Original Artwork by Papa, Azhan and Nine (click image to link)
‘In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. By Time, indeed humanity is in a state of loss. Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth and in the mutual teaching of patience’ (Surah al-`Asr, 103:1-3)
"Professional Architect lives almost by faith. When called upon he can do the job without fear or favour. He possesses aspecialized skill and lives by a code of ethics cloaked in honour andintegrity. He is expected to speak his mind and give his views. Whenfaced with absolute wrong, he can resolutely disagree and walk away." quote from THE PROFESSIONAL MAN by Ar Dr Tan Loke Mun PRESIDENT PAM

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Saturday, 30 October 2010


Dear Colleagues,

Today is my last working day in England. It has always been me and my wife’s dream to come to England. We were always told all the great things about this country. Thank you very much to Terry, Martin, Mike and Reid for helping me with the work permit and making our dreams come true.

These four years of living here had given me the chance to learn more about England and you guys especially had made the experience full of good memories and priceless. Thank you so much for helping me to adapt and fit well into the local community.

My boys also had great school years here in England. Thanks to this work opportunity they have achieved a lot in school especially with their English language and self-confidence. I could see them growing up to become a fine gentleman.

I shall never forget the many first moment in my life here. From attending the first football match, having Christmas dinner, office trips, car-boots to celebrating colleague retirement!

I thank you enough and describe how grateful I am for the support given to me and my family since we were here. I’m in debt for all your good deeds. I’m also so sorry if I have been a pain to anyone.

My only pray and wish for RGP is to thrive in the future and for everyone’s happiness in life. I would like to extend an invitation to everyone who wishes to visit Malaysia to come over to our place. You can keep in touch via email

“We'll meet again,
Don't know where, don't know when.
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day”

Fadzlan Rizan Johani
10 September 2010

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Ketika sibuk mengemas rumah untuk balik ke Malaysia aku terjumpa poskad lama. Poskad yang aku karangkan sebuah sajak untuk isteri tercinta. Ketika itu aku pertama kali menjejakkan kaki ke bumi Manchester. Aku masih ingat saat-saat itu seperti semalam...saat aku cuba membahagiakan dirimu.

April 2006, Manchester

Jauh aku berjalan,
Dengan harapanmu,
Ku cuba tunaikan,
Dalam mencari sebuah syurga impian.

Hingga hujung dunia ku merantau,
Tiba disini aku akhirnya,
Disinikah damai yang kau cari?
Disinikah tempat kau ingin rajukkan diri?

Makin jauh aku berjalan,
Makin dekat rindu di hati,
Sejuk menarikku untuk kembali,
Memelukmu menghambat dingin.

Doakan aku selamat,
Membawa pulang berita gembira,
Tentang sebuah syurga,
Yang ku temui dalam CINTA kita.

Hakikatnya setelah 4 tahun diperantauan, kami sedar Manchester atau di Malaysia bukanlah syurga dunia. Tiada tempat yang sempurna segalanya.“Syurga” dalam erti kata “tempat merasai kedamaian dan kebahagiaan” telah kami temui dekat sekali; di dalam hati dan di dalam jiwa; di dalam Cinta.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Malaysia Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010

Photo by archhale2008

A friend commented:
I got really angry when i see the malaysian pavillion at the word expo!!! BENCI!! can someone sue this people yg design benda bodoh tu??!!!! We can design better la kan!!! BODO!

This comment is quite harsh or too emotional in one way, but I could understand why my friend felt that way .What I could say if only they have learn from a Malay movie called "Ali Setan" if not the whole Malaysian history, they could find straight, honest and professional opinion about the "Minangkabau" roof.

Si B : Aku ada satu bangunan sebijik macam nie. Aku nak taruk dia bumbung minangkabau supaya dia bercirikan kebangsaan.

Jali : Tak buleh!Tak buleh!

Si D : Awat tak buleh?

Jali: Macam mana pula buleh, Minangkabau tu Negeri 9 saja!

Si E : Habis, awak mau pilih Kelantan aje? Mana adil!

Si F: Jali, hang jangan emosional sangat Jali. Kita tengah discuss problem bumbung nie tau tak? Cakap pasal semangat negeri ja...boring betul la.

Ada group member tido dan mereka terus bertengkar...

