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Dedicated to my parents, Hassan Ishak and Prof. Madya Habibah Hashim, from whom I inherited the strength to imagine a different world. “Derita itu sangkar madu anak-anak manusia bercitawaja. Bahagia itu angin debu anak-anak manusia penagih kurnia. Berita-bahagia adalah warna maya pantai dan lautnya dada kembara!� Dharmawijaya


“Balada Terbunuhnya Beringin Tua di Pinggir Sebuah Bandaraya� (2012) Video editing project in Universiti Malaya

Contents Profile & CV Design Thesis Universiti Malaya (LAM/RIBA Part II) Selected works in Universiti Malaya (LAM/RIBA Part II) Selected works in University of Sheffield (RIBA Part I) Work experience Exhibitions & other works Publications

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Profile Trained as a structural engineer and architect in England and Malaysia, I take great pride in being able to confidently navigate the two disciplines. My interest in architecture goes beyond simply making buildings but is anchored by an inquisitive and critical spirit. Since graduating from the architecture school in Sheffield, I have started an independent research project on urbanism and participatory models of development. Some of this have gone into my LAM/RIBA Part 2 work in Universiti Malaya, most evidently in the thesis project that experiments with the institution of “library”. Since completing my LAM/RIBA Part 2, I have joined in a (part-time) collaboration with two other young architects one an academic in Universiti Malaya and the other a multidisplinary designer to research on morphology and advanced design methodologies. This academic collaboration explores parametric design, Southeast Asian

architectural history and new urban systems. In weekends however I am an active member of my community and involved with a community effort to bring literature to the wider public in a project called Buku Jalanan. I am one of their many librarians and since my participation have contributed towards the development of an online WebOPAC system (online library system) and a roadmap for growth and sustainability which we call “the Masterplan”. Besides that, I have also been involved with an award-winning documentary project M-C-M’:Utopia Milik Siapa?(2012), an installation project about public space at the 7th KL Triennial: Barricade (2013) and the community art project Padang Jawa Street Arts Festival(2013). In leisurely hours, I would reach deep into the library at home to continue my reading or my lessons in Urdu.


Ihsan Hassan, +6017-5611388 Education 2013

B.Arch LAM/RIBA Part II (Malaya)


LAM Part I


MEng Structural Engineering and Architecture RIBA Part I (Sheffield) Employment history


Neuformation Architects Assistant Architect Under the supervision of an Architect, managed and designed Puchong Sales Gallery and UEM Builder adaptive reuse project including building authorities submissions, tender and construction drawings, and also project liaison with consultants and clients.


ZLG Design Assistant Architect Involved in the design of Bukit Tunku bungalow, German Embassy KL competition, as well as supportive roles in other on-going commercial projects such as Point 92 and the Petaling Street Hostel. Assisted project liaison as well as the production of tender and construction drawings.


NA Architect Summer Internship Supporting role in drawing production as well as schematic design for several on-going projects. Achievements


Nominated by Universiti Malaya for the Silver Medal of RIBA President’s Medals Student Award.


“Best Architectural Works” exhibition, Universiti Malaya


Design Thesis work published in the national daily, New Straits Times.


“Barricade” an installation on public space at 7th KL Triennial


“Hindu Temple”, live painting at Padang Jawa Street Art Festival.


Buku Jalanan installation in National Visual Arts Gallery, KL


MEng dissertation was published as AFL Hyde, CM Jackson, I Hassan and LA Howie at Tongji University, Shanghai.

universiti malaya

design thesis lam/riba part II

academy of letters design thesis (year 5) This work takes inspiration from a grassroots street library movement called Buku Jalanan, which resulted in a design of a new form of library - the library no longer functions as a passive repository of books that is patronised by intellectuals and the upper classes, rather subverts it into a form of activism where books are curated out in the streets and literary discourse done in public space. In effect, it required a wholesale rethinking of the idea of library and the way it functions. The site chosen is a difficult and complicated one, but also a place very appropriate to create a open public literary community.

"... reverses the role of library from a passive repository of books into an active form of literary activism ..."

Reading At Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America (National Endowment for the Arts, United States)

Precedent: Buku Jalanan

“... those who visit an art gallery and attend a performing arts events in a year are more than 250 percent more likely to be frequent readers than those who did only one or neither of these arts activities...”

