DANISH architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been chosen as the lead master plan designer for the Penang South Island (PSI), which is also known as the Penang South Reclamation (PSR).
BIG and their Malaysian associate Hijjas Architect & Planner were selected, out of five world-renowned teams, together with their Malaysian partners. They were shortlisted early this year.
The announcement marks another milestone for the future of Penang.
The PSI will provide space for communities, including the local fishermen and amenities that cater to the lifestyle requirements of young professionals and Penangites.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said a master jury panel comprising prominent Malaysian and international experts was established to assist the state in selecting the best scheme suited for the implementation of the PSI.
“Assisted by a Technical Review Panel (TRP) of independent experts, the panelists deliberated over the concepts and details in the submissions for about four weeks to ensure that the projects are implementable and appropriate for Penang.
“The PSI will play a crucial role in helping Penang to scale to greater heights.
“The sale and development of the three islands will fund Penang’s ambition to build the state’s first Light Rail Transit (LRT) and new roads under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) to solve traffic congestions in Penang.
“In pursuing this ambition, the state will abide by the requirements set by the Federal Government agencies involved in implementing this project.
“To date, the state has obtained the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval from the Department of Environment (DoE), Social Impact Assessment (SIA) from PLANMalaysia; and the advice from the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) to proceed with the reclamation.
“The state will strictly abide by all the conditions stipulated in the approvals given.
“We have faced many challenges to arrive at this crucial moment and we may face more trials as we move forward.
“We greatly appreciate your motivation. Let us work together and do our best for Penang,” he said in his welcoming address before his announcement at the Equatorial Hotel Penang in Bukit Jambul today.
The five finalists that were shortlisted early this year were BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark) with Hijjas Architect & Planner; Foster + Partners (UK) with GDP Architects Sdn Bhd; MVRDV (the Netherlands) with aLM Architects; Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design (USA) with EOWON Architects; and UN Studio (the Netherlands) with Architects 61 Sdn Bhd.
Due to the unforeseen Covid-19 situation, BIG was unable to attend the event. However, a video recording was shown with its architect Bjarke Ingels expressing his gratitude to the state.
He thanked the state after the company was chosen as the lead masterplan designer for the PSI.
“We want to create an environmentally sustainable development for the future generation.
“Thank you very much for the confidence in our team. We are looking forward to it,” he said.
The three islands will provide affordable housing, as well as public and private amenities; with approximately 4.6km of public beaches, over 600 acres of parks and 25km of waterfront promenade.
Also present during the ceremony were state executive councillors, Penang Infrastructure Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Seri Farizan Darus, Gamuda Berhad group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling, SRS Consortium project director Szeto Wai Loong, International Masterplan Design Competition master jury panel leader Tan Sri Esa Mohamed, International Masterplan Design Competition competition advisor Ang Chee Cheong and state assemblymen.
Story by Edmund Lee
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi
Video by Chan Kok Kuan