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.
The State Government of Penang has teamed up with the Malaysian Institute of Architects – Northern Chapter to launch a competition that challenges multidisciplinary groups to design an urban masterplan for the islands.
"The project is a key strategic initiative of the State Government of Penang to ensure readiness to accommodate and participate in the Penang 2030 Vision," explained the organisers.
"PSI will be the platform for a new economic thrust that will focus on strategic accelerators, smart enterprises and technology industries; reframing Penang as the centre for innovation and Industry 4.0."
Alongside economic factors, groups must also consider how the islands can contribute to the lifestyle of Penang residents, incorporating elements like affordable housing, public beaches, parks, and waterfront activity areas.
The islands must additionally incorporate a wealth of sustainable features that will help Penang reach the goals of the Penang 2030 Vision.
Entrant groups, which can include specialists in engineering, smart cities, sustainability and landscape, economics, transport and mobility, must include a registered Malaysian architect or master planner.
Each group must complete a registration of interest form in order to be put forward for the longlisting process. Successful entrants will then be asked to submit a detailed profile outlining their group and a capability statement.
A shortlist of five finalists will then be drawn up, which will be given the official design brief and an honorarium for participating in the competition. The master jury will then decide upon an ultimate winner.
Development across Malaysia is happening in Penang and beyond. Earlier this year saw the opening of the Alila Bangsar hotel in the country's capital of Kuala Lumpur, which Chinese studio Neri&Hu designed to be like an "urban oasis".
The 143-room property boasts a rooftop pool and an abundance of communal areas planted with lush trees.