| Azlan Othman |
THE architectural design of a pilot project to upgrade 65 houses in Kg Ayer won the hearts of judges at the Architectural Design Award.
The talented architect, Haslinawati binti Hj Abdul Halim who brought the design to life said, “The competition is about our culture and how it brought about the identity of a country. This, in my opinion, was the winning point as Kg Ayer is part of our national heritage.”
Haslinawati is also the Acting Senior Architect of the Public Works Department. Her design included fully integrated services, activity areas and network of walkways in the heart of the water village.
“This project depicts the glory of Kg Ayer and the upgrading project coincided with the construction of other projects such as the bridge linking Sg Kebun to the capital. It was an initiative made by the Government of His Majesty to enhance the image of Kg Ayer and took some 15 months to complete after its initial design in October 2010.
“The designing work covered many aspects which combined traditional and modern fusion to portray the national heritage of Brunei Drussalam while providing modern infrastructures and amenities. These are evident in the pitched roof, timber-like wall and wide ‘Pantaran’ or front verandah, ‘Penyadaian’ or boat platform, ‘Suka Duka’ or utility room and the bigger bedroom areas with direct link to the bathroom for privacy.
“This competition should become an avenue for young architects especially those interested in design to expand their creativities,” Haslinawati said.
The designer of the Grand Hall of The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Hj Ahmad Nizam bin Pehin Dato Hj Abdul Wahab from OWMP International, emerged as the second place winner. “My source of inspiration came from traditional Malay architecture. Much research was made and most of its interior pattern is from Southeast Asian countries, predominantly in Malay communities.
“This was the first project for my company and I am particularly humble to win second place. I was just starting up when I learnt about this competition. I did not expect to win and compete with other established architects. To be honest, I did not expect to win as most of the contenders were very good. It gives me an inspiration to do more in the future in terms of exposing the local Malay heritage.
“As Malays, we are proud of our origins. These Malay designs are of interest to most people from the US, Europe and rest of the world. It has been copied into these modern designs in Europe and in America.
“We need to stand up and say that this is our Malay design from this region. This should be done by our local architects. We have to work extra hard to finish the design as the client wants it fast. Passion, motivation and dedication are crucial and this design should inspire young architects,” he said.
Meanwhile, third place went to Hj Sabri bin Hj Hamid for his Maritime Archaeology museum design.