Si G : Apa asyik bertengkar saja nie?

Si D : Rilex2, nanti kita panggil Ali. Ali mai sat!

Ali : Ha, apa nie?

Si B: Kami nak minta kau punya advice. Kami nak tukarkan bangunan tinggi nie kepada bumbung Minangkabau supaya bercirikan kebangsaan.

Ali: Bumbung Minangkabau, tak semestinya bercirikan kebangsaan. Ia hanya berfungsi untuk mengalirkan air keluar. Ciri2 kebangsaan boleh didapati drpd integrasi ruang, drpd sirkulasi ruang dan penyatuan unsur2 yang tertentu. Ia tak semestinya terletak pd bumbung sahaja. Kalau bangunan tinggi kita taruk bumbung Minangkabau, tak harmoni dan tak mengikut scale. Samalah macam koboi dgn pistol pakai songkok! Haha, apalah susah sangat..hah, kacang la!

Many would then blame the politicians and their cronies on this. Some have suggested : a minister should study architecture? or architecture graduate should be a minister?

And my answer would be:
Both are not going to resolve the problem. A minister should become a real minister and an architect should become a true architect. Although, they can at least have a basic knowledge of both area which may help to a mutual understanding, when it comes to a decision related to design/architecture the minister should not have the power to intervene. Decision should come from PAM/LAM professional members.

Even when the minister has professional qualification in architecture, they must be prevented in taking part in the design decision making because it could lead to a conflict of interest. Why minister should only listen to doctors and lawyers’ advice but not architects? If the minister wants to take the design decision themselves, they must also take the liability.

A crisis like this will happen more often when an architect dreams of becoming a politician, and a politician who acts as an architect.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


RGP have an innovative approach to architectural design. We have no dogma, no standard answers and we are spirited and fun to work with. Visit :

Friday, 9 April 2010


 August 2009
 Photographed & Styled by EMILIE SMITH

Dear friends,

I'm writing to you today to congratulate you on your success and achievement this year. All of you have done an excellent job and it is well-deserved.

Soon, the final year undergraduates will embark into the working world of architecture. Some may have the glimpse of what awaits them and I wish them the very best of luck and may God be with you always.

I’m not in the position as a great achiever to give you any lecture. However, I'm writing this humble letter to honour our beloved lecturer request to share thoughts with you that would perhaps help you in your journey.

My friends, once this study of architecture is completed, some of you may opt for a break and have some fun after years of hard work. I hope while enjoying this luxurious time, you could think of the next big step in life. Have a good look at it and write it down.


With many years spent on brainstorming in design, we would have a set of dynamic creativity in our young mind bursting of energy. Remember to keep it fit all the time despite possessing the privilege of the so-called salary and time of our own.

Our set of mind now would totally be different from the one we had before studying architecture. But could we recall how we used to think before being in the architecture? Many of us including myself could hardly remember it anymore. Architecture has made us a better human but how are we going to serve others if we do not understand how non-architectural people think? Although we ensure ourselves fit with the consumption of “creative pills”, we also need to include some “natural ingredient" to our diet.

These are a few suggestions to supplement our diet:

 Instead of spending all our salary on our own luxurious needs, try to give some to the poor.

 Try spending a weekend with the orphans instead of working long hours in the office/studio

 Get ourselves involve with charity work rather than doing freelance for self-profit

 Spare some time with local community activities instead of joining corporate functions

Sometimes we just need to look and listen to people. Hopefully by expanding our relationship and activities with the people in needs will help us develop a better understanding of people's hearts and hopes that we need to serve and fulfil.


My friends, many of us share the same ultimate dream once we completed the architectural course; becoming an architect. Whether it is our true destiny or not is a mystery that we need to find out on our own.

Most importantly, we should pursue our passion in life and work. Passion will provide us with energy and willpower to achieve excellence and success. It will keep us going no matter how difficult it may be.

Yet many of our senior colleagues end up taking different paths. Some become contractors, photographers, 3d visualizer and some even choose to be canteen operator, but those diverted paths from architecture do not mean that they have failed in their life. They are actually successful by following their true passion and found their own destiny.

It is saddening to hear many stories of our senior friends who have come towards the end of their working life but regretted it and feel frustrated with their profession. Oddly enough, they wish they could do something else.

