Surbana-Safdie Architects tie-up eyes big projects

Mr Moshe Safdie and Mr Wong Heang Fine at a signing ceremony yesterday for the partnership between Surbana and Safdie Architects.
Mr Moshe Safdie and Mr Wong Heang Fine at a signing ceremony yesterday for the partnership between Surbana and Safdie Architects.PHOTO: SURBANA JURONG

Man behind Marina Bay Sands to provide design leadership

Temasek Holdings-owned Surbana Jurong has teamed up with a renowned architecture firm to further deepen its design capabilities and take on "iconic projects" in the Asia-Pacific.

It is partnering Safdie Architects to form Safdie Surbana Jurong (SSJ) to jointly pursue major residential, commercial and institutional projects that require special planning and design expertise.

Surbana Jurong, an urban development and infrastructure consultancy, told The Straits Times that SSJ's first project would be an integrated resort in Vietnam.

The design effort will be led by Safdie Architects' Boston office, with architect Moshe Safdie providing design leadership for all projects undertaken by SSJ, the two firms said in a joint statement yesterday.

Mr Safdie is behind what is arguably one of Singapore's most recognisable landmarks - the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.

"Through this collaboration, we will be able to provide world-class design and expert project delivery to a broad array of clients in Asia," said Mr Wong Heang Fine, group chief executive of Surbana Jurong.

A dedicated team at Surbana Jurong will work directly with Safdie Architects to produce detailed engineering and architectural designs, provide overall project management, and lead the construction documentation and administration.

The firm said this will allow its younger architects and designers to learn directly from Mr Safdie and his team.

Surbana Jurong aims to be Asia's consultancy powerhouse on the back of the region's growing needs in infrastructure, and is involved in a range of public- and private-sector projects. They included Biopolis Phase 1 and Health City Novena here and MKH World in Kuala Lumpur. The firm has also been appointed to draw up a masterplan to develop Chongqing into western China's logistics hub.

Mr Wong noted that Mr Safdie's works have become "architectural icons and national landmarks".

Apart from Marina Bay Sands, Mr Safdie has had a hand in several high-profile projects here, such as the upcoming Jewel at Changi Airport and CapitaLand's condo development Sky Habitat in Bishan.

Mr Safdie's other notable projects include the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Habitat '67 in Montreal, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas.

On the tie-up with Surbana Jurong, Mr Safdie said: "Our teams have unique, complementary capabilities. Together we can expand the realisation of significant projects, embracing our design principles across Asia."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2017, with the headline 'Surbana-Safdie Architects tie-up eyes big projects'. Print Edition | Subscribe