Pushing back the boundaries of design with Hud Bakar
25 Mar 2019
On a busy Thursday afternoon, RSP Architects Sdn Bhd director Hud Bakar leads us into his Plaza Sentral office, which is adorned with artworks and filled with natural light. He shares his insights on the industry and occassionally sifts through leather-bound notebooks on his desk to show us some of his past sketches.
“Although the firm has grown, I still sketch for my clients and present my work to them,” says Hud, 55, as he leafs through the pages of his past works.
Passionate and quick-witted, the Klang-born architect says he is still a hands-on designer, despite having a full design team, and adds that he has been in the field for 30 years. He assumed his role in the practice in 1996. “Today, RSP Architects [KL office] has a staff of 150 and I encourage the staff to participate and to hold certain [design] portfolios,” says Hud, who holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, in the US.
Formed in 1956, RSP Architects has offices in Penang, Johor Baru, Singapore, Dubai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Gurgaon, Beijing, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. “The firm has a wide reach, and we share different experiences in these places (in terms of design, value in building, market trends and our clients),” says Hud.
Under his leadership, the firm has designed and completed some of the capital’s notable landmarks, such as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) headquarters, Menara Public Bank, Naza Tower, Paradigm Mall, Menara FELDA, the KL Hilton and Le Meridien Hotel, Menara Great Eastern, Platinum Park KLCC, St Regis Hotel Kuala Lumpur and Serai Bukit Bandaraya.
Looking at RSP Architects’ portfolio, it is clear the firm maintains a modern and minimalist aesthetic with underlying cultural references and inspirations. “RSP Architects’ designs are contemporary, which means we steer clear from Roman columns, blue roofs and green roofs,” Hud laughs. “Our work is distinctive because we put more emphasis on creativity. Our aim is to add soul and timelessness to the projects.”