After showering attention on Asia for the past three years, I have decided that in 2021, we will shift our gaze back to Singapore and Malaysia, where our print edition is circulated. Our real estate is more precious now that we are only publishing every quarter, which is why we want to support the designers and architects who have been our loyal readers.
It is therefore befitting that the project we have featured on the cover is the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) Building by one of Malaysia’s premier practices, GDP Architects. Contributor Nizar Musa writes that it is easy to miss but spot it and what is unmistakeable is its occupation of a “unique design middle ground, of having neither too much nor too little, of being stately without statement”.
The same can be said of Outram Community Hospital in Singapore, which was conceptualised by B+H Architects. A complex, multi-faceted project that also has facilities for rehabilitation, administrative offices and even a kindergarten, it still manages to have an architectural language that is compositional, sculptural and cheerful.
Along a quiet residential lane in the eastern part of the country is a three-storey house by Ming Architects that used a series of staggered voids along its central axis to optimise the use of natural light and space. My favourite part is how you’d never guess all this was happening behind its unassuming façade.
Finally, do make time to read the feature on placemaking. This is a topic we are spotlighting in the first half of this year and I have curated a list of stories that will be published in our print issue and website to delve deeper into it. With borders still closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and fuelled by the human need for connection and sense of belonging, this has become a glue to forge closer ties with one another.