Malaysia shortlist 27 companies for master plan competition,of Penang’s three-island project with undersea tunnel

New 3 Penang Islands

The Penang local government has shortlisted 27 out of 124 Registration of Interest (ROI) submitted for the master plan competition for the development of three man-made islands under the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.

The project entails the construction of an undersea tunnel connecting the island to the mainland, highways, LRT, monorail and a bus network on the island and Seberang Perai.

The Penang South Islands (PSI) will be constructed just off the southern coast of Penang Island, which lies to the west of mainland Malaysia. Construction of the islands is scheduled to begin in 2021.

With the total land area of over 1,800 hectares, the islands are being built to provide Penang with extra space for urban development and to help achieve the aims of the Penang 2030 Vision.

List of 27 shortlisted companies of original 124 applications

The Masterplan Design Competition (MDC) is an urban design (town planning) design ideas competition. Structured as an open international single-stage competition with a qualification process open to all qualified Malaysian and international architects and/or planners leading multi-disciplinary project consortiums, intending participants will be required to assemble a world class consortium team in diverse fields such Architecture, Urbanism, Economics, Mobility, Smart City Experts, Engineering and Technology, Sustainability and Environmental Designers, Landscape, etc, that are critical to meet the State Government of Penang’s objectives for selection.

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), and is based on international standards and guidelines.

At the conclusion of the Registration of Interest (ROI) on 25 November 2019, a total of 124 submissions were received from 26 countries (40 submissions from Malaysian companies). Three submissions received past the deadline were not considered. A total of 27 submissions have been shortlisted by the Selection Panel to proceed to the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage due 30 Dec 2019. The 5 Finalists will be announced in Jan 2020. The Penang State Government would like to thank everyone for their submissions.


The Qualification process will be conducted in two phases; a Registration of Interest (ROI) phase followed by the Expression of Interest (EOI) phase. At the ROI phase, an open call notice to all interested architects and/or planners will be launched. Intending participants fulfilling the basic outline requirements stated shall complete and submit the simple one-page ROI form, downloadable from this website. Successful ROI participants will be longlisted and invited to participate in the following EOI process.

At the completion of the ROI phase, participants will be issued with the EOI Memorandum, which will require a detailed capability statement and consortium outline profile. All consortiums are required to have a qualified Malaysian LAM/PAM registered architect and/or registered planner, as a consortia member/s working in association with the project leader.

Any costs incurred for the ROI and EOI submission shall be borne by participants as there are no design works required at the qualifying stage. The qualification process will be conducted by a Selection Panel (SP) nominated by the State Government of Penang to evaluate, deliberate and conduct due diligence on the ROI/EOI submissions for the PSI Competition Secretariat’s concurrence.

After the qualification process, a short-list of five (5) Finalists will be announced. The Finalists will be issued the Terms of Reference (TOR) Document containing the MDC rules and regulations, conditions and terms, project information as well as the Design Brief and detailed submission requirements with various reports and forms appended. All Finalists will be paid an equal honorarium to participate in the MDC, to be announced at the EOI stage.

The proposal submitted by the Finalist deemed most suitable by the Master Jury panel for implementation at the new Penang South Islands will be appointed by the State of Penang as the Lead Master Plan Designer, subject to terms & conditions.

27 Shortlisted one:

Snøhetta = Norway

Bjarke Ingels Group = Denmark

WOHA = Singapore

Tekuma Frenchman = USA

PLP Architecture = England

UNS = Netherlands

Arup = England

GDP Architects = Malaysia

Veritas Design Group = Malaysia

BEP Akitek = Malaysia

Nikken = Japan

KCAP = Netherlands

Atkins = Canada

Wilkinson Eyre = England

COX Architecture = Australia

Hijjas Architects = Malaysia

T. R. Hamzah & Yeang = Malaysia

TAK = Malaysia

Urbanisma = Malaysia

MVRDV = Netherlands

Herzog & De Meuron = Switzerland

Sasaki = USA

Foster & Parents = England

Mecanoo = Netherlands

RMJM = Scotland

Arkitek MAA = Malaysia

DPA = Singapore