The movement is founded on three principles: Books, Art & Activism. During each event day, the programme is organised along this ‘holy trinity’.

The state of reading culture in Malaysia

Core values

Source : Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia




2002 1997

2 pages 1 page

32% are literature +

intellectual work


Malaysian volume of publication in comparison to different countries Source : Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia Chin





120k ite

Un dK


1. Localisation It is important that the library is driven by the communities that live in the area. It is they who defines the meaning and purpose of the project. 2. The trinity The project revolves on the so-called trinity of “Books, Arts and Activism”. This forms the core activity and operation of the organisation. 3. Solidarity The organisation is non-partisan and must remain independent. However, it makes a clear stance in supporting values such as “freedom, equality



ing United States



M ia ys ala

high density storage = 42 m2 editorial office = 20 m

discussion rooms = 40 m2 publication/printing office = 40 m multi-purpose room = 19 m small office = 19 m




admin office = 15 m2


writers’ office = 20 m2

multi-purpose room = 19 m

50 -pax reading area + forum = 80 m

book hatch = 4 m2



book hatch = 4 m2


small exhibition space = 50m2

book shelf = 35 m2

small exhibition space = 20m

small exhibition space = 20m

stationary box = 4 m




book shelf = 7 m


50-pax reading area (on mat) = 80 m2

121 m


1300 ft2

Diversify genre. Increase fiction works




Becoming a platform for independent publication & literature. Innovative storage for books. Creation of a journal. 2

325 m

3498 ft2

100-pax reading area + forum (on mat) = 160 m

One-stop centre for street librarians. Building a mobile or temporary library.


40-pax activity area (on mat) = 64 m2

613 m


6598 ft2


Future growth



stationary box = 4 m

• Recruitment of librarians. • Promote Buku Jalanan. • Encourage growth • Create interdependencies • Create intellectual forums • Promote the role of libraries

• Participation of locals • Consultancy • Sustaining the organisation • Support other branches • New Buku Jalanan

• Movement into Southeast Asia. • International conference. • Connecting community of readers, intellectuals, writers and artists.


Capacity building


40-pax activity area (on mat) = 64 m2



100-pax reading area + forum (on mat) = 160 m stationary box = 2 m2 20-pax activity area (on mat) = 32 m

book shelf = 35 m2


• Create a platform • Links with schools.

• Becoming a hub for emerging artists • Mobile exhibition space.

• Annual arts festival

Books They are the core of the whole operation. It represents the love for literature and the effort to bring it to the common people.

The logistics guy: Azri

Lack of women

One can’t help but notice the male-dominated environment that surrounds the event. Women play marginal roles or simply just observers.

The arts guy: Idham

The network guy: Zikri


The work is an exploration of the idea of institutions in our society. Institutions like the library lie within our midst and have never been questioned. It is often thought of as a great public service, but when analysed carefully it is quite clear that it may not be as benign as it may seem.

"...In 1997, the National Library reported that the average Malaysian reads 2 pages a year - a terrifying statistics..."

"...The alleyway which was created by the construction of the LRT tunnel is turned into an active urban street, which draws its life from both the Central Market as well as the literary community of the Academy of Letters...."

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475mm Turf roof with perimeter scupper drain

Extended roof (vertical and horizontal units) where truss punctures out from building envelope


Internal scupper drain to capture water ingress


110mm wide steel louvres




Air-condition air supply duct


168mm wide timber brise-solei


Return air duct


150mm deep pre-cast floor slab


108 X 45 mm steel beam


Cast steel gerberette


Raised floor with blind floor panels


Ventilation duct


150mm thick solid partition with acoustic insulation


Noise barrier


Acoustic outdoor floor system


Acoustic structural bearing to isolate noise from train









75mm Double-glazed fixed glass window with Low-E coating and argon gas
























AHU Unit 14



17 16

"...This axonometric drawing describes the processes that are involved in automated library system...." 2 7

3 4



Selected Works in universiti malaya

lam/riba part II

recyclable waste non-recyclable waste

bedrooms family lounge

threshold space

drying yard


utility room

communal garden/ play area

composting toilet storage room / farming shed

visitor’s route into the house

pooja ceremony

rituals and ceremonies

prepatory room /

small-scale farming

homework room

communal prayer

affordable housing year 4

birthday party

exploring the everyday in kuala lumpur

What makes a house affordable? How can architects ensure affordability within the limits of design? This project began its exploration through analysing the everyday lives of ordinary people in Kuala Lumpur. It allows the design to go beyond the affordability to buy, and into the affodability to live in these houses. A great deal of thought had been given into the next most important need - food security. Units are arranged in central courtyards where food is grown and people meet.

