Penang shortlists 5 teams to design ‘3 islands’ reclamation project

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (seated, third from left) with representatives from the five international teams shortlisted to design the Penang South Islands project, at Komtar in George Town today.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has shortlisted five international teams to design the three reclaimed islands in the Penang South Islands (PSI) project, following a RM2.5 million master-planning competition held since last November.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the five teams – each consisting of a foreign company with a Malaysian partner – were selected from a list of 27 chosen from an initial 124 submissions.

He said the five teams were chosen based on their capability and experience in similar projects. A honorarium of US$125,000 (RM508,000) will be paid to each of the five teams.

The teams are Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark) with Hijjas Architects and Planners; Foster + Partners (UK) with GDP Architects Sdn Bhd; MVRDV (Netherlands) with aLM Architects; Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design (United States) with Eowon Architects; and UN Studio (Netherlands) with Architects 61 Sdn Bhd.

One design will be selected by next month and the team given the chance to be the “lead masterplan designer” of the proposed three islands covering 1,821ha.

It will also get to propose the names for the islands which, for now, will be collectively known as the Penang South Islands, as opposed to Penang South Reclamation (PSR) previously.

The winners will also help the government decide what activities should be carried out on the islands.

The state government wants Island A – near the airport runway – to be largely devoted to industries, although all three islands will have mixed development projects.

Chow said a master jury panel will begin to deliberate the five teams’ proposals early next month, adding that he hopes they would “capture the diverse and unique Penang qualities and characteristics”.

The competition was jointly organised with the Malaysian Institute of Architects (Northern Chapter) and the Board of Architects Malaysia.

The estimated RM46 billion PSI reclamation project will help finance public transport and new highways, with the reclaimed land to be sold to the highest bidder.

The project measures nearly 17 sq km, with the islands – measuring 9.3 sq km, 4.45 sq km anf 3.23 sq km – to be located off the coast of Permatang Damar Laut, near Bayan Lepas. It has obtained approval from Putrajaya.

The project will be undertaken by SRS Consortium Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between Gamuda Bhd and Penang real estate development firms Loh Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd and Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd.