Recognising over a decade of landscape architecture excellence in M'sia

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Johor Menteri Besar taking a group photo with  members of ILAM at the recent gala night.

Johor Menteri Besar taking a group photo with members of ILAM at the recent gala night.

JOHOR BAHRU: The most prestigious landscape industry award - Malaysia Landscape Architectural Awards (MLAA) which started in 2007 has now reached its 13th edition. Over 600 guests witnessed landscape architectural works, projects and professionals receive recognition and accolades for their innovative and outstanding achievements during the 13th edition of MLAA presented by the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM) at Desaru Coast Convention Centre, The Westin Hotel, Johor. 

A total of 77 awards from 12 categories were presented that night with key performances by young rising talent Violeena Rosny. The event was officiated by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, alongside ILAM president associate professor Nor Atiah Ismail. 

Johor was the biggest winner in the Government Category where four out of 10 awards were won by Johor local authorities and government agencies. 

The annual MLAA, along with ILAM’s Gala Night is a night of celebration of the creative excellence of the vibrant and innovative Landscape Architecture industry. Initiated in conjunction with Malaysia playing host to the IFLA World Congress 2007, MLAA has established over the years to be the most reputable and prestigious industry event that acknowledges the contributions of landscape architects, consultancy firms, developers, researchers, students, contractors, suppliers, government agencies, the media and individuals at home and abroad for shaping the country’s landscaping sphere. 

Nor Atiah said MLAA has grown from an award which was created to honour landscape architecture professional works in 2007, to the recognition of the entire landscape industry in Malaysia a decade later. The awards started with two award categories and now presents 12 award categories, covering every aspect of the industry. 

In 2011, the award was rebranded as MLAA and, in 2014, the new MLAA logo and trophy (the tree) were launched. Subsequently, in 2015, the MLAA award was endorsed by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) and, in 2017, the MLAA was registered as a trademark with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia. 

“In line with the current needs, this edition of MLAA has introduced the Sustainable Development Goals SDG 2030 into the award criteria while continuing to recognise the outstanding innovative design and planning undertaken by landscape architects, communities, government agencies and corporate sectors,” said Nor Atiah. 

This year’s MLAA saw a steady increase in submissions with 145 exceptional submissions across 12 categories, with entries from Malaysia and overseas. The MLAA 13 anchor awards include Professional (Landscape Design and Landscape Analysis and Study), Developer, Sustainable Management, Contractor, Government, CSR, Research and Student categories. 

The Sustainable Management category is a new category which aims to recognise the advocacy of sustainable landscape planning and implementation initiatives by industry players. The individual recognition awards include the Young Landscape Architect Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Wajah ILAM Award. 

The Special Award is newly introduced and consists of the Green Infrastructure Award as well as the Landscape Resources Preservation and Conservation Award. Three new professional Practice Recognition Awards were also introduced, namely Best Client 2023, Emerging Landscape Architecture Firm 2023 and Top Landscape Architecture Firm 2023. 

All Excellence Award winners were also in line to compete for the most prestigious award – the Project of the Year. Other awards include Excellence Award, Special Honour Award, Honour Award and Merit Award. A total of 77 awards were presented. In conjunction with the awards ceremony, ILAM initiated the Desaru Declaration, a call for action towards climate emergency 2023, in the morning which was attended by professional practitioners, policymakers and state and local government officials. 

ILAM, with the attendees, had jointly pledged for advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2030), attaining Global Net Zero carbon Emissions by 2040, enhancing the capacity and resilience of livable cities and communities, advocating for climate justice and social well-being, learning from cultural knowledge systems and galvanising climate leadership. 

ILAM also released the MLAA 2022 Yearbook, a showcase compilation of the awards’ official entries. The Yearbook features some of the most aesthetically pleasing, innovative and groundbreaking designs seen in the region. The introduction of award categories focusing on environmentally sound, sustainable designs is also in line with the development principles of this year’s platinum sponsor, Gamuda Land. 

Gamuda Land highlighted that an important aspect of their town-making process is listening to what the land has to tell and building concerning nature. As emphasised by Gamuda Land chief executive officer Chu Wai Lune, the company will not rest on the laurels but continue to provide a conducive living experience for the communities and to play their role in promoting a thriving environment. 

The MLAA Award is endorsed by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) and the gala night is also sponsored by Sime Darby Property (gold), Aspect Synergy Sdn Bhd, Playpoint Malaysia Sdn Bhd (silver) and OSK Property and ISOFU Sdn Bhd are the supporting sponsors. 


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