M C I ( P ) 0 74 / 10 / 2 0 2 0 | V O L U M E 12 N U M B E R 1 | 2 0 2 1 S I N G A P O R E | W W W . D P A . C O M . S G
1.1 The dEBUT issue
2.1 The Residential Issue
2.2 The Retail Issue
2.3 The hotel Issue
2.4 The learning Issue
3.1 The green Issue
3.2 world cities summit issue
3.3 The malaysia Issue
3.4 the shopping issue
4.1 The high-rise living Issue
4.2 The leisure Issue
4.3 The heritage Issue
4.4 the dubai mall issue
5.1 The hotel Issue
5.2 the ti lian seng issue
5.3 The sports hub Issue
5.4 The awards Issue
6.1 The dp design Issue
6.2 The indonesia Issue
6.3 The institutional Issue
6.4 The chan sui him Issue
10TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY
7.1 the recreational & civic issue
7.2 private social spaces Issue
7.3 the dp green issue
8.1 The DP50 Issue
8.2 The people+partners Issue
8.3 The designfirst Issue
8.4 the designfuture issue
9.1 revitalising paya lebar Issue
9.2 the urban evolution of china
9.3 president's design award 2018
9.4 The health & wellness Issue
10.1 The one global studio Issue
10.2 the india issue
10.3 the faĂ‡ade Issue
10.4 the urban workspaces issue
11.1 the residential issue
11.2 covid-19 & the next norm
11.3 The china Issue
LET TER FROM THE CHAIRMAN
CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE Angelene Chan
I am pleased and proud to announce the appointment of Seah Chee Huang as the new CEO of DP Architects and its group of companies. Taking office from 1 February, Chee Huang will lead DP’s fourth generation of leaders as we begin a new chapter in the DP story. I will take over from Francis Lee as Chairman of the Board, and continue to serve DP towards our vision and goals. Francis will assume the role of Senior Director, advisor and mentor; his counsel and the support of a 32-strong board of directors and 12 specialist directors, will secure the success of this leadership renewal. Change brings a new sense of what is possible. With the world in throes of change, this sense of possibility has never been stronger. Seizing the momentum, this transition is an opportunity for DP to transform and create a new vision of the future. With the new leadership in place, we will put into action the thinking and planning that we have been doing in the past year; to strengthen our design and delivery capabilities, and enhance our value proposition to our clients, consultants, contractors and employees. With Chee Huang leading the charge, we look forward to a re-energised DP as we continue to pursue the firm’s founding aspiration to create a positive impact on society and the environment. To that end, we will put sustainability at the very heart of our business. The climate crisis requires urgent response, and it begins with the intention we set and the decisions we make. For DP, we will be refocusing our sustainability strategies, and stepping up efforts to establish best sustainability practices and implementation mechanisms for our projects. To make good our promises, we will continue to elevate our expertise in this area and invest in sustainability innovation. We believe that aligning our business and sustainability strategies will give us a competitive advantage, contribute to our clients’ goals, create value for our stakeholders and, more importantly, protect our planet. To truly transform the built environment to support a sustainable future, we need industry-wide collaboration. It is critical that the diverse disciplines within the sector come together with the same intent and commitment to action. As a leading integrated design practice with multidisciplinary expertise, we regard it as our responsibility to push for sustainability not just in architecture but in all disciplines that we practice. Things must change, but not at the expense of continuity. Continuity comes from finding the right balance between change and stability. In DP’s 54 years, we have encountered many crises and undergone many transformations.
Grounded by our core values and sense of purpose, we have proven our resilience and ability to build on our strengths during difficult times. We are committed to expand on the valuable lessons we have learned in the past year. There is no question that many challenges lie ahead. With a team of creative and diverse talents, and a wealth of experience to draw on, I am confident that DP will evolve and come out stronger than before. This renewal of leadership is a renewal of purpose and a renewal of our promise to our people and partners.
01 Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards 2020 02 Urban GreenUP: How Nature-based Solutions Mitigate The Effects of Climate Change 03 Inaugural World Architecture Festival China Awards 2020 04 19th Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Awards
07-30 IN DEPTH
Fundamentals for the Future 01 Expansion: Boldness in Business and Verve in Design 02 Diversification: The Pursuit of Design Excellence 03 Design Partnership: DP Architects and Its Group of Companies 04 One Global Studio: An International Network of Expertise and Database of Knowledge
31-41 IN PERSON Dynamics of DP
DESIGN IN PRINT TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF Angelene Chan | EDITORS Ng San Son, Belle Chung | CONTENT Toh Bee Ping, Josy Koh, Luke Wee, John Utanes GRAPHICS Amanda Lin, Rebecca Jin | CONTRIBUTORS Jackie Poh, Juliana Tan, Bahr Karim, Bai Jiwen, Rory Daniel, Alvin Arre
LET TER FROM THE CEO
CEO'S MESSAGE Seah Chee Huang
I recall quite vividly, a moment 22 years ago when I was a third-year architectural intern in DP. Then CEO, Chan Sui Him and my team leader, Warren Liu, offered me a scholarship that came with a two-year bond, for my post-graduate exchange in Bartlett, UK. I accepted the offer with little hesitation because, like many, I believed that DP was the best place to create memorable and meaningful architecture. This conviction continues to hold strong today through our built projects – growing from the likes of Golden Mile Complex, People’s Park Complex and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay to key projects along Orchard Road, Marina Centre, Singapore Sports Hub, NUS UTown, Paya Lebar Quarter and The Dubai Mall. These are but some of DP’s architecture that have redefined our city’s skyline and purposefully enriched the lives of the communities within. This deep concern for the environment and the people we design for remains at the heart of the firm’s design philosophy. The Deed of "Design Partnership" of 1967 formed the cornerstones of DP’s culture, guiding one generation of leaders to another. Looking back, I have been fortunate to know and be inspired by the leaders before me – from our pioneers William Lim, Tay Kheng Soon, Koh Seow Chuan, and DP Architects’ founding partner Gan Eng Oon to my mentors Chan Sui Him and Francis Lee – who have helped lay firm foundations for today’s DP. It is with great humility and immense honour that I come into this role as CEO, to lead and serve DP. I look forward to working closely with our new Chairman Angelene Chan and fellow directors to continue advancing the quality and excellence that our predecessors have set. While we have seen success over the years, there remains much for DP to do. Climate degradation and the turbulent post-pandemic global economic outlook presents immediate yet long-lasting challenges that are not only accelerating digitalisation and the way we live, work, learn, relate and play. In an industry that respects innovation, the compounding disruptions in the norms of our global socio-economic landscape are also accelerating change in the way we design. Every challenge comes with opportunities to progress. Throughout every crisis, DP’s history has shown that we not only bounced back but emerged stronger. Shining through perseverance and adaptability, we often look to our purpose and shared values as our north stars. We stay committed to extend care for one another, leading the way for our people, clients and communities. This begins with our fundamental business of Design. Powered by technology, innovation and lifelong learning, we will reinforce our core competencies while deepening our value propositions. The strategic action plans focus on elevating the quality of our design and delivery through the integration of digital platforms. These will be further expounded through growing depth in our repertoire of building typologies, especially in complex mixed-use, transport-oriented, health and wellness-centric integrated developments. Coupling these pursuits purposefully with our enhanced digital, green, and well-design agenda, through evidence and outcome-based design innovation, we strive to drive with our partners, clients and communities more responsive, circular and healthier design outcomes. The same pursuit goes laterally across our design specialists as we further our interdisciplinary practice to offer a total solution and unique user experience. Internationalisation remains one of the primary strategies in exporting our expertise, and strengthening our presence
and the Singapore brand in key regional and emerging markets. And as we chart our progress towards being a global studio of thought leaders and talents, it is the power of ‘we’ and teamwork that we harness to boost our collective expertise, and the breadth and depth of our offerings. Our DP Academy will also be a strategic vehicle of transformation in expanding DP’s knowledge capital, further empowering and equipping DPians with relevant digital design skills and capabilities for a purpose-driven vocation. Our value proposition synthesises competencies, our hunger to elevate and innovate, and our spirit of partnership with you – our valued partners, clients and the communities. With your continued support and trust, I am confident and excited that together, we can continue to inspire the next aspiring architectural intern; delight users of our buildings or parks we sculpted; decarbonise and elevate wellness through regenerative design; as well as invigorate cities and lives of communities through the most memorable and meaningful design. The best is yet to come.
T H E L AT E S T H A P P E N I N G S I N D P
SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS AWARDS 2020 SENGK ANG GENER AL HOSPITAL RECOGNISED FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN STR ATEGIES
Sengkang General Hospital (SKGH), which was designed and planned to synergistically achieve energy, green and social sustainability as well as community building, was recognised for design strategies taken towards sustainability. It was awarded the Global Human Settlements Model Building Award at the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards ceremony held online on 16 October 2020.
Our Tampines Hub
URBAN GREENUP: HOW NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
DP GREEN DIRECTOR Y VONNE TAN PRESENTS SINGAPORE AS A CASE STUDY FOR VERTICAL GREENING IN A HIGH-DENSIT Y CIT Y ENVIRONMENT
The success of Singapore’s green initiatives in the built environment was made possible by careful planning and effective policies and regulations. Yvonne Tan shared these learning points through an overview of the nation’s journey from a 'Garden City' in 1963 to 'City in a Garden' to 'City in Nature' at the first Urban GreenUP External Webinar Series held last November. To illustrate how nature-based solutions comply with government regulations and are applied across typologies, DPG’s projects Our Tampines Hub and SBF Center were cited as examples.
AWA R D S & E V E N T S
INAUGURAL WORLD ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL CHINA AWARD CHUANGYUAN TOWER WINS EXCELLENT DESIGN AWARD
Chuangyuan Tower, located in Nanjing Tech Park, won the Excellent Design Award at the inaugural World Architecture Festival (WAF) China. The project was recognised for its sensitive and well-thought yet unique design response to site and context. Launched in 2020, the new award arm of the worldâ€™s largest architecture festival honours projects of high design calibre from the Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions.
