and possess significant architectural values. The siting of these existing ‘regional modern’ buildings became the guiding force for the new buildings’ planning and design.

The design also took into consideration the visual impact created upon arrival at the campus where one would view buildings from afar and be drawn towards it; wanting to see more.

The buildings which comprise the administrative block, the library cum student centre and existing ICT block are arranged to address formal issues such as axes and approach while creating intimate spaces in between; it is exemplary in finding a sensitive balance through the application of basic architectural principles.


Rodway House by Arkitek Nurcipta Sdn Bhd *(SR)

This house was designed for the needs of a small family with large art collection. As such, it appears that the house is a gallery with living spaces inserted into its functions; starting from the entry through the living spaces into the studies and bedrooms.

The choice of finishes complements the atrium and staircase with seamless glass to visually connect the interior spaces and brings the whole house together. Good climate control is attained with a well insulated roof, double glazed doors and windows and double brick walls on the east and west.


* Categories: P&I – Public And Institutional, A&A – Alterations and Additions, EDU – Education, S&R – Sports and Recreation, SR – Single Residential

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This CPD will examine the roles and responsibilities of the Architect under the Housing Development Act (Act 118 Peninsular Malaysia 2007) and the Sarawak Housing Ordinance (1993) and related regulations. It will cover an overview of the two sets of laws in force in West Malaysia and Sarawak and point out the major differences. A brief outline of the certification process under the housing acts and ordinances and the management of quality in relation to this certification is reviewed. Managing common defects and complaint is also considered.

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