Date:          16 JANUARY 2020 (THURSDAY)


1.     The Penang State Government is happy to officially announce the five (5) finalists of the Masterplan Design Competition (MDC) for the new Penang South Islands (PSI).

2.     As announced earlier, MDC was launched two months ago in November 2019. The Masterplan Design Competition is an international competition with a qualification process, which saw an overwhelming global response with 124 submissions from 26 countries, including Malaysia. The contestants submitted as consortium teams comprising outstanding Malaysian and world leading architects and planners, and also included experts in smart city, engineering, design and branding, technology and innovation, mobility and transportation, landscape, sustainability and environmental design.

3.     The PSI project is a state government key strategic initiative, developed as a ‘people-focused and inclusive’ integrated sustainable development emphasising the economic, environmental and social aspects aligned with the Penang 2030 Vision. “The Penang South Islands is a state-owned long-term development of 4,500 acres land which will provide affordable housing, public and private amenities, with approximately 4.6km of public beaches, over 600 acres of parks and 25km of waterfront promenade. World class cutting edge infrastructure and smart city features will be incorporated into this new future-forward development. The PSI is set to be a new catalyst  for growth to deliver economic spillovers resulting in the creation of high-value jobs and drive value creation for Penang.

4.     This long-term project will prepare Penang for Industry 4.0 by incorporating smart city and smart park features with an efficient, integrated transport system. The PSI will be a game-changer for Penang as it will trigger a paradigm shift in the business growth of the electrical and electronics sector, healthcare industries, GBS, digital industries and tourism. We anticipate significant foreign direct investments as well as reinvestment from local businesses.

5.     Selection of the finalist teams were based on their capability and experience in projects similar to PSI’s nature and challenges, urban design excellence and technical innovation, a brief project outline statement, and importantly, the team’s commitment and credentials in producing sustainable solutions. Each of the five (5) finalist teams are led by international and Malaysian companies to ensure all proposals submitted contain excellent concepts and solutions and are informed by local knowledge and context. 

6.     We are pleased to announce the top five (5) world-renowned teams together with their Malaysian partners are:

a.     BIG  - Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark) with Hijjas Architect & Planner;

b.     Foster + Partners (UK) with GDP Architects Sdn Bhd;

c.     MVRDV (the Netherlands) with aLM Architects;

d.     Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design (USA) with EOWON Architects; and

e.     UN Studio (the Netherlands) with Architects 61 Sdn Bhd.

7.     The State Government would like to congratulate the finalists and wishes everyone good fortune and hope that each team’s proposals will capture the diverse and unique Penang qualities and characteristics, and contribute to the internationally recognized Penang brand.

8.     The State Government has also decided to display all design submissions from the five (5) finalists in a public exhibition at the conclusion of the competition, which is expected in April 2020.

9.     The MDC Master Jury Panel will be finalised and announced again by the Penang State Government in early February. After that, the selected winner will be appointed as the Lead Master Plan Designer for PSI, subject to the terms and conditions.

10.   The MDC is an initiative by the State Government of Penang and is organised in collaboration with the Malaysian Institute of Architects Northern Chapter (PAMNC) under the auspices of the Board of Architects Malaysia (Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia). Further information can be found at

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About the Penang South Islands

The Penang South Islands (PSI) consist of the 4,500 acres owned by the Penang State Government. As a ‘people-focused’ initiative in line with the ‘people-inclusive’ Penang 2030 blueprint objectives, it will incorporate smart city and smart park features besides being an international destination for investment, industrial manufacturing and tourism. The PSI is a provisional working title for the purpose of the MDC.




BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (DK) and Hijjas Architect & Planner (MY)


Rambøll (NL-SG)

Ernst and Young (SG)


Foster + Partners (UK) and GDP Architects Sdn. Bhd. (MY)



Grant Associates (UK)

Urban DNA (UK)

Pragma (UK)


MVRDV b.v. (NL) and aLM Architects (MY)


Mobility In Chain (IT)

Deltares (NL)

Transsolar (DEU)

Rebel Group (NL)


Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design LLC (USA) and EOWON Architects (MY)


Level Agency for Infrastructure (USA)

The Pearl River Hydraulic Research Institute (CHN)

Skymind AI Berhad (MY)


UN Studio (NL) and Architects 61 Sdn Bhd (MY)


LLC “KB Strelka” (RUS)

SBP - schlaich bergermann partner (DEU)

Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl (DEU)

Transsolar (DEU)

Systematica S.r.l. (IT)

Witteveen + Bos (NL-SG)

Perunding Prisma Sejati Sdn Bhd (MY)

Perunding Kos T & K Sdn Bhd (MY)

Professor Zulfigar Yasin (MY)

Fanli Marine and Consultancy Sdn Bhd (MY)

SNA Consult Sdn Bhd (MY)

HYDEC Engineering Sdn Bhd (MY)


BIG – BJARKE INGELS GROUP     www.big-dk

We are extremely honored to be selected to participate in the Penang South Islands (PSI) Design Competition with the goal of creating a new sustainable and innovative city, that strengthens the quality of life of Penangites. Our team is very dedicated to work on today’s worldwide challenges, in which we see great potential in this project and will use all our skills and effort to create the best project. The whole team is very excited to start the design process and develop a concept that will fulfill the ambitions that the State Government of Penang desires to achieve.


We are extremely delighted to be shortlisted for the Penang South Islands masterplan, a truly iconic, strategic project for the three reclaimed islands on Penang’s southern shore. The forward-looking and future-proof masterplan will embrace the principles of social, economic and environmental sustainability by creating vibrant public spaces, cutting edge facilities for innovation and rebrand Penang as a hub for diversity and prosperity. As an incubator for new and emerging technologies in sustainable living, the Penang South Islands masterplan will be an integral part of Penang’s new Economic Vision 2030, to diversify the economy, improve liveability and create a new model for restorative urbanism. We look forward to working on the next stage of the design competition, together with GDP, to illustrate our collaborative vision for the future of Penang.


We are immensely excited to be one of the five teams shortlisted to create a design for the new Penang South Islands (PSI) and thus contribute to shaping Penang as the future digital hub and new center of growth in its region. It is a unique chance to create a platform that will not only serve the new digital and technology industries in Penang but also one that reflects the identity of the Penang-ites, a sustainable, holistic and family-focused environment. We aim to produce a design for the new Penang South Islands that will allow PSI develop into a new destination for innovation, technology and sustainability.


It is with great honour that our team at Tekuma Frenchman Urban Design, together our associate partner EOWON in Penang, join the four other consortiums selected for the international PSI competition. Our consortium is poised to design a masterplan in the image and ambition of Penang. With our unique design-engineered approach integrating economics and urban, we look forward to working hand in hand with the Penang government, in developing what we believe will mark a new era for the province and the nation.


UNStudio is very pleased of having been selected for the Penang South Island International Masterplan Design Competition. With our integrated design capability spanning from masterplanning to detailed design, we believe we are the suitable architect for such an ambitious, sustainable, holistic, people-centric development operation. We have teamed with a61 architects out of Kuala Lumpur and Penang to have a local partner for the master planning and architecture scope to complement our international expertise and to best understand the local specificities.

Pejabat Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Tingkat 28, KOMTAR, 10502, George Town, Pulau Pinang