19 TH SINGAPORE INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AWARDS
HEARTWARE NETWORK WINS IN SOCIAL/HUMANITARIAN ARCHITECTURE CATEGORY
Heartware Network was recognised for its clever deployment of usable surfaces and use of a modular grid system to engineer a flexible space for multiple functions. The design provides opportunities and nurtures a sense of ownership, participation and spontaneity among youths. Named winner of the Social/Humanitarian Architecture category at the 19 th Singapore Institute of Architects Architectural Design Awards 2020, the design of Heartware Network is a corporate social responsibility initiative by DPA.
F E AT U R E D A R T I C L E
FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE FUTURE By John Utanes
LEADERS MUST SET THE EXAMPLE OF RESPONSIBILITY, INTEGRITY, SELF-RENEWAL AND EXCELLENCE — CORE VALUES ESTABLISHED BY DP PIONEERS THAT ARE NOW KEYSTONES OF OUR WORK CULTURE. THIS WILL BRING DP TO GREATER HEIGHTS. FRANCIS LEE S E NIO R DIRECTOR, DP ARCHITECTS
FACING PAGE BEYOND FULFILLING A FUNCTIONAL PURPOSE, THE SKYLIGHTS IN THE DUBAI MALL ARE WAYFINDING MARKERS; EACH UNIQUELY DESIGNED TO RELATE TO ITS RESPECTIVE ZONE AND ACCOMPANYING THEME.
OUR HISTORIES SHAPE US, ALLOWING US TO COMPREHEND OUR PRESENT AND ENABLING US TO DETERMINE THE DIRECTION OF OUR FUTURE. WHILE SUCCESSION PLANNING ENSURES LONGEVITY AND PROGRESS THROUGH RENEWAL AND RE-INVIGORATION, DP ARCHITECTS IS MINDFUL THAT THE FRESH PERSPECTIVE AND RENEWED VISION BROUGHT BY THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERSHIP MUST FIRST BE BUILT ON THE FOUNDATIONAL VALUES LAID DOWN BY ITS PREDECESSORS. As DP enters 2021, its sights are set to reach even greater heights while reaffirming its mission to deliver excellent architecture that benefits users and the environment. It is in commemoration of the company’s rich heritage that In Depth looks back at the milestones of the firm, the legacy of its forebears and the principles that will continue to guide the course towards a better, stronger and more innovative DP.
AERIAL VIEW OF THE DUBAI MALL
EXPANSION: BOLDNESS IN BUSINESS AND VERVE IN DESIGN
THE DUBAI MALL HAS TRANSFORMED THE PRACTICE OF DP ARCHITECTS. THE PROJECT HAS EXPANDED THE GEOGRAPHICAL REACH OF THE FIRM, THE SCALE AT WHICH IT BUILDS AND THE DEGREE TO WHICH IT COLLABORATES WITH CLIENTS. FRANCIS LEE S E NIO R DIRECTOR, DP ARCHITECTS
SINCE ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN 1967, THE FIRM HAS DELIVERED COMPLEX AND LARGE-SCALE DEVELOPMENTS THAT ARE NOT ONLY SIGNIFICANT TO SINGAPORE’S NATION BUILDING. THEY HAVE ALSO BECOME HALLMARKS OF THE COUNTRY’S URBANSCAPE AND BUILT HERITAGE. THESE PROJECTS INCLUDE PEOPLE’S PARK COMPLEX (1970), GOLDEN MILE COMPLEX (1974) AND PROJECTS IN THE MARINA BAY AREA, 1 INCLUDING MARINA SQUARE , 2 SUNTEC CITY (1997) AND 3 MILLENIA SINGAPORE (1997) . EACH IS A UNIQUE ARCHITECTURAL CULMINATION OF DP’S DESIGN THINKING AND PARTNERSHIP WITH BOTH LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANTS.
F U N D A M E N TA L S F O R T H E F U T U R E
The experience and expertise acquired through these early projects were crucial to the design development, delivery and construction of The Dubai Mall, arguably DP's most important project which made its name on the world stage. Led by Francis Lee, the CEO at the time, the initial team of four grew to 120 during the course of the project development. It included some of DP’s top architects and designers including Ti Lian Seng, Toh Sze Chong, Angelene Chan and Mike Lim. In every aspect of its architectural scheme, DP displayed sensitivity to site, context and people. The façade of The Dubai Mall took its cue from Arab culture via thoughtful re-interpretation of related motifs and symbols. Structurally, a project of such a massive scale also necessitated working with the right experts, including some of the best façade consultants and C&S engineers in the industry. It was the beginning of a fruitful relationship that led to the partnership and formation of DP Engineers in 2010 and DP Façade in 2016. In addition to being the largest mall in the world during its launch, The Dubai Mall was designed to be a premier place-making destination, providing the large number of visitors with a grand and unforgettable retail experience. In order to break the sense of spatial homogeny within such a massive project, the design team divided the mall into thematic zones; each anchored by signature features such as the world’s largest indoor aquarium, an Olympic-sized ice-skating rink, an indoor waterfall and zone-specific skylights. By this strategic differentiation, the plethora of retail and recreational offerings in the mall is elevated by its variety of spatial experiences; making it one of the most-visited destinations in the world.
The success of The Dubai Mall is a testament of DPA’s credibility in servicing projects of immense scale and complexity. It has since secured the firm’s foothold in the region and paved the way for other projects in the Middle East. This credibility was further proven by the successful Resorts World Sentosa4.
DID YOU KNOW? 1. As an engineer working under a different firm at the time, Mr Tan Yew Chai led his team in strategies that reduced construction waste and carbon emissions. He joined DP in 2009 to head DP Engineers (DPE), and continues to devise innovative and integrated solutions that emphasise safety, functionality and value of investment across every project. 2. The inspiration for the interior design is drawn from the local context, encapsulating the cultural essence of Dubai. Aspects of local culture are featured throughout the spatial environment, from the exquisite details of motif and patterns adorning walls and ceilings, up to large-scale zoning that features culturally-designed settings such as “The Village” and “The Souk ”.
READ MORE ABOUT DP’S DESIGN CONCEPT HERE:
DISCOVER DP FAÇADE’S PLAY ON MATERIALS:
¹ In collaboration with John Portman Associates, USA. ² In collaboration with Tsao & McKown (Singapore) Pte Ltd. ³ In collaboration with Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo & Associates, USA; and Philip Johnson, John Burgee Architects, USA 4 In collaboration with Michael Graves & Associates and Associates; and Kevin Barbee Creative Advisors
AERIAL VIEW OF RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA
DIVERSIFICATION: THE PURSUIT OF DESIGN EXCELLENCE
WE WERE FOCUSED ON MAKING SINGAPORE A WORLD-CLASS CITY FULL OF AMENITIES AND UNIQUE EXPERIENCES, BRINGING INTEREST AND ACTIVITY THROUGHOUT THE ISLAND. ANGELENE CHAN CH A IRM A N, DP ARCHITECTS
RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA (RWS) IS A L ARGE-SCALE, 49HA INTEGR ATED LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION THAT HOSTS ABUNDANT ACTIVITIES WITHIN A SERIES OF SE AMLESSLY INTERWOVEN PROGR AMMATIC ZONES. WHILE THE T YPOLOGY WAS NE W TO DPA, ITS SCALE AND PURPOSE WERE NOT. BRINGING NOT ONLY AN APTITUDE FOR PL ACEMAKING ARCHITECTURE, BUT ALSO AN E XPERTISE IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT, THE FIRM APPLIED A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO SUCCESSFULLY RE ALISE THE INTEGR ATED RESORT.
F U N D A M E N TA L S F O R T H E F U T U R E
ADVENTURE COVE WATERPARK
TREETOP LOFTS BY DP DESIGN
The project continued to propagate the firm’s culture of collaboration. Internally, this was articulated in the delightful working relationship and design dynamics with DP Engineers (headed by Tan Yew Chai in C&S and Goh Yong Ping in M&E) and DP Design. The latter, under the leadership of its principal designer Mike Lim, delivered the iconic interiors of Treetop Lofts and Ocean Suites at RWS. The interior design arm, established in 1982 by DP pioneer, Gan Eng Oon, was among DP's first specialist arms and was intended to elevate the firm’s design delivery capabilities. This vision and intent would be further advanced by Francis Lee and Angelene Chan during their respective CEO-ship.
OCEAN SUITES BY DP DESIGN
collaboration, DPC also enabled effective partnerships between external consultants, and ensured the timely and successful delivery of RWS. Responding to the site context and climate, outdoor linkways and sheltered areas were introduced. This straight-forward yet sensitive design strategy allows visitors to experience Singapore’s tropical climate and access the lush flora within a comfortable and delightful environment. The incorporation of other active sustainable design strategies such as photovoltaic installations and an integrated water management system earned RWS the first-ever District Green Mark Gold PLUS from the Building Construction Authority.
Of the eight specialist arms under today’s DPA group of companies, the first was DP Consultants (DPC), established in 1981. Putting its years of project management experience to the test, it was deployed to meet the demands of the mega project and the challenges of a multi-consultancy team. As the first Integrated Resort project in Singapore, RWS was poised to not only set the bar for its typology but also influence local regulations. DPC, especially through the planning for Adventure Cove Waterpark, has made a significant contribution to the refinement of today’s buildng codes and standards of definition, submission/approval and licensing processes for future developments. Carrying DP’s spirit of
The experience with RWS advanced DP’s ‘design partnership’ ethos and pursuit of design excellence. Spearheaded by Francis and Angelene, the firm strategically acquired architecture-related expertise and established eight specialist arms to date; forming the DP Architects and its group of companies.
