Ar. Haris is the Founder and Principal of RDA-Harris Architects and Urban Planners, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In 1992, he was appointed as the Principal Architect of the huge 40-hectare KLCC Project in Kuala Lumpur city centre, and the Architect-of-Record for Petronas Twin Towers, the world’s tallest (twin) building. Shortly after, he was made the Lead Urban Design Consultant to prepare the Urban Design Guidelines for Putrajaya, the new administrative capital of Malaysia.
His firm has since expanded to undertake work outside the country, spanning from Morocco to Middle East and to India and Japan. In recognition of their achievements, his practice has won many international and local awards, including B.I.D. Paris 2000, ARCASIA Gold Medal, Macau 2003, PAM Gold Medal, Kuala Lumpur 2002. In 2007, his design for the Serendah House, Malaysia, was nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, based in Geneva, for 2005-2007 cycle. The firm has since then garnered many other awards including 2015 & 2016 Asia-Pacific Property Awards.
During the recent Covid lockdown, Ar. Haris was tasked to review the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2040. The team has to rethink how the city should grow in post-Covid era, the future. It is a huge challenge, as it involves connecting with a multitude of ‘stake-holders’, ranging from the city hall, the public and the environment. He draws from his past experience in the country and abroad, as well as from the current global trends, to provide some answers.
While the focus is on Kuala Lumpur, the issues are similar and relevant to other cities across the globe: sustainability – economics, environment and society – to food security; and connectivity in larger senses: internet, urban mobility, ecology, traffic and people, etc. How does one connect all the dots?
Ar. Haris doesn’t have all the answers yet, but would like to share some thoughts.