"... Units are arranged in central courtyards where food is grown and people meet...."

type b - flat

balcony / laundry room the balcony ceases to be a relaxation space but is a workplace (laundrette)

type a - duplex

wet kitchen

this formerly hidden space is designed to be the face of the house whose sights and smells connect the other units with each other

aquaponic farming this is an opportunity for residents to pursue food security and even source of income.

type c - studio

Documentary project: M-C-M: Utopia Milik Siapa? In 2012, I joined with director Boon Kia Meng for a documentary project that examines the housing problem in Malaysia. Although I was primarily the writer and actor in the film, the collaborative process that the director took allowed me to participate in many stages of the development. The documentary looked at the possibility of an emerging “Homeless Generation� among young Malaysians who will not be able to afford homes as house prices soar and with very few developers interested to build affordable homes. The film won the Freedom Film Fest Award in 2012 and was selected for two other film festivals in India and Malaysia in 2013.

freelance / co--working centre

small business

design-based start-ups -architects -product designers -fashion designers

the street as the retail arm of the design industry

detail section scale 1:25 the detail section shows the main sustainable feature of the building - the mixed mode HVAC. electrical services rack low-e double-glazing window brick wall concrete

HVAC air vent

500mm waffle slab (dual direction) suspended floor with services

OFFICE FOR SMALL BUSSINESSES AND START-UPS The project site given was Jalan Masjid India in central KL and the brief was to design a commercialgrade office space but upon analysis, it is clear that such a building in this socially and economically vibrant district is inappropriate. The area needs economic uplifting but not through building sleek expensive commercial spaces. The idea is to bring the existing strength of the area and upgrade it with introduction of the creative industries who require affordable and flexible work spaces.

Selected Works in university of sheffield

riba part I

REFUGE FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING An economically self-sustaining refuge where the victims of human trafficking can protect themselves from their former captors and also escape the immigration police. It began with a historical study of Liverpool which revealed the more unsavoury aspects of its prosperity. The project invites readers to see this not as a polemical fantasy but as a commonsensical solution to a widespread problem in the United Kingdom.

metal deck grille rockwool insulation

rooftop farming

treated mdf panel

metal grille deck

steel beam support for metal decking line of waterproofing typical wall junction

residential units



"...the victims of human trafficking can protect themselves from their former captors and also escape the immigration police...."

MONTESSORI SCHOOL IN LANCASHIRE By overhauling the school using the Montessori pedagogy, the school as an institution of “instruction� is no longer. The teachers are stripped of their dominating role and learning is instead driven by the students themselves. The students are encouraged to pursue their own interests and engage with the world outside of the classroom. This principle had a huge affect on the design of the classroom and had completely changed the way schools can be looked at and understood in our increasingly indoctrinated world.

"...the interconnectivity of the classrooms, with each other and ultimately the surrounding environs - an important aspect of the Montessori philosophy. ..."

One of the most important aspect of the school is the interconnectivity of the classrooms, with each other and ultimately the surrounding environs - an important aspect of the Montessori philosophy. The section shows the active corridor and the threshold space that bridges the classrooms to the outside world. This method allows varying levels of privacy and concentration for the students - the corridor is the most collaborative space and the mezanine floor providing the space for individual work.


3D Visualisations by Reza (Neuformation Architects)

SALES GALLERY IN PUCHONG (NEUFORMATION ARCHITECTS) The project is a part of a larger masterplanning scheme for a lakeside township. The client requested an “iconic� sales gallery that could set the tone for the whole development. The shapes are derived from the contour lines of the site and the landmarks surrounding the area. The sleek and metallic finishes are to symbolise a diamond-like impression to the potential buyers. The development is mostly of higher-end properties, with few affordable housing units.

UEM OFFICE REFURBISHMENT (NEUFORMATION ARCHITECTS) The project is a refurbishment of a former industrial building into the headquarter of one of the largest building contractors in the country. The design seeks to reflect the operations of the company through the use of exposed I-beams and industrial furnitures. Although a small project, I was given the opportunity to lead the project by the supervising Architect and was responsible for the design, contract management and finally the handing over of the project to the client.

