Dr Tan Loke Mun, director of Malaysian-based firm ArchiCentre, tells us how people are considered in projects large and small.
Founded in 1994, ArchiCentre is an award-winning Malaysian multidisciplinary architecture design practice with headquarters in Subang Jaya.
No. 19 in Subang Jaya, Malaysia – a project to revitalise and re-use an old building fabric and give new life to an old neighbourhood. The building is now a green rated flexible studio gallery
While their projects cut across different scales and types, from large city master planning through to commercial, hospitality, residential, and adaptive re-use projects, the work is primarily driven by sustainable regionalism to create socially responsive built environments.
“Our design approach centres around People and Process,” says ArchiCentre’s Director, Dr Tan Loke Mun. “Architecture and buildings are for People and [have] to take into consideration aspects of culture, context and climate. Green architecture is one of the results of this Process.”
While the projects may vary, Dr Tan says that each work undertaken gives them an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of their thought processes and design.
The firm doesn’t just “look at the commercial aspects of projects”, says Dr Tan, adding that they also take on interesting work purely for the opportunity “to do exciting things”.
Setia City Convention Centre in Setia Alam, Selangor, Malaysia – a GBI certified green building conceptualised in the image of a glistening silver fishing lure on the surface of the lake
Reflecting on how far the firm has come since its inception, Dr Tan says, “We are probably [still in the] adolescence stage. Not young anymore but still maturing. So the best is yet to come! We are now much larger than say 10 years ago but the passion and energy is still there. [We’re] a lot busier but the Process is still the same. We always try to find a solution to People’s problems and express it in the built environment. We still operate like a design studio albeit a busy one and still without much classification and hierarchy.”
Setia City Mall in Setia Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. It sits adjacent to the Setia City Convention Centre
In Malaysia, the firm is currently busy working on projects in the Iskandar Region, Desaru, Sabah and Cyberjaya. It is also involved in projects in Vietnam and Cambodia.
S11 house in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia – designed to achieve the highest level Platinum rating in Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI)
Dr Tan says that the challenge for the firm is “to try not to do too much… and to constantly try to be very controlled to ensure that the quality of design is never compromised”.
SetiaHills in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – a residential project conceptualised as a Spa Villa Hotel
“We have always been driven by a passion for great design solutions,” he says.