If we end up with different path and find other profession as our destiny, we shouldn't forget all the knowledge and skills we had learnt. Always govern ourselves with the code of professional, maintain our competency, integrity and honesty.


Having to pass design subject with "A" does reflect our talent. But do we know what is the greatest threat to our talent? Lack of character.

"Character creates a foundation upon which the structure of your talent and your life can build", says John C.Maxwell in his book Talent Is Never Enough. The greater your talent, the greater we need for strong character.

Many of us would be familiar with the concept of "extension of time" and "stay back" which are often and widely used in our design course. Although it seems to reflect our passion or commitment towards design, it also epitomizes our lack of self-discipline character. Believe me if we pass our design subject, we are good enough to design, but we'll be even greater if we could design within "sustainable" time schedule.

We should write our core values or our life principles. They define what we believe in and how we live. Islam provides good example of these values. The temptation of avoiding core value such as honesty by cutting corners in work is a continuous threat in real practice. Architects are men of principles.

Architecture world is quite strangely a small world. What comes round will come round. People could spread words even faster than sharing knowledge. If we have strong character and believe in our core values, it will protect everything in our life that we dearly hold onto.


In the studio years, we have the freedom to express and utilise our own idea and develop the confidence to stand against lecturers defending our design. In the real world we need stronger self-confidence to propose any idea simply because we are "lack of experience". This simple reason will lock our freedom.

It is true that experience is gained over the years. But don't let it stop our imagination. We may know nothing but we are ready to learn everything. We can fill the gap of inexperience by reading, going to seminars, taking short courses or simply by asking questions. If we think our lecturers drove us to the wall with too many things to learn, I guess in real practice we need to learn even more. The only difference is nobody will force us to learn. Expanding our knowledge helps build our confidence.

Never wait for opportunity to arise. Sometimes we need to take the initiative. For many of us we won't be able to meet and consult our clients before we reach our senior years in practice. Our whole time waiting for that opportunity equates to losing our momentum. Be initiative by providing free design advice to our neighbours or friends and we never know other doors of opportunity this will open to.

Another way to own our freedom is to identify and overcome our fear. Sometimes we don't even realise of the fear growing inside us that hinders us from embracing new challenges. One example, we will gain more money when we work, and so will our spending and in worse cases stretching ourselves into more debt (study loan, car, home mortgage, credit card, etc). Having more debts will increase our fear of losing jobs (income) especially during the recession. We keep on staying in the same firm even though we are not satisfied with many issues (because we are scared of confronting and debating the issues). The worst thing is when we even sacrifice our core value and principles. By reducing debts (thus gaining financial freedom) and having sufficient fund to survive without a permanent job will free us from the fear of losing jobs. The only fear worth having is the fear of punishment from God for our sins.

Idea and knowledge are a part of God's property, never hold it to ourselves, and share it whenever possible. To hide away knowledge for the sake of personal security will only lock us from the freedom of learning more.


This letter is equally a reminder to myself. When recession hits UK, I have seen many dreams ruined and shattered. Many people have been put out of work, even those at authoritative post like directors are not safe from this unfortunate fate and many firms collapsed. People put out their values just to keep on earning. It made me realised how fragile and vulnerable our profession is and the urgency of preparing oneself spiritually and financially.

That's all for now, I just hope my two-pence story would be of good value for your time. I hope that I could live longer to see one or more of your batch becoming legendary architects; Architects who bring hopes and create changes to make the world a better home for all.

I would like to share the final note from Sir Richard Branson in his book Screw It, Let's Do It (Virgin Books 2006):

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with that first step. If you look ahead  to the end, and all the weary miles between, with all the dangers you might face, you might never take that first step. And whatever it is you want to achieve in life, if you don’t make the effort, you won’t reach your goal. So take that first step. There will be many challenges. You might get knocked back – but in the end, you will make it. Good luck!"

May God accompany you in your journey.

Bury, Lancashire

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

BRIEF REVIEW 2009- a letter from chairman

22 December 2009

Dear Fadzlan,

Approaching the end of 2009 it is appropriate to reflect on what has been a most difficult trading year. I believe that the problems that have contributed to this are well known to everyone.

