Sleek, simple, sharp

Izah Azahari

The Asia Pacific Property Awards is one of the largest, most prestigious, and widely recognised programmes throughout the region, judged by an independent panel of over 80 industry experts.

The judging focusses on design, quality, service, innovation, originality and commitment to sustainability.

Being in its 26th year and covering over 45 different residential and commercial categories, the award sees its judging panel chaired by Lord Caithness, Lord Best, The Earl of Liverpool, and Lord Thurso – members of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament. Headed by Design Director Wan Zainal Abidin – one of Brunei’s prominent interior designers with over 20 years’ experience – WAMA Designs received the Public Service Interior Brunei Award under the Asia Pacific Property Awards for their work on the Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC), which is planned to be the first greenmark platinum building in the country – a hospital that aims to be a catalyst for future landmark developments.

WAMA’s challenge was to ensure that the interior of the PJSC would be as beautiful as the exterior, taking into account the potential for healthcare environments to be stress-inducing, in which WAMA avoided making the hospital feel like a medical institution.

The interior of the PJSC incorporates elements that reflect a luxury resort lifestyle that is both functional and beautiful, and filled with authentically Bruneian themes that intertwine modern elements with traditional Malay design and Islamic culture.

The Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC). PHOTOS: WAMA DESIGNS
The lobby area of PJSC
The interior incorporates elements that reflect a luxury resort lifestyle that is both functional and beautiful
Neutral colours in use create a calming warmth
A patient’s room overlooking the sea at PJSC

One would take notice of the neutral colours in use, composed of natural timber veneers and pops of paint in English Apple Green and Seaside Blue that create a calming warmth made better by the hospital’s beachside location.

Lift lobbies form focal points, with LED lighting diffused across a bronze mirror and walnut veneer finishes, reflecting Islamic cut-out patterns. Over 200 selected soothing artworks enhance a holistic approach to health.

The ambience of the hospital is relaxing for patients and staff alike, creating a perfect healing atmosphere without sacrificing functionality.

As one of the few firms that specialise in interior design in the Sultanate, WAMA Designs has done a number of healthcare interior projects as well as corporate interiors, from Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) to some areas within the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, as well as major corporate clients like DST Sdn Bhd, TelBru and Insurans Islam TAIB.

Despite its young age since its establishment 11 years ago, WAMA Designs hopes to expand working on overseas projects. Wan Zainal explained that one of the nice things about this line of work is that it’s quite borderless and doesn’t really require one to be physically in each country as it is possible to work remotely, especially during these COVID-19 times.

One of the recent overseas projects done by WAMA Designs was for a high-end fashion shop in Singapore’s Mandarin Gallery which was handed over last December. A few more projects are underway for companies in Kuching, Sarawak and West Malaysia.

Wan Zainal said it would be good if the firm can establish a foothold in Southeast Asia and it also welcomed the opportunity to do overseas projects that are further out.

With regards to recently winning the award, the Design Director said the firm has achieved a standard comparable to other international firms, which gives them more mileage to talk to overseas clients.

“It’s nice to receive that sort of recognition,” he added.