zlgdesign was set up in 1994. the partners susanne zeidler and huat lim had worked and studied under sir peter cook in london and frankfurt. susanne studied at the Bartlett, London, whereas huat trained at the Architectural Association London. huat then went on to work at foster and partners in the UK (at the time the chelsea reach offices had not yet been built) in 1984 and for foster france at the time, in Nimes, south of France. the studio is medium sized, employing no more than 15 designers at any one time. zlgdesign has won many awards, amongst them the prestigious 2006 Malaysian PAM Award for best public building (for the boh visitor centre project in cameron highlands). zlgdesign has a philosophy of work that is largely based on research, examination, critique and exploration of cutting edge issues, among the current pursuits are sustainability and energy concerns. this approach has become deeply rooted in our work. projects begin with thoughtful research and development of unique and exclusive concepts without compromising the quality of the execution, meaning there is commitment in putting adequate resources to each project undertaken, no matter how small the budget. thorough and detailed documentation has also become a big part of our work culture, and has over the years become almost a customary procedure, as we delve deeply into them. we call our files black books and white books, namely working drawings and presentation portfolios.
the firm turns to very specific building technology and materials for low energy design solutions, the challenge park project and the boh tea estate showroom and visitor centre are both testimony to this pursuit and philosophy. on the other occasions, we fall back on tradition, as exemplified in the most recent work for the lantern hotel in chinatown kuala lumpur. zlgdesign has a flat administrative hierarchy, a horizontally organised structure across the office, under the art direction of both directors, encouraging teams to get their hands on all aspects of the projects from the inception of ideas to the final execution, management and delivery of the concept. Staff strength varies but there’s a grouping system that has been developed to structure concept and design development and site or contract administration, we call this style of administration the pink, blue and green zonal structure. It is our unique brand and protocol for implementing many of our medium sized projects. Amongst those who worked in the pink zones, we have concept development, compliance managers and feasibility group study. In the blue zones we engage technicality minded staff, documentation architects and CAD specialists. In the blue zone, senior partners and managers partake of site administration, and project execution from the site possession to building completion. we are now passionately interested in pursuing biophilic concepts and largely due to our more pressing concerns for a more ecologically balanced built environment.