Shortlist revealed for artificial islands master plan

27 January 2020
  • Pechristener





Five teams through to next stage of major land reclamation contest

The finalists have been revealed for the Penang South Islands Master Plan Design Competition, an international contest launched in 2019 to find multi-disciplinary teams for the creation of three artificial islands near Penang International Airport in Malaysia. The new islands will create opportunities for economic and urban development in an area suffering from a scarcity of land suitable for the state’s future growth. 

The contest rules required that all proposals were submitted by teams composed of international and Malaysian companies, to ensure the design would be informed by local knowledge. The shortlist is as follows:

Bjarke Ingels Group & Hijjas Architects + Planners
Foster + Partners & GDP Architects
MVRDV & aLM Architects
Tekuma Frenchman & Eowon Architects
UNStudio & Architects 61

During the official shortlist announcement, Penang Chief Minister Y.A.B. Chow Kon Yeow expressed his hope that each team’s proposals will capture the area’s diverse characteristics. Measuring a total of 4500 ac, the islands will contain smart city and smart park features, and are intended to become an international destination for investment, industrial manufacturing and tourism. The design is expected to align with the “people focused and inclusive” Penang Vision 2030, with sustainable economic, environmental and social aspects.

The state authorities are initiating land reclamations in order to fund a major upgrade of the area’s transport system. The plans are proving controversial, with NGOs such as the Consumers’ Association of Penang questioning aspects of the transit scheme, and urging the government to hold back on the reclamations that will fund it. Local fishermen believe that the new islands will have a detrimental effect on the marine environment.

The Penang State Government remains committed to completing the islands. The competition jury will begin deliberations in February, with the design stage submission deadline falling on 8th April.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This competition was first published by TenderStream on 18.11.2019 here

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