The 4-Nations group is an informal alliance between the professional architectural institutes of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, who convene regularly and have collaborated closely on the aspects of practice and education. This book, jointly commissioned by the institutes, seeks to deepen this relationship by anchoring it within design discourse as well. We present a collection of outstanding buildings recently completed in these four countries and explore both the commonalities and differences across the works. In so doing, we hope to set a new platform to discuss architectural culture in the region.
Each institute was responsible for selecting the projects representing their country. As all institutes already had a program for selecting and conferring awards for the best works by their members, it was deemed appropriate and indeed less controversial to pick the submitted projects from a recent tranche of awardees. One can thus consider this to be the “Best-Of” series of buildings from the region! From a total of forty works submitted, the editors further refined the selection to the final twenty shown in these pages and sought out a structure to present these works.
The motivation for making this book arises not only because of the commitment by the various institutes, but also from the editors’ conviction that such a book, compiling modern architecture from the Southeast Asian region, was long overdue and much needed for the awareness of students and practitioners alike.
The last lap of this book-making journey was delayed as it fell within the global COVID-19 pandemic. We also had to deal with the sudden and tragic loss of IAI President, Pak Djuhara during this period. With these setbacks, it would have been easy to defer this project indefinitely but they really strengthened our resolve to complete it, as a testament to the nations’ spirit of collaboration, even across hard borders and enforced restrictions.
Ar. Teo Yee Chin & Ar. Chin Kean Kok