| Azlan Othman |
LOCAL architects must possess the ability to upgrade the role of architecture on not merely designing buildings but contributing to the country’s sustainable development by reducing carbon footprint and energy usage.
This was highlighted by Minister of Development, Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi bin Hj Osman at the Architectural Design Award 2014/2015 ceremony, yesterday.
“Landmarks such as the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah and the Lapau Building can be used as design references for younger architects aside from the architecture influences of western countries.
“Architects and designers are now expected to play a role in creating sustainable design and produce energy efficient buildings,” he said.
Touching upon the Architectural Award, the minister remarked, “It is a good opportunity for Brunei to showcase and recognise the work of local architects. This citation is beneficial as it exposes their design not only to Asean countries but also the world.”
The event is hoped to encourage more local architects to design and provide more value-added elements to buildings. “By 2035, in line with Brunei’s national vision, we hope to enjoy the fruitful contributions of its people and be recognised for our accomplishments as an educated and highly skilled society, who has produced a dynamic and sustainable economy.
“The Public Works Department is encouraged to produce more architectural design guidelines. Some of which, include the Built Environment Guideline-MIB context. This good work must be continued for it to be relevant, not just for Brunei but also Asean countries.”
Architects, the minister urged, should establish more collaboration with their local counterparts and also international architectural bodies. Through this, they can acknowledge design excellence and share thoughts and input to improve architectural design quality and architectural services.
This is the first national level, Architectural Design Award organised by the Public Works Department, Ministry of Development in collaboration with Association of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA). It was conducted in conjunction with the ‘Citation of Excellent Architectural Design Reflecting East Asian’, a project organised by Asean-COCI where Indonesia is the host country. Each Asean +3 invited countries (People’s Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea) have participated in this citation.
Among the objectives were to acknowledge exemplary work; the development and improvement of the East Asian spirit; the development and improvement of the East Asian built environment and spread awareness on the role of architecture in the socio-economy and culture of East Asian countries.
It also aims to demonstrate that good architecture is a major component of the positive influence on the human environment, and that physical development in Asia need not be in disharmony with cultural values, national identity or the natural environment of the developing countries in Asia.
The Architectural Award competition was opened to all government and qualified architects registered with the Board of Architects, Professional Engineers and Quantity Surveyors (APEQS) at the Ministry of Development.
The top three winners in the National Level have been announced. The three selected entries will be sent to Indonesia as Country Coordinator by February 1 to participate in the regional competition and exhibition, which begins on February 25 to 28.
Haslinawati binti Hj Abdul Halim, Acting Senior Architect of the Public Works Department emerged as the winner for her design on ‘Pilot project to upgrade Kg Ayer’. It involved the construction of 65 houses with fully integrated services, activity areas and network of walkways in the heart of the Water Village. The second place winner went to Hj Ahmad Nizam bin Pehin Dato Hj Abdul Wahab from OWMP International who designed the Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel & Country Club while third place went to Hj Sabri bin Hj Hamid with the Maritime Museum design.