Siow Chien FU

An architect and a property developer, executive director Siow Chien Fu (NCARB, AIA, IPDM, APAM) is founder and principal partner of RDC Arkitek Sdn Bhd in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. It is an established and well-known company involved in major housing schemes and township developments in the state. The firm also has branch offices in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.

cplus-spotlightAfter graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas, USA in 1986, he worked with Devine Architects Inc. and Gould Evans Associates, both in Kansas. Siow won a number of notable design competitions in the early years of his career. In 1989, he also negotiated and secured a major contract for Devine Architects Inc. for the restoration of Singapore Raffles Hotel for a sum of S$120 million. Siow passed the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) exam in USA and became a registered, licensed architect in the state of Missouri, as well as a corporate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He is also a member of Pertubuhan Architect Malaysia (PAM) and Institute Perekabentuk Dalam Malaysia (IPDM). He joined Singapore’s Regional Development Consortium (RDC) Architects in 1991 as a senior architect and was promoted to an associate.

Siow started and founded RDC Arkitek Sdn Bhd in 1992 and became one of its partners from 1994 until now. Under his stewardship, the company has won several accolades, including the award by BCI Asia for being one of the top 10 market leaders in architecture for seven years (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015). Apart from architectural practice, Siow is also actively involved in other businesses such as the Eco Tree Hotel in Malacca and Sai Wan, Hong Kong; Bestari Bestmart Sdn Bhd in Johor Bahru, a commercial and retail complex with a fresh market; and Market Hall Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur, a similar complex with a fresh market.

His latest project—Capital 21—is an integrated thematic mall that sets out to make a huge difference in the retail landscape in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Based on the concept of highlighting the essence of five continents across the mall’s five floors by showcasing each continent’s major capital cities, Siow partnered with BCI Asia to organise an interior design competition to seek creative concepts from professional architects and interior designers worldwide. Having just closed the competition in May, and before the winners are picked from the multitude of entries received from all over the world in June, Construction+ caught up with the man of the hour to chat about what it takes to straddle both the creative and commercial sides of the industry, and why the time is now to invest in property in Malaysia.

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