News & Happenings

HSL announce AIR architecture competition

Prize money worth RM245K to be won

Hock Seng Lee (HSL) today announced its second national architecture competition called “AIR — Building With Nature”, or ‘AIR competition’ in short.

The competition is the second only as such in Sarawak, after Langit in 2021. The Langit architecture competition saw the building Langit-Citadines being announced as the latest landmark of future Kuching.

Similar to Langit, the “AIR — Building With Nature” is going to be jointly organised by the company with the Malaysian Architecture Institute (PAM).

AIR is PAM’s only architecture competition this year. Its most recent was last year in Penang.

The name: AIR

HSL managing director Datuk Paul Yu Chee Hoe  said the name AIR was chosen as it represents “the air above us”, and water (as in Malay, ‘air’ means water).

This is represented through the river through the site.

The land

The competiton is to design a masterplan for a 13.5 acre piece of land between Kuching International Airport and Saradise, which considered a premium land space in Kuching City.

According to a press release by HSL, the AIR competition is to find the best masterplan ideas.  This contrast with Langit which was to find the best high-rise design.

HSL is the landowner of the 13.5 acre land.

In HSL’s press release, Yu said that the land pose challenge to designers as it is next to the airport which limits building height, it is surrounded by other developments and has a river running through it.

The competition

APM feels that the competition means the company is supporting an open and transparent town building process.

According to PAM president Ar Adrianta Aziz, this is because architects get to submit their ideas and have these ideas put on public display for feedback and discussions, while it also encourages engagement between public, private sectors, and across industries, from designers to consultants and suppliers.

Indirectly, the people of Kuching will benefit the most from open competitions like AIR Competition.

Yu on the other hand said that the winners of the competition would be judged on environmental and commercial considerations.

Prizes of “AIR — Building With Nature”  Competition

The competition is open to PAM members nationwide.

Prize monies total RM245,000, with a top prize of RM120,000, second prize RM60,000 and third prize, RM30,000.

There are also seven commendation prizes of RM5,000 each.

Judging is purely on merit with PAM presenting all entries anonymously for the initial shortlisting, after which, individual architects (or teams) will be called to present to jurors.

For this AIR competition, PAM has recommended a seven-juror penal, which will include a PAM Gold Medalist, the institute’s president, the Sarawak chapter head, a Green Building Index specialist and notable Sarawakian architects.

The promotional video on the competition can be seen below.

More details on the competition can be obtained from


Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason was born and currently lives in Kuching. He loves jungle trekking, clean rivers and chilling out with friends.
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