READ MORE ABOUT RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA HERE:
DISCOVER DP’S DESIGN EXPERIENCE IN LEISURE TYPOLOGY:
DESIGN PARTNERSHIP: DP ARCHITECTS AND ITS GROUP OF COMPANIES
THE TEAM OF SPECIALISTS HAS EXTENSIVE PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING INDUSTRY. DPC OFFERS PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES FROM DESIGN TO POST-CONSTRUCTION PHASES.
COMPRISING ARCHITECTS, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS AND ARBORISTS, DPG OFFERS FULL LANDSCAPE AND ARBORICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES; CREATING LANDSCAPE DESIGNS THAT RESPOND TO A SITE’S NATURAL GENIUS LOCI.
< RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA | SINGAPORE
< ASPEN CENTRAL ISLAND PARK | MALAYSIA
DP DESIGN'S HOLISTIC APPROACH RESPONDS TO A BUILDING'S ARCHITECTURE. INTERIOR ARCHITECTS CRAFT ENVIRONMENTS THAT SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATE PEOPLE, ARCHITECTURE, TECHNOLOGY AND THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE OF SPACE. LED BY ARCHITECTS, IT OFFERS INTERIOR DESIGN, SPACE PLANNING AND BRANDING STRATEGY SERVICES.
SPECIALISING IN LIGHTING DESIGN, THE ARCHITECTURETRAINED DESIGNERS AT DPL PROVIDE A RANGE OF CREATIVE SERVICES FROM LIGHTING CONSULTANCY TO COMPREHENSIVE DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION.
< EMAAR SQUARE MALL | TURKEY
PERFORMING AS AN INTERFACE AMONG DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES TO ENSURE FULLY COORDINATED DESIGN SOLUTIONS, DPE PROVIDES CIVIL AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING, MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING ENGINEERING, AS WELL AS FIRE AND HYDRAULICS SERVICES. < SUNRAY WOODCRAFT CONSTRUCTION HEADQUARTERS | SINGAPORE
IMAGE COURTESY OF MY HOME & RMZ CORP
Recognising that the practice of architecture is evolving, and growing broader and more encompassing, the establishment of DP's specialist companies aims to harness the potential of early integration and specialisation within architecture, so as to elevate the firm’s design delivery. The specialist companies are:
IMAGE COURTESY OF M+S PTE. LTD.
< DUO | SINGAPORE
DPSD’S TEAM OF ARCHITECTS, ENVIRONMENT ENGINEERS AND BUILDING SCIENTISTS – SUPPORTED BY SOPHISTICATED BIOCLIMATIC SIMULATION TOOLS – PLAY THE ROLE OF INTEGRATOR AMONG THE DIFFERENT BUILDING DISCIPLINES TO ACHIEVE HIGH-PERFORMANCE, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY DESIGNS IN A COST-EFFECTIVE WAY. < SENGKANG HOSPITAL CAMPUS | SINGAPORE
HELMED BY A TEAM OF ARCHITECTURE-TRAINED DESIGNERS AND ENGINEERS WITH AN EXTENSIVE PORTFOLIO IN THE FAÇADE DESIGN FIELD, DPF OFFERS FAÇADE CONSULTANCY SERVICES RANGING FROM ADVICE ON SPECIFIC BUILDING ENVELOPE CONCERNS TO COMPREHENSIVE DESIGN, DOCUMENT AND QUALITY CONTROL.
DPU COMPRISES URBAN PLANNERS AND DESIGNERS WHO ADOPT A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO ITS PROJECTS; OFFERING INTEGRATED END-TO-END SERVICES FOR URBAN PLANNING AND MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION WITH THE AIM TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ENHANCE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, AND NURTURE A SMART AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY.
< THE SKY VIEW | INDIA
< SEEF LUSAIL WATERFRONT | QATAR
The specialist companies are key drivers that contribute to the design discourse and knowledge database of the DPA group. Outside DP, each specialist arm functions independently to provide consultancy services to clients.
Working collaboratively with DPA, they function as one design studio to provide a multidisciplinary design approach from early project stages so as to deliver well-calibrated solutions that speak to site and context. This breadth of knowledge and expertise supports DP’s work overseas and is simultaneously supplemented by the depth of experience of its 16 offices worldwide.
F U N D A M E N TA L S F O R T H E F U T U R E
ONE GLOBAL STUDIO: AN INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF EXPERTISE AND DATABASE OF KNOWLEDGE
Since establishing its first overseas studio in Malaysia in 1994, DP has exported its design methodology and expertise overseas over the last four decades. Today, the firm operates as One Global Studio with 16 offices strategically entrenched in cities across Southeast Asia and Asia, to the Middle East and Europe. This has allowed the firm’s global design teams to immerse themselves within each unique context and garner information in real time so as to tailor their designs and cater to clients’ needs.
SHANGHAI DUBAI GUANGZHOU HANOI
BANGKOK HO CHI MINH CITY
KUALA LUMPUR JOHOR BAHRU
DP GLOBAL OFFICES REGIONS WITH DP PROJECTS ONE GLOBAL STUDIO NETWORK ONE BELT ONE ROAD
This connectivity through a comprehensive support network allows each office access to a shared pool of resources. Simply put, One Global Studio is the ability to tap into one another’s vast range of skills, experience and knowledge across geographical boundaries; thereby, further elevating and refining DP's design capabilities and delivery.
The success of the practice's expansion and international reach is due to its ability to combine business acumen with local insight on user-driven design as evidenced by the following key projects from around the world.
SINGAPORE 1. PAYA LEBAR CENTR AL | 2019 Of the full master plan of Paya Lebar Central, DPA was tasked with three key but individual developments — Paya Lebar Square, SingPost Centre and Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ). Sited in adjacency to one another and the MRT station, each is uniquely designed and purposed to the locale. Paya Lebar Square comprises a 13-storey office tower set on a 2-storey retail podium with one basement. It was conceived as a high-quality commercial property that adds to the diversity of amenities and vibrancy of the area. Three of DP’s specialists were also involved in Paya Lebar Square, namely DP Design for the interiors, DP Green for landscape design and DP Sustainable Design as sustainability consultant. SingPost Centre solidified its relevance in a digital age with a 25,000sqm retail wing extension that embraces new technologies in online and offline commerce. In order to create a naturally pleasant environment, DP Sustainable Design provided consultancy support such as ensuring ample daylight penetration. The Songket, a traditional Malay brocade known for its intricate patterns and rich colours, features strongly in Paya Lebar Quarter’s design language. Ensuring cohesiveness, DP Design used the Songket pattern in the interiors for PLQ Mall.
2. SUNRAY WOODCRAFT HEADQUARTERS 2015 DPA’s stacked box design is not only an expression of the client’s industry of trade. Its architectural form was also advantageous for programming spaces that cater to an effective and efficient flow of work and activities within. The stacked box form is further iterated by a façade envelope of yellow aluminium louvres and concrete, and houses the factory production, warehouse, private workers' quarters and the office, respectively. DID YOU KNOW • The aluminium louvres enable an open, climate-sensitive environment for comfortable living and working by allowing natural ventilation and light through, while shading workers from direct sun and rain exposure.
• As both the Structural and M&E Engineer, DP Engineers worked closely with DPA to realise the aesthetic vision while designing structural frames that were both efficient and economical; all while complying with the local buildability score. • The project won Design of the Year in the President’s Design Awards 2015.
3. HOMETEAMNS KHATIB | 2020 The design for HomeTeamNS Khatib rethinks the basic function of circulation pathways, elevating it from a purely utilitarian space to an experience layered with narratives, emotions and purpose. The two main thoroughfares of the sports and recreation development take on the mantle of an extroverted heritage gallery for the community. Reinforcing the quintessential constructs and quality of home — security, warmth and trust — the architecture refreshes the ambience of sharing and bonding; expressed by the articulate threading of connections, and the dissolution of fortified perimeters and frontages. DID YOU KNOW • To reduce water usage for irrigation, DP Green’s biodiverse landscape design implements rainwater harvesting and an automated system that carefully controls water usage and monitors rainfall. • The development boasts sustainability features such as solar panels, smart lighting and a swimming pool fitted with eco-filtration technology.
INDONESIA 4. L A VIE ALL-SUITES APARTMENTS | JAK ARTA, 2014 Standing tall on Denpasar Street within the central business district of Jakarta, La Vie comprises two luxurious 32-storey residential towers designed in a timeless linear language. The towers, laid out on a systematic rectilinear grid on an irregular site, allow porosity and enviable views for every predominantly north-south facing apartment suite. Suites sized between 90 to 165 m 2 are designed based on a regularised dimensional order that generates consistency in room sizes, structural spans and façade dimensions, translating to an increase in buildability and constructability. Working together with DP Green, this dimensional order is further echoed in the landscape design approach.
SINGAPORE DPA HEADQUARTERS
INDONESIA VIE W OUR OTHER PORTFOLIO OF WORKS IN THE COUNTRY HERE:
DESIGN IN PRINT ISSUE 6.2
O N E G L O B A L S T U D I O : A N I N T E R N AT I O N A L N E T W O R K O F E X P E R T I S E A N D D ATA B A S E O F K N O W L E D G E
IMAGE COURTESY OF LENDLEASE
IMAGE BY CHIOK JUN JIE
IMAGE BY MARIO WIBOWO
5. CIPUTR A WORLD MALL SUR ABAYA, 2008 Ciputra World Mall comprises a 5-storey retail podium, a 17-storey office tower, five blocks of apartment towers and a serviced apartment tower. The 7.7ha L-shaped site allows commercial and hospitality establishments to enjoy maximum exposure along the major axis of Jalan Mayjen Sungkono whilst retaining residents’ sense of privacy. The façade and interior of the mall are arranged in layers, with curves and shapes that reflect Surabaya’s profile as a coastal port famous for its beaches and sails of traditional boats. An elliptical atrium serves as the focal point adjacent to the main entrance, and generous secondary atriums connect the anchor tenant through the rest of the mall.
