Six vying to be Bandar Malaysia designer instead of five

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 17): As many as six finalists have been chosen in the Bandar Malaysia International Design Competition to select the best Master Plan for the new sustainable city.

The six finalists were shortlisted from the 10 companies that had made it to the in the second stage of the competition which were previously chosen from among a list of 35.

The six finalists are AECOM, Hong Kong and Focus Architects and Urban Planners Sdn Bhd (Malaysia); BroadwayMalyan (Singapore); DPZ Asia with PAG Consult Sdn Bhd (Malaysia); Gensler, UK with AJM Planning and Urban Design Group, Malaysia; IZM Consult, Malaysia; and T R Hamzah & Yeang Sdn Bhd with Llewelyn Davies & Yeang, UK.

The Bandar Malaysia development, which covers 196 hectares, is expected to rejuvenate and regenerate the old Sungai Besi airport area into a new vibrant landmark within the Greater Kuala Lumpur, and will significantly transform Kuala Lumpur as a top global city.

The competition organised by the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) on behalf of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the Master Developer of Bandar Malaysia, began on Oct 15, 2011. The second stage concluded on March 16. Stage three kicked off on May 15, and submissions of the concept master plan will be due July 13, 2012, with MIP announcing the winner in late August.

According to MIP president Prof Datuk Dr Alias Abdullah, the participants made up of international and local master plan designers and architects really stepped up their game in stage two of the competition.

"After much deliberation, the jury decided on a shortlist of six finalists instead of five as originally planned. This is due to the varied and interesting ideas that were developed," he said.

He added, "The extended deliberation has resulted in a slight delay in the competition schedule, but the extra time is worth it as we want to ensure only the best talents get to design Bandar Malaysia."

The judging panel for stage three will comprise representatives from MIP, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Malaysian Institute of Architects, Institute of Engineers Malaysia, Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia and Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia as well as international experts in urban planning and design.

Datuk Azmar Talib — CEO of 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (1MDB RE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of 1MDB — said that the shortlisted finalists have proven that they're passionate about designing Bandar Malaysia envisioned as a sustainable and liveable city that will set the benchmark in the region.

"We look forward to seeing the concept master plan proposals that will define the desired and optimum standard of city-living, custom fit for Malaysians from all walks of life to live, work, play and learn.”

Bandar Malaysia is set to have the most innovative solutions for liveability in a new eco-system of harmony between people, buildings, traffic and nature. The mixed development will have a clear focus on culture and arts and will become an international destination for cultural facilities and public venues, a range of commercial and lifestyle offers and exemplary residential areas.