GERMAN EMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR (ZLG DESIGN) An international competition by the Federal Republic of Germany to design a new chancellery in the Malaysian capital in a challenging and constrained site. The practice was the only Malaysia-based firm that was selected to compete. The design seeks to marry the functionalism of the German tradition with the patterns of Malaysian life. The courtyards and the patterned facade are chief among these. My role was mainly developing a modular design for the facade and providing the appropriate competition drawings for these facades. I also worked on preparing the design report and the supporting documents for the competition.

BUNGALOW AT BUKIT TUNKU (ZLG DESIGN) This project is a renovation and addition of an existing bungalow built in the 1970s. It is located in the leafy Bukit Tunku area and on a steep slope with a beautiful view of the city. The design proposes to strip the entire building to its bare structural skeleton and inserts a single horizontal wooden box that connects the old and the new.

SPECULATIVE COMMERCIAL BLOCK IN KUALA LUMPUR (ZLG DESIGN) This is a speculative proposal to a client who owns several shoplots in Jalan Loke Yew. The architect proposes that the facade to act also as an advertisement billboard due to its prime location at an important intersection of a major road in the city. The ground floor is to be openair and inviting allow pedestrian flow into the commercial space.



I participated in the 7th Kuala Lumpur Triennial with an installation that explores the idea of “public space� in the city today. As the country and the world undergo social change, public spaces suddenly become flashpoints of ideas and conflict. This work is a community project, in which I coordinated and designed, alongside many people. It is a real-life experience in trying to create real public spaces, especially instructive in understanding the process of how to build participative spaces and how to design successful public spaces.

The central court of the National Visual Arts Gallery

BUKU JALANAN: A STREET LIBRARY Buku Jalanan is a grassroots movement of street libraries that started in Shah Alam and now have grown into 40 chapters across the nation and beyond. I joined in to become one of their librarians during thesis research work and have since then become active in pursuing their goal of bringing literature closer to the masses. I also participated in the exhibition at the National Visual Arts Gallery (Balai Seni Visual) in which the stale and lifeless central court of the gallery was transformed into a lively city square by the library.

The street library in action in its home, Shah Alam Lake Gardens

WAYANG KULIT (SHADOW PUPPET) OF MANCHESTER Together with a teammate, a mapping exercise was conducted in the bohemian district of Northern Quarter in Manchester which exposed the lingering stories of the city’s past and also glimpses of its impending future. The analysis brought out a narrative of the life of the city itself across the centuries and then was translated into a fable, that was not so much a historical account but more of a magic realist exploration of the city. Using the Southeast Asian tradition of shadow puppetry married with African story-telling, the show gained a critical success among our studio colleagues and lecturers. A video recording of the wayang kulit can be accessed at Youtube.

PAPER TUBE POD INSTALLATION IN BARNSLEY This short project consisted of 10 students who were given the task of building a structure using paper. The solution is to use the paper tubes sourced for free from a printing shop. The design takes inspiration from the tradition log houses of the cool climes. The main challenge is designing the junctions as to create the intended form. The simple design won an award from the local council (who co-organised the event with the School) for its simplicity and success in creating an interesting and intimate space for the city.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING DESIGN OF A MODULAR ROOF A collaboration between structural engineering and architecture students to design a roof structure which will be tested for efficiency as well as strength. As one of the earliest design projects in my education, it is also one of the most instructive. This design made to look impressive and not grounded in science was deeply inefficient. It has too many weak points and had a heavy and almost useless pivot that connects the roof to the column. It is an important exercise that taught the value of collaboration between engineers and architects, and the need for real interdisciplinary recognition. Much of the failures of this design was due to the importance given to aesthetics over science.

WATER SLIDE PROJECT This design project in the first year of structural engineering course integrates the various disciplines such as water engineering and geotechnical engineering where students make a land survey of the site, recording and drawing it. Afterwards a design for a water slide commenced where it is led by civil engineering students.

ContACT Ihsan Hassan MEng RIBA Part I (Sheffield) BArch LAM/RIBA Part II (UM) LAM Part I +6017-5611388

Ihsan Hassan: a portfolio of selected works 2006-2013  
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