IMAGE BY MARIO WIBOWO
6. ST. MORITZ MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT JAK ARTA, 2015 St Moritz, sited on two separate parcels of land that are integrated as one urban centre for the municipality, is anchored by an immense retail complex amalgamated with six residential towers and one tower comprising office and hotel. The master plan designed the individual modules to seamlessly function as sub-divisions of the extended urban environment. Density of the spaces is mitigated by setting the development further back than the stipulated requirements. This also provides residents with privacy. Walkability and liveability of the development are then achieved through a network of continuous pedestrian walkways, integration of public plazas to the mall interior and pockets of greenery.
7.DESIGN VILL AGE PENANG | PENANG, 2016
9. THE LIGHT CIT Y | PENANG, 2023
Envisioned as a retail destination with an adjacent residential
This mixed-use development sits on a reclaimed waterfront
complex, Design Village is contemporary, non-thematic and stylistically international yet designed to deliver an experience that is unique to Penang. The architecture of the single storey development takes cue from George Town city’s streetscape, featuring naturally ventilated spaces with cool, well-sheltered verandah walkways and connectors; all of which, is nestled within a tropical garden setting. It also integrates vibrant F&B strips that connect to the residential complexes and pedestrian promenade. The result is a dynamic and memorable shopping experience
site on the east coast of the Penang island. Anchored by the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre, its goal is to define Penang as the premier MICE destination in northern Malaysia. The façade design and interiors reinterpret the local historical building archetypes with a modern touch and contemporary outlook. Programmatically, it consists of two residential clusters, a hotel tower, an office tower and 90,000m² of retail space which spreads over 5 floors. With these components, The Light City forges its identity as a unique ‘live, work, play’
punctuated by a delightful outdoor environment for visitors.
destination unified in a single estate.
8. CORONATION SQUARE JOHOR BAHRU, 2020 (PHASE 1)
Coronation Square consists of a retail mall, two office towers, a
10. ALPHA CIT Y | HO CHI MINH CIT Y, 2022
medical suite tower, two serviced apartment towers and a hotel. Sited on the fringe of the Johor Bahru city's commercial heart and adjacent to the Botanic Garden, it was conceived to elevate the standards of inner city living. Its design considerations are mainly focused on creating a modern and convenient space without compromising on safety and security of the general public by being spatially configured to seamlessly plug into the existing people-centric urban fabric and traffic movement networks with the use of sheltered walkways and segregated vehicular access. This convenience and accessibility create a comfortable environ that benefits the community and end-users.
8 Located in the up-and-coming District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City, Alpha City with its distinct tapered form is poised to enhance the skyline of the historic city. The architectural design of the 50-storey residential-retail tower is a response to the socio-economic aspirations of the city while paying ode to its cultural roots. In a nod to the latter, its façade treatment of pixilation, verticality and stratification re-interprets traditional Vietnamese patterns. High-rise apartments with panoramic views and pool deck envisioned as a green enclave deliver the epitome of contemporary city living.
HO CHI MINH CITY OFFICE
MALAYSIA VIE W OUR OTHER PORTFOLIO OF WORKS IN THE COUNTRY HERE:
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O N E G L O B A L S T U D I O : A N I N T E R N AT I O N A L N E T W O R K O F E X P E R T I S E A N D D ATA B A S E O F K N O W L E D G E
DID YOU KNOW • DP Design’s use of freely alterable features in the small units ensures that the potential of every space is optimised without compromising its interior aesthetics. • Quality of living is elevated through DP Sustainable Design’s use of 3-layer glass that provides 95% thermal insulation, anti-glare, noise filtering and UV protection. • To minimise construction waste and carbon emissions, DP Engineers reused all existing 360 bored piles, which were originally designed to support a 36-storey residential building, to realise a new foundation system to support the 50-storey development.
11. DOLPHIN PL AZA | HANOI, 2011 Dolphin Plaza, a mixed-use development comprising two residential towers and a retail podium with its distinctively dramatic shear wall and strong linear form, is 9
the quintessence of contemporary urban living in Hanoi. Accessibility, community and vibrancy are the key design goals of the development, which were achieved through careful spatial programming. Communal sky gardens serving the residential towers encourage a sense of community while outdoor spaces at ground level enable alfresco dining options, which further infuse dynamism within the development. Its architectural design received top honours from the Vietnam Architects Association in 2012.
IMAGE BY MARC TEY
12. MARRIOTT COURT YARD DA NANG DA NANG, 2019 The Marriott Courtyard Da Nang is infused with cultural references to its location. Throughout the hotel spaces, its aesthetic elements thread a poetic narrative. Drawing on the natural resources such as the lake, river, mountain or valley of Da Nang as inspiration, DP Design weaves each distinctive feature into individual spaces to create picturesque displays. Custom-designed lightings in the entrance lobby allude to the fishery identified with the city, while the famous ‘Marble Mountain’ is showcased as a sculptural wall behind the reception counter. Oceanic colours pervade throughout for an uninterrupted spatial harmony, while local craftsmanship is emphasised in artisan wall-coverings – dual-purposed as a practical design element as well as stunning artworks of local scenery.
13. NHA BE MASTER PL AN HO CHI MINH CIT Y, 2021
Designed by DPA, the Nha Be Master Plan envisions a new township that not only speaks to the socioeconomic needs of Vietnam today. It also sensitively responds to its green-field site; effectively, addressing sustainability concerns and aspiration of future generations. The ‘live-work-play’ concept is expressed through the seamless integration of a variety of development types – namely, residential, commercial, office and retail – with its natural surrounds, where existing green spines and blue streams are translated into pocket parks and biophilic elements.
17. RMZ ECOWORLD | BENGALURU, 2017
14. SULE SQUARE | YANGON, 2017 Led by DPA from conception to completion, Sule Square is a 20-storey mixed-use development comprising three basements and 4 levels of aboveground carpark decks, 2 levels of retail and an office tower above. The design of the development responds to its multi-faceted site context while seamlessly and holistically integrating its variety of functional components. It is a programmatically efficient development with a simple and elegant architectural façade that is respectful and in harmony with its surroundings in particular the Sule Pagoda.
15. JUNCTION CIT Y | YANGON, 2017 (PHASE 1) The first integrated development of its kind in Myanmar, Junction City is poised to become the jewel of Yangon’s city centre with its contemporary built form and mixed-use functions. Its commercial components and facilities include a hotel, convention centre, cinema and Grade-A offices. Located adjacent to significant landmarks – Bogyoke Market, Holy Trinity Anglican Church and Yangon General Hospital – Junction City is purposefully planned to bridge and promote good pedestrian connectivity between these icons without compromising the intensified vehicular flows within the commercial heart of Yangon.
16. RUBY HALL: MYANMAR INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE | NAY PYI TAW, 2014 Ruby Hall is conceptualised to be Myanmar’s premier venue for regional and international diplomatic events in marking the country's re-emergence in its global engagement and outreach. Its architecture exudes the country’s progressive spirit featuring a simple yet bold contemporary form and treatment; expressing clean modern sleekness in its silhouettes, and balanced with rich textured motifs and material colour of earthy hues. Symmetry, regular colonnade elements, Euclidean geometry and classical proportions are applied to compose a serene yet stately edifice befitting its intended purpose and Myanmar’s vision.
RMZ Ecoworld is a business park comprising 17 blocks of 10-storey buildings, spread over six different plots. It is an integrated commercial and social amenity space built to international standards. The design intent was to create a contemporary work-meets-play environment for an increasingly diverse group of people. Interspersed among the amenities is a park-like setting with covered areas where spontaneous or planned activities and meetings can occur; otherwise, they serve as simple relaxation spaces. Overall, RMZ Ecoworld is an example of a workplace environment that has transformed into an urban centre that improves the immediate residential neighbourhood as well.
18. THE SK Y VIEW | HYDER ABAD, 2020 Sited at the heart of Hitec City of Hyderabad, The Sky View is a Grade-A office building designed to cater to the growing business needs of IT and ITES users. Landscaped courts, sculpture gardens and water features are integrated into the development to provide a pedestrianfriendly environment supported with multipurpose courtyards, green boulevards and al fresco dining spaces that encourage social gatherings and interactions. DID YOU KNOW • The exteriors of the 22-storey high-rise towers, designed by DP Façade, are visually dramatic and functionally rooted for an optimal climatic response and articulated by vertical perforated aluminium panels that serve as screening elements, which are complementary to the east-west orientation of the development. • The combined ESD strategy protects the indoor spaces from the harsh western sun, and reduces heat-gain and HVAC operational costs; thereby, contributing to a more sustainable development.
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O N E G L O B A L S T U D I O : A N I N T E R N AT I O N A L N E T W O R K O F E X P E R T I S E A N D D ATA B A S E O F K N O W L E D G E
IMAGE BY MIN THU
IMAGE FROM QINGJIAN GROUP CO., LTD
IMAGE BY HARSHAN THOMSON
IMAGE BY MY HOME & RMZ CORP
19. MIXED DEVELOPMENT IN NORTH INDIA GRE ATER NOIDA, 2023 The mixed development in Noida Sector 144, thirty minutes from the capital, New Delhi, comprises five office towers on top of a retail, food and beverage, and entertainment zone. With a design that is envisioned to be largely biophilic, the tower positions are non-symmetrical for a more organic arrangement. The towers are set at different heights, furthering the concept of being more natural. The faรงade design takes into account
climatic conditions of the Delhi region which can get very hot. It features various sun-shading systems ranging from traditional aluminium louvres, to more green-infused elements and planters extending from the building edges. These different elements shelter the office spaces inside from excessive heat.
