WOHA, one of Southeast Asia’s best known and most awarded architectural practices, was founded by Won Mun Sum and Richard Hassell in 1994. WOHA’s architecture is notable for its constant evolution and innovation: each project constitutes a specific response to the potential of the building’s program and its site. A profound awareness of local context and tradition is intertwined with an ongoing exploration of contemporary architectural form-making and ideas, thus creating a unique fusion of practicality and invention. WOHA conceptualizes all aspects of the architectural process – master planning, formal architecture, interior design, landscape design, lighting, and furniture design – with a holistic vision for each project. Environmental principles have always been fundamental to the work of the practice, guided by a commitment to responsive place-making and to the creation of an invigorating and sustainable architecture.
WOHA’s earliest projects comprised a series of critically acclaimed private houses in Singapore, which were followed by a variety of larger scale projects throughout Southeast Asia, China, and Australia. These project types range from apartment towers to luxury resorts, mass-transit stations, condominiums, hotels, educational institutions, and public buildings. Recently completed projects by WOHA include the Alila Villas Uluwatu resort in Bali, the Stadium and Bras Basah MRT stations in Singapore, the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Changi Airport, the InterContinental Sanya Resort in China, and the Singapore Shool of the Arts. WOHA has won an unprecedented amount of architectural awards for a Southeast Asian practice: they received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007, they collected four awards in the RIBA International Awards 2011 and 2010, and they won the International Highrise Award 2010. As an emphatic indication of WOHA’s versatility and global recognition, the practice won two titles in two consecutive years (in four separate categories) at the World Architecture Festival: WOHA are the only architects to have achieved such a distinction.
Both Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell are actively involved in architectural education: they have lectured at universities in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, the USA, and the United Kingdom, and Hassell was an adjunct professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, from 2006 to 2009. The founding directors have also contributed to professional activities in Singapore: Wong served on the board of Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority from 1999 to 2005, and as a member of various design consultancy and advisory panels for large development proposals in Singapore, whilst Hassell is a current board member of the Design Singapore Council, and the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.
ICN Design International
Headed by Henry Steed, a highly respected landscape architect practicing in Asia for the last 30 years, ICN Design has carried out numerous landscape projects throughout the region, and is today one of the best known landscape consultants in this field.
The firm’s particular method is Integrated Environmental Design, where all parts of the outdoor environment are designed and co-ordinated by the landscape architect to mitigate the dominance of buildings and heavy engineering works. This ensures that the original concept and vision remain undiluted throughout the construction process and is delivered in the final product – that of a beautiful and inspiring new landscape.
Its philosophy ‘Man in Balance with Nature’ – a belief that the rush to urbanize and develop should be tempered by the conservation of the natural environment and the re-introduction of nature into our daily lives – has been well conceived by all those who have viewed and experienced its creation.
ICN Design has received numerous local awards from the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (SILA) for high density Residential projects in Singapore. Other gold awards included for parks, nature and recreational projects are Baboons of Ethiopia exhibit at Singapore Zoo, Sentosa Nature Discovery, Sentosa Cove Arrival Plaza and Ecological Sustainability & Conservation Efforts for Southern Island Lazarus Beach Parks. Mr Henry Steed has also won Gold award for Landscape Garden in the Singapore International Garden Festival 2006 and 2008 and Best of Show Award for Landscape Garden 2006.