I wish that we could draw a line under 2009 with the message that things are looking better but unfortunately the need for the micro management of finances will continue in to 2010. There are some signs of increased activity amongst our clients but this has to be translated into real projects and even then it will be sometime before each delivers a fee.

We have survived to date as a result of many painful decisions which have meant the loss of many valued staff.

We have also survived because of the sacrifices made by everyone and I want to recognize this and to thank you most sincerely for the cooperation and commitment made by all.

I am by nature an optimist and I do believe there is a bright future for the company. People ask me "can you see the light at the end of the tunnel?" My response has been that I am still looking for the …………..tunnel! I do hope that I can shortly announce that we know where it is.

I can assure you that one of our top priorities, as soon as possible and as the economic position improves, is to return salaries to the level they attained prior to the cutbacks.

May I thank you for your support and constant efforts and wish you and your families a happy and blessed Christmas and successful 2010.

Best wishes,


Saturday, 16 January 2010

RGP Architects

A list of projects that I have been working on since July 2006 until December 2009.

Friday, 15 January 2010


13 January 2010

Dear Mr/Sir,

I am Liza Noor Mahamud, currently pursuing my bachelor in Interior Architecture at Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom. I have some questions meant for data collection for my thesis and really hope that you can help answering those. Thank you for your cooperation and please remember that the data are collected for a research purpose and will not be disclosed to other parties for any other purposes.

Thank you.


1. What is your opinion on residential development in Kuala Lumpur?

In my "general" opinion the residential is too crowded and not have enough properly looked after parks and green area. Many parks belong to private "luxury houses". I used to live in a village in Ampang area when I was a child in 1986 near Bukit Belacan, we had more space in the neighbourhood without fences. Now the land is smaller or doesn't have any at all (condominium)! Many feel not safe anymore with grill all over the house which we didn't really need back then.

2. What is your opinion regarding two different type of houses such as Contemporary modern house and kampung (Malay traditional) house?
Contemporary modern house: If it's related to "Local" design with a minimalist twist it could give a sense of "improving one life or status" without scarifying comfort. But a pure modern house doesn't give any sense of local identity and it can be a cold and boring house.

Malay house: As a Malay, a traditional Malay house gives me a sense of nostalgia from my childhood memory. Many carving in Malay house shows how much love and dedication put onto a house. If a Malay house has similar treatment to resorts it could be a "heaven" place to stay!

3. Which one is preferable and reasons.
A Malay house with a contemporary modern touch. A resort like approach. It give you a sense of identity, nostalgia and balance between man-made and nature. Its serenity makes you feel calm and peaceful in life

4. What do you think if kampung house character and elements been adapted on urban houses?
If it's done properly,(in term of design, community, layout, social, near to workplace, etc) it could solve many urban problems and give more quality life.

5. Based on the picture attached, there is three type of houses which is rural Malay house,modern house and new idea house type. The new type of house was designed according to the residence needs,cultural and climates ,what is your opinion?
Based on the images attached, I much prefer Malay house due to its luxury space and design proportion. The "contemporary house" is too dense. The new type of house is out of proportion and seems like a typical Malay house being stacked on top of each other.

6. From your experience, what is brilliant opinion to housed a low-income people to offer living in areas with comfortable Urbanization?
It's not right for architects to segregate the rich and the poor. We should design something that narrow both social gaps. A mix development consisting of Bungalows/ semi-d and townhouse would be appropriate in sharing open spaces and reduce mass housing. Look at a kampung, not one single house is the same but they have similar identity. What makes a "penghulu" house different is the size and details yet they share the same compound.

7. Do you think competition with other housing type affect the new proposal housing type? Please give an explanation.
What effect recent housing type is based on false demand by people who were being "brainwash" by overseas luxury houses publicise in magazines, Internet,movie, and not to forget the real-state agent. Most developer just built anything to fill these demand which give them maximum profit and makes thousand stories to sell it.

But if the "people" really understand architecture (architecture for life) and have value their culture and way of life, they won't be so desperate to buy a house for the sake of investment! They should demand a better design, larger garden, bigger house, a well community,etc. They ultimately ask the architects/designer recommendation rather than estate agent because a good architect will give you better life and a good estate agent will only increase your debt!

When this happen (nobody buys "poor" design) developer will look into a proper design which meets this "cleverer" customer which usually they done just for the rich and famous (luxury properties).