MIDDLE EAST 20. LUSAIL CIT Y COMMERCIAL BOULEVARD AL DA AYEN, QATAR, 2021 Conceived for both the local and global communities, the architectural scheme of the 760,000sqm development takes cue from and contemporises Doha’s rich maritime heritage and cultural identity. DPA’s master plan divides the Commercial Boulevard into four distinctive assets, each features stunning mid-rise waterfront residential premises, prime high-rise towers, a vibrant hospitality district and a retail core as its main generator of urban activity. Throughout, the urbanscape is complemented by wellintegrated open spaces and parks. DID YOU KNOW • Sustainability is a key consideration of the master plan and in compliance with Qatar’s Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), DP Façade’s design and local sourcing of materials ensured reduced carbon footprint and a climate-friendly built environment. • Conceived by DP Green, the landscape design on the ground and second floors interfaced with the public realm guidelines of Lusail. They also provided the irrigation schematic plan for the Gateway plots.
20 • DP Design was engaged for their expertise in retail and created context-responsive themes that will deliver unique experiences, distinct to its plot yet cohesive with the commercial boulevard. DP Lighting complemented this with LED screens and light animation in selected areas, further infusing vibrancy in each retail plot. • Working in tandem with DPA and its specialists on the project, DP Sustainable Design delivered accurate calculations which were crucial for compliance to and submission for acquiring GSAS.
21. DEIR A WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT | DUBAI, UAE, 2022 Located along Dubai Creek, Deira Waterfront comprises 20 plots, of which DPA has been awarded eight. These plots of prime land, conceived by a DPA-led multidisciplinary team of Singapore and Dubai-based consultants for Ithra Dubai, are characterised into three key precincts. Each adjacent to a different context – namely, the Gold Souq and neighbouring future developments, the Deira Wharfage, and the business hotel cityscapes – their architectural schemes are informed by their unique spatial and cultural loci. Upon completion, the master plan will revitalise and transform the Deira waterfront into a world-class destination integrating work, live and play in one locale.
VIE W OTHER PL ACEMAKING AND DESTINATION MAKING PROJECTS HERE: DESIGN IN PRINT ISSUE 10.1
DUBAI OFFICE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES QATAR
DID YOU KNOW • Tasked with the interior design of key office towers and residential developments across the three precincts, DP Design created differentiation through the use of unique palettes while achieving aesthetic coherence through the wide use of minimalism. • DP Green’s landscape design, which features carefully curated indigenous plant species, speaks to the hierarchical characteristics of each precinct while creating an inviting outdoor environment. • Here, DP Sustainable Design’s intensive outdoor thermal comfort studies, encompassing shadow range analysis and computational fluid dynamics to enhance air movement, were key to developing direct design responses to the climatic conditions for the creation of comfortable outdoor public spaces.
22. OPER A GR AND | DUBAI, UAE, 2021 The 67-storey Opera Grand in the prestigious Opera District of the Burj Downtown Dubai area, is a high-end residential tower featuring a 2-storey retail podium. Its timeless glass façade and sophisticated architectural form stands impressively within the city skyline; an elegant and slender modern showpiece reflecting the stature of its location and residents. 23 24
TURKEY Bringing the design experience and capabilities of our global studio to the region, our Turkey branch is strategically positioned to export DP’s design competencies and delivery expertise to nearby Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Russian markets in the CIS region.
23. TERSANE ISTANBUL | ISTANBUL, 2017
IMAGE BY MARC TEY
Three out of seven zones within the larger master plan of Tersane Istanbul were designed by DP Architects. Effective zoning integration of urban green and improved infrastructure are key strategies to revitalise the area and exemplify the historical legacy of Istanbul. The three zones will house retail, hospitality, residential, office and cultural spaces.
24. EMA AR SQUARE MALL | ISTANBUL, 2017 Drawing inspiration from the vivid street life of Istanbul, Emaar Square Mall is designed to seamlessly choreograph spatial components to bring them together as a whole. The underground shopping network, comprising 400 indoor and outdoor shops, takes to a continuous loop that is segmented in four seasonally themed retail zones to ease wayfinding and enrich visitors’ experience. The design of the mall reinterprets the city’s intimate street pattern – its streets, squares and other public spaces. The mall’s central large sunken plaza operates as a constantly active theatre for peoplewatching and as a multi-purpose space featuring outdoor dining around a water feature.
UK 25. L AND OF LEGENDS SHOPPING AVENUE ANTALYA, 2017
Our London office serves as the base for or on-going projects in France, Ireland and other parts of Europe.
The Shopping Avenue in the Land of Legends theme park delivers a
26. THE BILTMORE HOTEL | LONDON, UK, 2019
lifestyle element that will elevate the entertainment resort, creating a destination that is truly unique to Antalya. Its design draws from the natural and heritage wonders of the city, which are tastefully iterated and used to distinguish its three main activity zones. While the Central Zone is grand and formal, and the South Zone elegantly infused with old-world glamour, the North Zone is vibrant with a delightful, more casual atmosphere. A continuous pedestrian loop seamlessly connects the resort components of the development and offers visitors an
The Biltmore Hotel is located on Grosvenor Square in Mayfair. As the Lead Architects, DP collaborated with numerous design specialists including interior designers and lighting experts. One of the many striking transformations is the rear courtyard design by DP. It was converted into a stunning semi-covered biophilia-inspired zone that aligns cohesively with the guest experience promised by the new 5-star brand.
interestingly varied experience.
IMAGE COURTESY OF EKO TEMALI PARKLAR TURIZM İŞLETMELERI A.Ş.
IMAGE BY BENEDICT LUXMOORE
27. MARINER’S QUARTER LONDON, UK, 2015 Mariner’s Quarter, part of the vibrant Royal Wharf master plan, is anchored by two sophisticated, waterfront high-rise residential developments – the James Cook and Marco Polo buildings. Their design is made unique by the subtle tectonic shifting of three vertically stacked building boxes that offer panoramic views of the River Thames and a well-thought façade treatment, which features louvred screens to cater to the four seasons. Similarity, the façade treatment unites the two buildings while differentiation is subtly defined by the colour palette.
28. BONNEVAUX MEDITATION RETREAT POITIERS, FR ANCE, 2021 Designed to create a sense of ‘home’, and a sustainable and receptive commonwealth, Bonnevaux Meditation Retreat alters existing buildings and erects new structures to house a conference centre, contemplative cells with private gardens, a guest house and a home for the community. All places within provide clear views of the surrounding picturesque landscapes, preserving connection with nature. New buildings are oriented to limit solar heat gain in summer, with a thick insulated envelope to limit heat loss and maintain warmth in winter.
29. CHUANGYUAN TOWER | NANJING, 2019
to enlarge display frontages and carefully placed ‘crevices’ to
The unique nautilus-inspired form of the podium achieves two main design objectives: create an open and accessible pedestrian-friendly development, and a building that seamlessly connects with the nature that it sits in. Its signature circular green roof not only encourages public activities but also renders the building a part of the community park overlooking the nearby Lao Shan mountainous scenery. For greater sustainability, the design team analysed Nanjing’s climate conditions for its programming and orientation of spaces. Passive design elements were incorporated to manage micro-climatic conditions for greater thermal comfort while reducing energy consumption. Its carefully calibrated and thoughtful design was recently recognised by Architecture Construction Design Awards and the inaugural WAF China Award 2020.
form weathered by urban forces. Working its way into this
30. LIUZHOU POLY INTERNATIONAL CENTRE LIUZHOU, GUANGXI, 2018
enhance pedestrian circulations – suggesting an architectural building is the extension of a city park on the east, a large frontage for the highway to the south, pedestrianised shopping street between the mall and residential development to the north as well as receding terraces accommodating a sizeable F&B programme. Adjacent to the base is a 250m tower consisting of offices and a hotel.
31. BUND CENTR AL | SHANGHAI, 2021 (IN PHASES) Located in Shanghai’s Hongkou District, Bund Central has been designed to respond sensitively to its site context, programmatically and spatially planned with careful considerations
for the cluster of conservation buildings which resides in the project’s northern and eastern edges. Respecting the urban grain of the conservation buildings, the development terraces down in massing, starting with a 180m office tower at the south to the park space in the north. Central to the layout is a large 7-storey mall,
Drawing inspiration from the stunning geological formation
planned with careful consideration for linkages to its environs
known as the South China Karst, the design of the
while keeping a mindful distance from the conservation buildings.
130,000sqm mixed development inserts elements of the
Connecting the massing and platforms are slopes and gentle steps
‘weathering’ of the Karst landform into the urban complex.
which link the terraces to form a continuous landscape that is
The base features intentionally placed cuts at 45-degrees
carved with strategic accesses and spatial openings.
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32. GKC KNOWLEDGE TOWER GUANGZHOU, 2025 (EST)
IMAGE COURTESY OF SCHRAN ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY
GKC Knowledge Tower is nestled in the north bank of Guangzhou Knowledge City’s Jiulong Lake and is the first of a series of super high-rise developments along the city’s central axis park-space. The 330m tower building, primarily conceived as three towers that stem from a ‘Life-spine’, extends in three directions to maximise views overlooking the entire Knowledge City. Stacked public atriums serve as elevated living rooms. The differing height and elevated ground plane are further exploited to expose retail and direct accesses to services at the first basement level towards the lake front and central axis park. The programmatic flexibility in its architectural scheme allows the development to cater to the varied needs of its occupants.
BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE 33. AGILE MONT KIAR A KUAL A LUMPUR, 2019 Agile Mont Kiara is an exclusive urban-chic residential development for the affluent in the north-west township of Kuala Lumpur (KL). This is articulated in its timeless silhouette, modern façade and sense of exclusivity. The latter is expressed through its arrangement of low- and high-rise towers, which provides internalised views of the courtyard and
luxe amenities such as the Sky Club. Designed by DPA, Agile Mont Kiara provides a more family-friendly environment than its counterparts in KL’s embassy district.
34. AGILE BUKIT BINTANG KUAL A LUMPUR, 2023
Situated along the periphery of Kuala Lumpur’s most prominent retail belt, the architectural scheme of Agile Bukit Bintang responds to its low-lying surrounds and socioeconomic context. The development comprises three tall, mixed-use towers of residential and Small Office Versatile Office (SOVO) units, in asymmetrical form akin to mountain ridges. Its impressive vertical elevation is complemented by a valley-like volume at ground level, which carves away to form a distinct green oasis that integrates retail and F&B; enhancing the public landscape and activities around the site.
