Ramboll, BIG and Hijjas to design masterplan for new sustainable city in Malaysia

WCN Editorial Team 27 Aug 2020 ASIA BUILDINGS

Ramboll, architect Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Hijjas have been selected by the Penang State Government as winners to design the masterplan for the new Penang South Islands (PSI) in Malaysia.

As per Penang State Government, the proposal by the three companies titled ‘BiodiverCity’ supports the Penang 2030 vision clearly focusing on livability, to enhance the quality of life and to boost the economy to increase household income. Most importantly, the design focuses on environmental sustainability for future generations.

The international design competition was conducted by the Penang State Government in January this year to transform the Penang South Islands into a sustainable, global destination.

The region’s had unique biodiversity which spans several topographies and protected environments, which have been facing several developments, disrupting the coastal zones and natural habitats in recent years.

The new PSI project will be located at the south-end of Penang island. It will include three islands, covering a total area of 4,500 acres in land size with mixed-use districts between 15,000 and 18,000 residents.

Additionally, the residents can also enjoy near 4.6km of public beaches, 600 acres of parks and 25km of waterfront.

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) founder and creative director Bjarke Ingels said: “It is an immense honour to have been chosen to imagine this new contribution to the Malaysian archipelago. Architecture and design at its core is the art and science of giving form to our future. In no case is this more evident than here, where we are literally embarking on a journey to create more of Malaysia for future generations.

“We have decided to set the bar as high as humanly possible by imagining a new archipelago that aims to be both more culturally and biologically diverse than existing conditions.”

With an aim to make the place a car-free environment, the masterplan has included water, air and land-based autonomous public transportation network. The streets will also be much safer for bikers and pedestrians.

The buildings in BiodiverCity will be designed to be resource-efficient and are also expected to be built to a large extent using low-carbon materials such as bamboo and Malaysian timber in combination with green concrete.

Ramboll global director Shonn Mills said: “This fantastic win demonstrates how sustainability and wellness is the now a key value driver globally. We have grown our footprint in South East Asia with the partnership with Web Structures and are realizing our strategy of becoming a leading sustainability consultant in the region.”


Artist’s rendering of the new BiodiverCity to be built on Penang Islands in Malaysia. (Credit: Ramboll Group A/S.)

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