President's Design Award: Engineer among three Designer of the Year winners

President's Design Award: Engineer among three Designer of the Year winners

For the first time since the awards was launched in 2006, a nominee under the engineering design discipline received the Designer of the Year award.

designers of the year

SINGAPORE: For the first time since the President's Design Award was launched in 2006, an engineer, Dr Hossein Rezai, was among the three winners of the prestigious Designer of the Year honour.

The awards were handed out by President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Friday (Dec 9) in a ceremony at the Istana, DesignSingapore Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a joint statement.

Dr Rezai, director of Web Structures and a chartered engineer in civil and structural engineering, has been involved in the design and realisation of projects like Assyafaah Mosque, which uses a reinforced concrete arched frame to create a column-free prayer hall on the ground level and to support three storeys of classrooms and other ancillary spaces.

Assyafaah Mosque

(Photo: Web Structures)

The arched frame helped to free up more space on the ground, as well as lower construction costs by 6.5 per cent. The total cost of constructing the building was US$43 million.

Dr Rezai told Channel NewsAsia that good design and cost efficiency were not mutually exclusive. "With our structural designs, we think there's no reason why we should use any more material than is absolutely necessary. You won't gain anything by spending more or using more material when it comes to structure. As such, we minimise the carbon footprint of our structure by minimising the usage of material."

The engineer's other projects in Singapore include Mediacorp's new 12-storey, 800,000sqft campus at Stars Avenue as well as Tokio Marine Centre and the Ardmore Residence.

mediacorp campus

(Photo: Web Structures)

Along with Dr Rezai, the Designer of the Year award was also given to architects Rene Tan and Raymond Woo.

Cited as one of the most established and well-respected figures in Singapore's architectural industry, Mr Woo was behind Singapore landmarks like the old Science Centre as well as Ngee Ann City on Orchard Road.


(Clockwise, from top right) Singapore Science Centre, B747 Hangar and Ngee Ann City. (Photos: RWAA & Max Ooi)

10 projects won the Design of the Year award. They include three architectural projects, as well a medical device to extract blood safely, easily and with minimal pain; an ultrasound scanner designed to assess pregnancy risks early; as well as a washing machine that lets users add items mid-cycle.

A record number of 140 nominations were received this year. An exhibition of the President’s Design Award 2016 will be held at the National Design Centre from Dec 10 to Jan 6, 2017 and at the URA Centre from Jan 9 to 27, 2017. Admission is free.

Designer of the Year

Dr Hossein Rezai


Web Structures Pte Ltd

Rene Tan


RT+Q Architects Pte Ltd

Raymond Woo

Principal Architect

Raymond Woo & Associates Architects

Design of the Year
Bynd Artisan

&Larry Pte Ltd

Larry Peh and Team

Enabling Village

WOHA Architects Pte Ltd

Wong Mun Summ & Richard Hassell and Team

HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Printer
HP Inc.

Edwin Chin and Team

National Design Centre

SCDA Architects Pte Ltd

Chan Soo Khian and Team


NSP Tech Pte Ltd

Joseph Lum and Team

Samsung “AddWash”

Samsung Electronics Pte Ltd

Ken Ding and Team


SCDA Architects Pte Ltd

Chan Soo Khian and Team


WOHA Architects Pte Ltd

Wong Mun Summ & Richard Hassell and Team

Vscan Access

Chemistry Form Pte Ltd & GE Healthcare

Bassam Jabry, Karin Aue & Abhay Nihalani and Team

Wah Son @ Seletar Aerospace

Parkipli Architects

Yip Yuen Hong and Team

Source: CNA/xk