35. AGILE EMBASSY GARDEN KUAL A LUMPUR, 2024 A mixed-use development with three residential towers atop an elegant podium with ground floor retail, Embassy Garden is designed to boldly redefine prestigious city living with its striking identity, stunning panoramic views of the city, beautiful landscaping and efficient living. Additionally, a sky club on the 65th floor and a generous infinity pool further enhances the sense of luxury; delivering a quality of resort living for its privileged residents. Embassy Garden is one of three projects designed by DP Architects for Agile Property in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They follow the Chinese government’s launch of the Belt and Road Initiative to advance its global infrastructure development strategy.
SOUTH KOREA 36. NOON SQUARE | SEOUL, 2007 DP’s architectural intervention was designed to give the building a stronger, more contemporary identity that assimilates with Myungdong’s existing fabric while creating a place of interest at the district’s gateway. Breaking away from the Cartesian forms of the existing buildings, the crystalline façade of Noon Square defies conventions of retail architecture in Korea. Selected sections pop out, piquing interest of passers-by and enlivening the building envelope with frontage akin to that of a ground level shop. The façade thus becomes an extension of the pedestrian mall.
37. URBAN BRICKS | CHANGWON, 2015 Urban Bricks was envisioned as a microcosm of modern South Korea, comprising officetel, office and retail spaces within a single destination of “work and play”. Characterised by intimate and personable breakout spaces and externalised pocket gardens, the people-centric design of the large mixed-use development in Changwon delivers a place where communities can thrive. Key to this is the application of the traditional street-mall form to all four floors of retail, so that each level has naturally ventilated walkways leading to courtyard gardens and break-out spaces that open towards the sky and serve to minimise the visual weight of the massing. Elevated above the street mall, the office and officetel towers create additional sheltered, private gardens which can be used throughout the year.
IMAGE COURTESY OF TAEYOUNG E&C
IMAGE COURTESY OF MR. WONYANG KIM, BAUM ARCHITECTS
AUSTRALIA 38. MORT STREET STUDENT ACCOMODATION CANBERR A, 2020 As a dwelling space, student housing plays an essential role in facilitating daily and social interactions. DP's design for Mort Street Student Accommodation enhances and develops the idea of connections and community by blurring the lines between public and private space. It aims to increase opportunities for engagement and cross-cultural relationships between domestic and international students, and the public. Not only does the accommodation provide privacy, it creates incidental spaces for future co-living and shared community dependencies which strive to achieve a sense of community and belonging. More than a place to live in, the building brings added benefits for students to network and learn about other backgrounds and cultures.
39. NORTHBOURNE AVENUE | CANBERR A, 2019 The master plan for Northbourne Avenue comprises eight blocks of 8-storey residential developments with ground-floor commercial units including one block of 8-storey aged care facilities, and a combined three- and five-star hotel with integrated communal facilities. Community gardens and gathering spaces provide opportunities for occupants to connect with one another and with nature. With a focus on enhancing the lives of residents, Northbourne Avenue is set to make Canberra a more active, creative and connected destination. DID YOU KNOW â€˘ With ESD services provided by DPSD, the development features allocations for both electronic car and bike charging facilities.
PEOPLE-CENTRED DESIGN: THE ARCHITECTURE OF EXCELLENCE The early design narrative of DP Architects is one of growth in tandem with Singapore’s nation-building. From the outset, the firm has always recognised the power of architecture as a vehicle to enrich everyday lives. This concept of architecture for the people and as an economic generator is evident even in DP’s earliest prototypes of the mixed-use development and 'hub typology', namely People’s Park Complex (1970) and Golden Mile Complex (1974).
PEOPLE’S PARK COMPLEX Completed in 1970, People’s Park Complex was designed as a place for commerce, communication and interaction, facilitated by pedestrian circulation. It was the first mixed-use building in Singapore and one of the first in Asia to combine residential, retail and offices into a single development. Expanding on the idea of a ‘city room’, it provides a public domain where residents of the neighbourhood can socialise, eat, shop and perform all the activities of everyday life.
Five decades on, DP’s deep roots in its fundamentals and identity will be crucial as she bravely forges ahead with her newly appointed CEO, Seah Chee Huang at the helm. In an age of rapid digitalisation, social polarity and climate change, made more chaotic with a global pandemic, the parameters of liveability are changing. And along with it, what DP’s "concern for the built environment" and the criteria for architectural excellence entail. This means an ever more intentional push for purposeful design in which liveability and design excellence are measured by sustainability goals, wellness markers and socio-economic resilience. With ears to the ground, DP has continuously evolved its practice and tools to adapt to the changing built environment as well as meet the demands of clients and end-users alike; all the while remaining in steadfast devotion to its social principles of cultivating people-centric spaces that are inclusive and promote active participation. This is driven by two thrusts – designFIRST and the development of digital design tools, both of which will enable DP to provide integrated design services and dig deeper into the science of design to deliver evidence-based solutions. Complemented by an interdisciplinary approach within a highly collaborative environment, DP continues to strengthen its core competencies and sharpen its design delivery. Recent projects such as Paya Lebar Quarter, Our Tampines Hub and Sengkang Hospital Campus are testaments to how DP bridges theory and practice through a keen grasp of the relationship between social and economic development, while pushing for a more sustainable built environment.
DPA and its group of companies is taking a stand against climate change in the built environment as it joins industry partners as founding signatories of Construction Declares. Find out more about the global petition and DP’s advocacy for positive action.
SENGK ANG HOSPITAL CAMPUS (SKH) The design approach and organisation of SKH is peoplecentric and principally driven by crafting a living network of healing and therapeutic environments. The enormity of the campus is broken down to human-scale through a series of design strategies such as step-terracing the podium block, segregating non-clinical from clinical spaces, and lifting the building massing to create brisk-ways. The campus is laid out to achieve greater natural lighting and ventilation, and better thermal equilibrium. Encouraging social inclusivity and communal bonding, DPA created a permeable ground plane – the ‘Community Heart’ accented with a series of flexible public plazas that are able to accommodate different activities and functions. This modular principle effectively merges clinical spaces with healing gardens within the hospital campus, seamlessly connecting patients and staff with nature. Functional adjacencies are thoughtfully arranged to be adaptable to the ever-changing face of the healthcare sector.
F U N D A M E N TA L S F O R T H E F U T U R E
GOLDEN MILE COMPLEX Golden Mile Complex was among the first public-private, mixed-use buildings of its scale in Singapore, and set the standard for the nation’s modern architectural movement. The building has adapted to a changing user base over the years, now hosting a dense collection of retail stores, ethnic restaurants and a bus transit centre, and remains a successful gathering space for people.
OUR TAMPINES HUB Our Tampines Hub (OTH) pioneers Singapore’s integrated community and lifestyle hub. Envisioned as a ‘place of many places’, its design aims to enrich residents lives through offering a volumetric network of interlocking activities and programmes. Co-locating over 30 community, sports, cultural, civic and lifestyle facilities and co-sharing spaces, OTH champions a refreshed model of shared economies, unique spatial and programmatic synthesis. Its participatory design process also promotes synergistic collaboration amongst stakeholders and residents, for greater vibrancy, relevance and sustainability. Besides providing spaces for large-scaled community gatherings and events, there are also abundant intimate and humanised spaces, conducive for small group interaction and bonding. This array of visually connected communal spaces encourage exchanges, bonding and promote greater social cohesion, to make OTH a truly inclusive and memorable shared community environment for Tampines residents.
DYNAMICS OF DP
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE.
Interview by Belle Chung | Text by Toh Bee Ping & Josy Koh
ONE MIGHT SAY THAT THE SUCCESS OF ANY COMPANY LIES IN THE HANDS OF GOOD LEADERS. FRANCIS LEE, PRECEDING CHAIRMAN OF DP ARCHITECTS AND ITS GROUP OF COMPANIES, HOLDS THE VIEW THAT THE SUCCESS OF DP ARCHITECTS IS NOT ONLY IN THE HANDS OF GOOD LEADERS BUT IN THE VALUES OF THE COMPANY, AND ESPECIALLY THE CONCERN AND CARE OF THE EMPLOYEES. ‘EVERY DPIAN MATTERS’ WAS THE MOTTO HE CHAMPIONED DURING HIS CEOSHIP (2004 TO 2016), EFFECTIVELY GROUNDING TWO GENERATIONS OF LEADERS IN THIS VALUE AND DEEPLY CULTIVATING A CULTURE OF AUTHENTICITY IN DP. THE PRIORITISING OF ITS PEOPLE SOWED SEEDS OF COLLABORATION THAT BORE FRUITS OF TREMENDOUS GROWTH AND INTERNATIONALISATION.
FROM LEFT CHAIRMAN ANGELENE CHAN, CHIEF E XECUTIVE OFFICER SE AH CHEE HUANG, SENIOR DIRECTOR FR ANCIS LEE.
DYNAMICS OF DP
DYNAMICS OF DP
DP’s culture of collaboration – further nurtured under Angelene Chan’s CEO-ship (Jan 2016 to Jan 2021) – culminated in DP’s One Global Studio network of 16 global offices and a unique multidisciplinary approach comprising eight specialist arms, from interior design and façade consultancy to landscape and sustainable design. Every department and studio within the DPA group works synergistically, and this elevated DP’s design capabilities as it continues to deliver architecture of excellence. On 1 February, Francis handed over the chairmanship reins to Angelene, while Seah Chee Huang took over from Angelene as CEO. Sitting down with the three successive CEOs, In Person dives into the dynamics of DP’s leadership, the firm’s design DNA, the CEO’s first order of business and how DP will meet the challenges of the next decade.
