We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “SKYHIVE 2019 Skyscraper Challenge ” competition - Michael Tan, Haseef Rafiei, Khaled Salem and Ng Jia Han from Malaysia!

SKYHIVE 19 Honorable mention from Malaysia

Michael Tan, Haseef Rafiei, Khaled Salem and Ng Jia Han from Malaysia

We work for a design firm called VERITAS Architects. The firm, with its head office based in Kuala Lumpur, focuses on buildings of high density located in urban parts of the city. Our speciality lies in bringing design value and user comfort into a highly efficient building designs which are moulded by a profit-centric industry.

One of our biggest projects in terms of scale has to be the Oxley Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The project, located adjacent to the Petronas Twin Towers, is a high-rise mixed development that consists of three towers which includes hotel, serviced apartments and office. The design concept and façade is inspired by “weaving” geometries of traditional Malaysian crafts, an expression of our local identity. When designing skyscrapers, our company tend to focus on how the tower meets the ground and how the development can give back to the city. This design features a generous public plaza on the main road, creating a pedestrian corridor which links to the surrounding urban nodes. By creating a permeable street frontage, a comfortable human-centric experience can be achieved and this will naturally activate its living programme. We feel that by allocating a well connected public realm at ground level, the architecture will have a bigger sense of purpose and relationship towards the city.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

Architects have a crucial role in contributing towards the growth and well-being of societies. This is due to the fact that the design of cities has a large impact on social behaviour and patterns. How we construct our habitats and how we manipulate our materials and natural resources will significantly influence our relationship with the environment and with each other. Every architect has an ethical responsibility in ensuring what we design is efficient, human-centric and will have a positive impact towards the society.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We felt that this would be a good opportunity for us to explore and experiment with ideas that break conventional notions of architecture and the built environment. Participating in architectural ideas competitions allows our ideas to be heard and this could hopefully spark a critical debate among people of various disciplines regarding our interests to achieve a consensus in designing great cities.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

We advise individuals to take the risk and get their ideas heard. The idea of designing a conceptual idea itself is beneficial for their self-development. Those who work in practice should treat it as a break from working on conventional projects. This should be an exercise to self-reflect and ponder upon their own designs, at the same time rediscovering what it means to create meaningful architecture in the first place.

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