Ken Yeang

Dr. Ken Yeang (Chinese: 杨经文/楊經文; pinyin: Yáng Jīngwén) is a prolific Malaysian architect and writer best known for developing environmental design solutions for high-rise buildings in the tropics.

Life and career

Born in 1948 [cite book
last = Jodidio
first = Philip
authorlink = Philip Jodidio
title = Building a New Millennium
publisher = Taschen
year = 1999
page = 552
isbn = 3822863904
] in Penang, Malaysia, Yeang attended Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire, England, studied architecture at the Architectural Association School (1966-1971), and received a doctorate in ecological design from Cambridge University. Seeing skyscrapers as inevitable because of population pressures and site ratios, Yeang has spent his career refuting the conventional wisdom that tall buildings are inherently destructive to the environment. Ken Yeang was once the team leader of Singaporean architecture firm Swan & Maclaren, before resigning in 2000. As a principle of T.R. Hamzah & Yeang in Kuala Lumpur, he pioneered the passive low-energy design of skyscrapers, what he has called "bioclimatic" design. In 2005 Yeang became a director of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, a multidisciplinary firm of urban designers, architects and landscape architects and is now based in London. He has a number of patents pending for ventilation engineering. He also serves on advisory committees for numerous academic and professional organizations such the ARCHIVE Institute and the Skyscraper Museum both located in New York City.

Yeang served as the Plym Professor for the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the 2006 Spring semester. The design studio he led focused on the sustainability of health care facilities, more specifically on hospitals for children.

Works and architectural philosophy

In 2003, Yeang's work was included in the exhibition "Big & Green: Towards Sustainable Architecture in the 21st Century" curated by David Gissen at the National Building Museum [ [http://www.pureandapplied.com/catalogues/2/index.html] Exhibit catalogue]

Yeang's 1992 Menara Mesiniaga building in Subang Jaya Selangor, Malaysia is a catalogue of his bioclimatic techniques, including daring "vertical landscaping", external louvers to reduce solar heat gain, extensive natural ventilation and lighting, and an "active Intelligent Building" system for automated energy savings.

Like William McDonough, Yeang's concentration on energy conservation and environmental impact is a radical departure from mainstream architecture's view of the profession as an art form. Yeang has written, "In practice, architectural design is a craft, and a variable one at that. Post modernism has successfully shown up the volatile nature of this craft by its unrestrained use of architectural symbolisms, its frivolous multiplication of the surface area of the built envelope, its prodigious use of unnecessary building materials, its indifference to engineering economy, its extravagant use of land, and its irrational subservience to whim and history instead of the allocation and restriction of excessive consumption of energy resources."{cn} Despite Yeang's innovation however, much in his work has its roots in earlier architectural ideas, and he can be best understood by discerning these connections. For example, his sense of structure links clearly to some of the major themes of American skyscraper pioneer Louis Sullivan [Twombly, Robert, "Louis Sullivan – His Life and Work", Elizabeth Sifton Books, New York City, 1986.] .

Major projects

* Plaza Atrium, Kuala Lumpur, 1981
* Menara Boustead, Kuala Lumpur, 1986
* Menara Mesiniaga building in Subang Jaya Selangor, Malaysia, 1992
* MBF Tower, Penang, 1993
* Tokyo-Nara Tower, Tokyo, Japan, 1994
* Penggiran Apartment Towers No. 1, Kuala Lumpur, 1996
* UMNO Tower, Penang, 1998
* New National Library of Singapore, Singapore
* Mesiniaga Penang, Penang, 2003
* Jumptown Tower, Portland, Oregon (proposed)

References

External links

* [http://www.ellipsis.com/yeang/index.html#top Online version of Yeang's book "Bioclimatic Skyscrapers"]
* [http://www.ldavies.com/ Website of Llewelyn Davies Yeang]
* [http://www.trhamzahyeang.com/index.html Website of Yeang's architectural firm]
* [http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/07/18/yeang.bio/ Biography] and [http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/07/16/yeang.qa/ interview] with Ken Yeang, and an [http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/07/18/yeang.vision/ image gallery] of his work. CNN, July 2007
* [http://www.battlemccarthy.com/Sustainable%20Towers%20Website/sustainable%20_towers%20_in_Far%20East.htm A description of varied green techniques used in varied projects]
* [http://www.telescoweb.com/city/kualalumpur/adf6/1stspeaker.html Asia Design Forum question and answer session]
* [http://archnet.org/library/documents/documents.tcl?author_letter=yeang Various Yeang Publications on ArchNet]


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