During Francis Lee's term as CEO & Chairman
Appointed CEO of DP Architects Bangkok office | Shenzhen office The Dubai Mall construction begins 1st Middle East/North Africa (MENA) thrust; led to projects in Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Saudi Arabia DP staff strength at 400
Bengaluru office | Dubai office Formed Singapore Business and Infrastructure Consortium to pursue opportunities in Middle East Presented The Dubai Mall to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong
Won bid for Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) DP staff strength increased 75% to 700
TO DO GOOD OR GREAT WORK, IT IS HELPFUL TO NOT ONLY REMIND OURSELVES THAT EVERY DPIAN MATTERS, EVERY CLIENT MATTERS AND EVERY PROJECT MATTERS; BUT TO AUTHENTICALLY BELIEVE TO THE CORE. PURPOSEFUL ENERGY, PASSION AND DRIVE WILL FLOW NATURALLY.
DP completed BCA Zero Energy Building – first of its kind in Singapore to testbed integration of green building technologies 2008
Francis Lee (FL): As taught by one of my wise mentors, Mr Gan Eng Oon, “Do not burn bridges.” Unfortunately, at times when I cannot control my spontaneous behaviour and lose my temper, I can be rather unreasonable. In such situations, I have to make good and apologise. Hence, it’s always better, in the first place, to be in total control and stay cool in all situations. Something that I’m still working on. Second is never underestimate the importance and value of any person. Most of my sizeable and impactful projects started with relationships with so called ‘modest’ clients. Take care of their interests and projects as you would your own development, and you will make the right decisions.
Vietnam office The Dubai Mall opens DP staff strength hits 1000, a 2.5-fold increase in 4 years
DP Engineers | DP Green | Guangzhou office Completed RWS Central Zone ahead of schedule
2nd MENA thrust; led to large-scale projects including Seef Lusail Waterfront master plan, Creek Harbour Mall, Deira Waterfront Development, Doha Festival City
FR ANCIS LEE
FRANCIS, ASIDE FROM FOUNDER-DIRECTOR MR KOH SEOW CHUAN, YOU WERE THE LONGEST-SERVING HEAD OF DP ARCHITECTS. THE FIRM HAD 85 EMPLOYEES WHEN YOU JOINED IN 1978. AFTER TAKING OVER AS CEO IN 2004, YOU GREW THE 400-STRONG ARCHITECTURE FIRM TO A 1000-STRONG MULTIDISCIPLINARY PRACTICE. COULD YOU SHARE WITH US THE 3 BIGGEST LESSONS OF YOUR EXCEPTIONAL CAREER THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO IMPART TO YOUNGER DPIANS?
Environmentally Sustainable Design Unit in DPA
DPA appointed architect for Sengkang Hospital Campus Completed RWS West Zone 2013
DP Sustainable Design
Yangon office Led consortium under EDB’s PPIC initiative to promote integrative design and industry collaboration for sustainability at early design stage.
London office Led Deira Waterfront Development; another landmark, place-making project in Dubai
Appointed Chairman of DP Architects and its group of companies DP Lighting | Istanbul office | DP Façade Established DP Academy
Expansion of Bangkok office, Hanoi office, Ho Chi Minh City office
DP Urban Sengkang Hospital Campus opens Led Lusail Commercial Boulevard, the biggest integrated commercial street in the entire Arabian Gulf.
Appointed Senior Director and Advisor
It’s better to focus on a few clients with mutual respect, than to dilute your efforts on many clients with impersonal dealings. When you take a project, give it your all; if not, don’t take it as it will affect your reputation and tarnish your image. Personal reputation and credibility are more valuable than one imagines. Third is always remember that any success is actually the effort of many. Some work behind the scenes and are never recognised. Be thankful and appreciative of the efforts of others. Without their help and support, we will never be able to achieve what we have. ANGELENE, YOU SAID IN PRESS INTERVIEWS IN 2016 THAT YOU WOULD STEP DOWN AS CEO AFTER 5 YEARS. TELL US WHY. Angelene Chan (AC): This idea of passing on the baton is ingrained in the leaders of DP. It is one of the most discussed agendas of the board. And it is not just at the top level. Every team leader sees it as their responsibility to pick and groom their successors. Succession planning is the key to the longevity of organisations. Leadership renewal is in fact written in DP’s constitution by the firm’s founders. When asked about this, Mr Koh Seow Chuan had said: “I was determined that this new firm we established would live on long after we are gone.” The practice of transferring leadership and ownership to younger, deserving DPians is one reason why DP has been able to renew itself and remain relevant during eras of rapid change, crises and other challenges. When I took over as CEO, DP was already one of the world’s largest architecture firms. We have so many emerging talents and bright minds with the potential to inject new energy and exciting ideas to the practice. The industry is also evolving much faster due to sweeping disruptions. So, I have always regarded my stint as CEO to be a transitional one; my job was to consolidate the strengths of the company and then pass it into the deserving hands of someone younger. CHEE HUANG, STEPPING INTO THE SHOES OF FRANCIS AND ANGELENE TO LEAD SINGAPORE’S LARGEST ARCHITECTURE FIRM, WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU? Seah Chee Huang (SCH): The main challenge in filling the big shoes left by Francis and Angelene comes in two aspects. First, to steer the organisation through the choppy waters of a COVID-stricken economy and a lacklustre industry that is still trying to recover from the shock of the crisis. For longterm progress, DP also needs to remain agile and relevant in the fast-evolving and digitalising landscape of design, practice and development, further hastened by the pandemic. Instilling a culture that embraces change and innovation is vital for our continued success, although operationalising
change in a firm of our size presents its challenges. But we are fortunate to have a dedicated team of global leaders, talents and members who are always ready to take on this and any challenges that come our way. I am confident that together as one DP team, guided by our values and culture, we will be able to push through this adversity, even springboard to higher excellence together. ANGELENE AND CHEE HUANG, WHAT IS YOUR FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS AS CHAIRMAN AND CEO RESPECTIVELY? AC: My immediate priority is to ensure the smooth transition of CEO-ship and to work with Chee Huang to draw up the strategic roadmap that will chart and align the growth of our global and specialist offices for the next five years, to meet our vision and goals. In the last quarter of 2020, we held three Directors Summits where the 32 directors and 12 specialist directors convened to deliberate their primary objectives and business plans for the immediate years ahead. As Chairman, it is my job to see that those plans are put into action and to set measurable goals that will take us to where we want to be as a group. The number one agenda is to evolve our design and delivery capabilities, and acquire new capabilities to stay relevant and facilitate our business to expand at the right pace. One of DP strengths is our position to leverage the expertise and resources of our global network, so it is also critical that we continuously develop better ways to share information and collaborate more effectively. Equally important is human capital. The profession is changing rapidly, and we need to build and maintain a competitive workforce. Furthering Francis’ effort in continuous learning and talent development, it is the Chairman’s and CEO’s responsibility to nurture the professional growth of every DPian through an enhanced skills framework and to groom leaders from within the ranks to take on strategic management roles in the future. SCH: As CEO, my first order of business is to execute the strategic transformation plans with the Directors and teams, to pursue the goals we aspire. Our intense leadership huddles allowed us to look deep, interrogate and debate about today’s and tomorrow's challenges, and our corresponding structural and operational responses as a group. We recognise the urgent need for recalibration, reprioritising and accelerating change so as to elevate our competitive advantage as a Singapore-grown, architectural-turn-multidisciplinary global design practice. It starts with our fundamental business of design – through reinforcing our cores while deepening our value propositions; powered by technology, innovation and lifelong learning.
DYNAMICS OF DP
THE PRACTICE OF TRANSFERRING LEADERSHIP AND OWNERSHIP TO YOUNGER, DESERVING DPIANS IS ONE REASON WHY DP HAS BEEN ABLE TO RENEW ITSELF AND REMAIN RELEVANT DURING ERAS OF RAPID CHANGE, CRISES AND OTHER CHALLENGES. ANGELENE CHAN
On top of expanding the breadth of our repertoire of building typologies, cross-disciplinary set-up and strong international presence, we also look towards building depth in the integration of digital design and delivery platforms. Besides adopting a higher degree of productivity and intelligence in our business, we also hope to digitalise our five-decade knowledge database with over 3,000 built projects, to harness our wealth of design economics, market intelligence and cultural sensitivity. Such a pursuit will also steer DP's design and delivery towards more
evidence- and outcome-based approaches, that synthesise design, form and space purposefully with desired socioeconomic and environmental outcomes. Such outcomes are aligned with many of our clientsâ€™ vision and DPâ€™s philosophy, celebrating the ethos of enriching experience, wellness of people and our environment's sustainability. Underpinning this transformation remains the order of our people and partners. On top of the continual fostering of ties with our
DYNAMICS OF DP
valued clients, allied professionals, industry partners, agencies and the communities, it is vital that DPians continue to stay relevant and ahead of the curve. Hence, nurturing a lifelong-learning culture will also be among the top strategic priorities. Together with robust people-centric HR policies and our DP Academy, we hope to continue to draw, retain and build talents, to keep the firm constantly invigorated. Ultimately, DP strives to be a leader in the advancement of holistic and innovative design. We also hope to lead in the development of happy and purpose-driven people.
