Master of Architecture graduate Thur Pei Mak was recently awarded the inaugural Tan Sri Chan Sau Lai Architecture Award by the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM).
Thur Pei received the grand prize with a cash award of RM25,000 (equivalent to AUD8,000) and a winner's certificate for her third year individual project ‘Four Square House Design Problem’. The project was completed during a studio supervised by Associate Professor Emiliano Roia in 2009.
The ALVA graduate was up against competitors from RMIT, University College, London and Tsinghua University in Beijing but won over the judges with her ‘refreshing design, focused on a common architectural undertaking that blended both nature and social interaction seamlessly with frequent green spaces and interconnecting footpaths’.
Her project was an initiative to redefine the notion of housing typology to enhance the living experience of inhabitants. The brief called for a residential development on a hypothetical city grid of 36m by 36m, where each parcel consisted of four houses. Connection and contiguity formed the fundamental concept of the project. From the spatial connection of parcels between houses, to the visual connection between rooms, the project aspired to promote social and family interaction, without compromising on privacy. The solid and void configurations enabled the blending of nature into built structures, establishing contact with natural light and air.
Tan Sri Chan Sau Lai, after whom the award was named, is an architect and executive chairman of Beneton Properties - a leading developer and designer of avant-garde residential and commercial properties in Malaysia. Beneton Properties which was established in 1979 has also completed several projects in UK and Australia.
Thur Pei has been working for an architectural firm in Malaysia, Mak Arkitek Konsult, since she finished her university studies at ALVA a year ago.