BiodiverCity- masterplan by BIG that will see three artificial islands built off the shore of Penang Island, Malaysia, connected by an autonomous transport network.

Denmark-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been announced the lead masterplan designer for the Penang South Islands (PSI) project, which involves the development of three man-made islands under the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.


Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced this when announcing the winner for the PSI Masterplan Design Competition (MDC) at Hotel Equatorial Penang here. 

“The MDC received an overwhelming global response with 124 submissions from 26 countries,” he said, adding that five teams were shortlisted in January this year.

He said that the BIG team will be working closely with the state government, collaborators and stakeholders to finalise the masterplan and develop a set of urban design guidelines for the PSI project.

“The team will also be in close collaboration with the state to ensure that all facets of the project celebrate both the heritage and innovation that characterise Penang, while creating a home for its growing communities, economies and ecologies,” he added.

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Meanwhile, BIG founder and creative director Bjarke Ingels said that they have set the bar as high as humanly possible by imagining a new archipelago that aimed to be both more culturally and biologically diverse than existing conditions.

“It is an immense honor to have been chosen to imagine this new contribution to the Malaysia archipelago. In no case is this more evident than here, where we are literally embarking on a journey to create more of Malaysia for future generations,” he said.

Under the PSR project, the state government is proposing to reclaim about 1,821 hectares of the sea to build three islands south of the Penang International Airport towards the east around Permatang Damar Laut to create a land bank that will be utilised to finance the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project. 

The RM46 billion PTMP project entails the construction of an undersea tunnel connecting the island to the mainland, highways, light rail transit (LRT), monorail and a comprehensive bus network between the island and Seberang Perai. ― Bernama

The goal of  BiodiverCity is to create a “global destination” that facilitates sustainable economic and cultural growth of Penang Island, while protecting the biodiversity of its coastal zones and natural habitats.

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According to BIG, buildings throughout BiodiverCity will largely be constructed using a combination of bamboo, Malaysian timber and “green concrete” that uses recycled materials as aggregate.


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