CHEE HUANG, YOU SPOKE ABOUT “DESIGN DELIVERY THROUGH A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH”. HOW CAN DP’S PRACTICE OF ARCHITECTURE PROGRESS FROM MULTIDISCIPLINARY TO INTER–DISCIPLINARY FOR A MORE SYNERGISTIC AND INTEGRATED DESIGN APPROACH AND DELIVERY? SCH: The current and future demand by clients can no longer be met by a singular standpoint. It requires a holistic approach to develop a total solution, as challenges faced by cities and communities are increasingly complex and multi-faceted. Consumers’ expectations of products go beyond the delivery of hardware but through to the soft- or heart-ware, connecting culture, anthropology, user interface and experience. With our team of specialists, DP is in a good position to leverage our multidisciplinary outfit, to push for more lateral collaboration and integration in our design processes, products and experience. The value arising from such an integrative approach as a group lies in not just productivity and efficiency through minimising gaps. More strategically, it reinforces the power of 'we'. Such a teambased approach reduces inherent silo-mentalities faced by large organisations while leveraging the strength of collective expertise, to endeavour optimised yet enriched design outcomes. This also enhances our capacity in research and innovation, opening more opportunities to influence the built environment sectors in breadth and depth. The potential of such synergy is very exciting for me. AC: Yes, I agree with Chee Huang. In fact, about ten years ago, the practice of architecture became broader and more encompassing. That was when we recognised the need for early integration of services to meet the challenging demands faced by the building profession. We responded to this need by establishing a series of specialist companies to complement our core architecture expertise. The integration of the different building services at the onset of a project is then facilitated within the group of subsidiaries through a common design belief and methodology. Ten years on, this approach has deepened our professional knowledge and cross-disciplinary capabilities. It has become an avenue for DP to advance our design methodology. In the last five years, we have also established ten typology study groups to deepen the cross-disciplinary collaborations for our projects worldwide. By leveraging our vast and in-depth experience amassed over 54 years, we have been able to draw the diverse disciplines closer and assimilate the different fields of knowledge into our practice of architecture. COULD YOU SHARE SOME INSIGHTS ON HOW DP MANAGES THE CRAFT AND THE BUSINESS OF ARCHITECTURE? WHAT MAKES GOOD BUSINESS AND WHAT SETS DP APART? FL: The theory of running a business is not as complex as one imagines if we place emphasis in the following order: God, family and work. The first guides our paths as authentic leaders. The second grounds our values as a corporate entity. And the third governs the quality of our delivery and service attitude.
To do good or great work, it is helpful to not only remind ourselves that Every DPian Matters, Every Client Matters and Every Project Matters; but to authentically believe to the core. Purposeful energy, passion and drive will flow naturally. We value the concept of family. This is also a unifying value in our leadership. It is undeniable that when your family is in a good place, work will naturally go smoothly. Having a strong foundation helps one to think long term. When DP started, we worked like a family and treated each other as family members. Since then, the DP family has grown significantly with many family units. And like family units, we help each other to grow and look after one another. AC: I agree. Family members look after the interests of one another. In the way that parents never put themselves first, we always put the interests of DPians and the firm ahead of our own. During the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker, the health and wellbeing of DPians was our priority. While we were all working from home, we made it a point to reach out and remind everyone to look out for one another, like what a family would do. As our business expands, as we grow in numbers, we are careful to ensure that the designs produced by the many design leaders and teams are of consistently high quality. To this end, we initiated a design review process, which we call designGATE. All designs produced within DP must pass through this ‘gate’ before being presented to clients. Each project has to be critiqued by the design board and pass through this gate multiple times, at different stages of its development. This guarantees that all designs are of a high standard, and adhere to our design methodology and philosophy. I think that one of our main strengths is also the fact that we do not believe in a fixed design style. We have many talents whom we can matchmake to create different team compositions, so that each client is paired with the best team with the right talents and skillsets according to what the design brief requires. CHEE HUANG, AS CEO, HOW WOULD YOU FURTHER ADVANCE DP’S CULTURE OF DESIGN AND LEAD DP AS A DESIGNFIRST COMPANY? SCH: Mr Chan Sui Him has one of the most succinct and apt articulations about DP’s design culture. He shared that it lies in our name DP – of putting Design first, empowered by People and Partners. Established as an architectural practice, design based on the intents and aspirations, and its successful delivery has always been DP’s mission. They must remain our primary and most impactful service to clients and communities we designed with and for. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the vulnerabilities behind the design of cities, infrastructure, buildings, and systems traditionally conceived based on economic impetus and high optimisation.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic is the shift in focus from wealth to health. It has also reminded us that human health and wellness are inseparable from that of the planetary one. In the face of the current pandemic and the looming climate crisis, this reminds us of the primary purpose behind our architecture and design. Beyond representation, form and style, to contribute to the greater good of sustainability, wellness and resilience. We must harness the innovation and advent of digital technology to further enable our vocation as architects, engineers and designers; to create products and places where beauty meets purpose, through the science of design. DesignFIRST is also about developing our vibrant ecosystem – of Drivers, Database, Discourse and Digitalisation of design. Our design culture's richness and depth remain in the investment in our design leaders, talents and people that build upon our database, to generate discourse and further our design influence, enabled by digital innovation. It fortifies our core competency and evolution as an ‘architecture first’ firm with an inter-disciplinary offering, value-adding through contextual, relevant and sustainable design locally and worldwide. With the confluence of emerging digital, circular and well economies, there are immense opportunities for DP to impact the development and built environment value chain through integrated digital design and delivery, to meet clients’ business goals and larger sustainability, wellness and carbonfootprint targets with and by design. LET’S MOVE FROM DESIGN CULTURE TO LEADERSHIP CULTURE. FRANCIS, YOU OFTEN SPEAK ABOUT KINDNESS AND AUTHENTICITY IN LEADERSHIP. WHAT IS KINDNESS IN DP AND WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF AN AUTHENTIC LEADER TO YOU? FL: Kindness is being human, being compassionate and having empathy. The world is at times unfair and I believe that we have a duty at times to extend care, concern and compassion to others, especially those who do not have patronage. For those of us who have talents, position and influence, we are blessed and we must realise that these are God given and as such must be channelled to help those less fortunate and those in need of help. In the context of DP, the practice of kindness cultivates happy and productive DPians. In this way, we can and will always get the best out of them. Of course, this is not to say that we are any less firm or effective. There is always a balance in being demanding and firm, and being compassionate. Values that define who we are, are not cultivated overnight. Hence, to remain grounded and authentic, we must guard and ingrain our values in each generation of DPians. It is our values that distinguish us from other firms, more so than our other successes. To be authentic it is important to understand our true self through a journey of self-discovery and understanding our true self. We need to do what we say and say what we mean. Our motives must be clear and authentic.
DYNAMICS OF DP
ONE OF THE SILVER LININGS OF THE PANDEMIC, IS THE SHIFT IN FOCUS FROM WEALTH TO HEALTH. LOOKING AHEAD, WE ARE PUSHING TOWARDS DESIGNING WITH A GREATER PURPOSE IN TERMS OF SUSTAINABILITY, WELLNESS AND RESILIENCE. SEAH CHEE HUANG
SO, PART OF AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-AWARENESS. HOW DO YOU FOSTER THIS? FL: One learns from others, especially from good and authentic leaders. I personally have been blessed to have great and exemplary mentors – wise, caring, kind, compassionate and benevolent, with anchored values. The founders and pioneer leaders set the foundation of the culture and values of DP. Having been in DP for 42 years naturally present the rub-on effect. Hence, the effect is also naturally passed on to the other generations. Authenticity is fundamental to our values. It is difficult to be authentic without knowing our true self. Hence the journey of finding out about our true self and knowing our true self is essential. The journey takes different routes – through candid and brutal, but caring feedback, through situational experiences and interaction, through our spiritual encounters and awakening, though meditation, etc. FINAL QUESTION TO FR ANCIS, STEPPING DOWN FROM THE ROLE OF CHAIRMAN, WHAT WILL YOUR PLANS AND FOCUS BE? FL: Looking back, I’ve been very blessed with a very illustrious career and four awesome decades of highly charged, meaningful and purposeful work life in DPA. I had the pleasure and privilege
DYNAMICS OF DP
to work with wonderful DPians, great partners, supportive clients and on amazing projects globally. I am reassured to have the leadership of Angelene and Chee Huang to take DP to greater heights. Working with them for many years before they fill the positions that they are currently in, I can very, very confidently say that they will be able to move DP forward to be a better and more sustainable organisation. I sense that we are moving into the dawn of a Greater DP, with more reassured, confident, capable, highly energised, passionate and authentic leaders. January 2015 was a turning point for me after attending a five-day-four-night Conversion Experience Retreat conducted by the Catholic Archbishop William Goh. It was transformational, enlightening and spiritually fulfilling. It was then too that I began to further understand a deeper meaning and purpose of life, and began to realise, amongst others, how blessed, privileged and enjoyable it has been working for decades in DP. As I step down as Chairman and assume the post of Senior Director at 70, I look forward to a slower, less on-the-edge but equally satisfying pace in DP. I can now spend more time with God and my family, with more time to pursue other interests. I will continue to oversee projects and be here at DP to mentor and share any counsel that the DP family needs. I hope to pass on what I have learnt, especially from my many past mistakes, so that others can make better choices.
54 YE ARS OF ARCHITECTURAL EXCELLENCE
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Give and provide younger leaders every opportunity to take over. If we bring in potential leaders with Talent, Humility, Integrity, Compassion and Dedication, DPA will survive, succeed and achieve. And at every milestone and change in Leadership, one must give more than you take to pave the way for new leadership to succeed; for it is in giving that one will receive. KOH SEOW CHUAN, FOUNDING PARTNER
It is our values and culture that make DP special and these must be continuously and preciously, guarded, in the years ahead. I believe that if we steadfastly hold onto, guard and honour our culture and values, DP’s future will never be compromised. We must live, work, play, and pray with earnestness, and the greatest integrity
Collaboration has always remained at the core of our work. Learning and the pursuit of design excellence are pillars of our corporate culture at DP Architects. In turn, the marriage of a myriad of ideas through complementary methodologies forms the signature aesthetic of our design services.
In DP, we harness the power of 'we'. Teamwork allows us to tap on the one another’s skills and capabilities, to collectively widen the breadth of DP’s offerings and deepen our knowledge base. This spirit of partnership extends to clients, consultants, partners and communities that we serve and collaborate with.
SEAH CHEE HUANG
As DP appoints a new Chairman and CEO, it marks the occasion with a special issue of Design in Print which covers the firm’s milestones of a...
Published on Feb 1, 2021
As DP appoints a new Chairman and CEO, it marks the occasion with a special issue of Design in Print which covers the firm’s milestones of a...