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Foster + Partners shortlisted to design new islands in Malaysia


Foster + Partners is shortlisted in an international competition to find a designer for three new artificial islands in Penang, Malaysia

The London studio – working with Kuala Lumpur-based GDP Architects, WSP, Grant Associates, Urban DNA, and Pragma – features on an all-star shortlist selected from 124 submissions to the contest.

Rival finalists include Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) with Hijjas Architect & Planne; MVRDV with aLM Architects; US-based Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design with EOWON Architects; and UN Studio with Architects 61 Sdn Bhd.

Contest site: Penang South Islands masterplan

Contest site: Penang South Islands masterplan

Contest site: Penang South Islands masterplan

Longlisted teams included WilkinsonEyre, PLP Architecture, Snøhetta, RMJM, and Nikken Sekkei. About £450,000 will now be shared between the finalists as an honorarium to draw up designs.

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 1,821ha network of three islands, which will be reclaimed from sea south of Penang International Airport.

In a statement, Foster + Partners said: 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.’

The new islands will feature a mix of industrial, commercial and tourism development. The project will help raise funds for a new tunnel connecting transport services on the island of Penang with the Malaysian mainland.

The overall winner will be announced in early February, after which the shortlisted designs will be exhibited.

Lead image depicts the view from Sungai Batu Beach, looking across the bay that will be filled by Island B, with the high-rise of Lexis Suites Penang in the background. Source: Wu Alex via Google Photo


Readers' comments (2)

  • Err and how exactly is this a sustainable precept

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  • Environmental lunacy. Malaysia is sadly a very corrupt country and unapologetically operates one of the last systems of apartheid in the world.

    Improving transport infrastructure in and around Penang Island and between Penang Island and the rest of Penang State on the Malaysia Peninsular would massively increase suitable existing land for development and would more broadly increase the wealth and standards of living of the people. Island building, on the other hand, is about creating new land for connected individuals to profit from and avoiding the dissipation of wealth.

    The Mahatir Government has in recent weeks incarcerated two executives working on the proposed connecting under sea tunnel, on alleged corruption. The Crony Islands proposal faces no such problems.

    To hell with the environment and the people, at least Foster and Partners will benefit from yet another massive corrupt Malay white elephant.

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