Tay Kheng Soon has been a professional architect since 1964. He was chairman of Singapore Planning and Urban Research Group ( SPUR ) in 1970. SPUR was an independent group examining urban environment and was active in proposing innovative solutions. He was President of the Singapore Institute of Architects from 1991 - 1993.

His professional activities included a specialisation in high density, lowrise, low-cost housing in Malaysia. He did pioneering work in commercial centres and shopping centres in the 70's. Currently he is involved in institutional projects which include a 800-bed Women's and Children's Hospital, a private hospital in Batu Pahat, several schools, institutions of higher learning as well as recreational projects.

Tay is also currently involved in technology identification, development and the implementation of such technologies in the context of urban and rural economies. He envisages that these technologies are essential to sustainable urbanisation and proper agro-ecology management. He is involved in an experimental aqua-culture farm in Johore and runs Kem-Eco, an educational camp also in Johore

His public contributions have been as Chairman of the Task Force for the Long-term Development of the Singapore National Museum, Chairman of the Committee on Heritage for the Singapore Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts. He was also Founding Chairman of The Substation, a cutting-edge arts centre. His civic activities include being a member of the Advisory Panel of the Government Parliamentary Committee on National Development and a member of the advisory panel of the Singapore Institute of Policy Studies. He has been appointed in 1997 Adjunct Professor of Architecture at RMIT of Australia. He was appointed in 1998 Adjunct Associate Professor MA(UD) program National University of Singapore.

His academic involvements included being a Visitor Scholar under the Aga Khan Program at MIT in 1986 and in 1989. He was also Research Fellow with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and published a monograph, 'Mega-cities in the tropics'. The monograph began a series of papers on sustainable mega-cities in the tropics. This activity led to appointment to prepare a development guide plan for a fringe urban site in Singapore where he proposed 'the Tropical City Concept'

The book, "Line, Edge and Shade" by Robert Powell on his writing and work and that of Akitek Tenggara was released in June 1997.





The firm started in 1976 when it was initially concerned with low-income mass housing. It has since completed commercial, recreational, tourism, urban planning and institutional projects. In 1989, Akitek Tenggara II was formed to take in new and younger partners from diverse backgrounds, enabling the set-up to renew itself through the input of fresh talents.


The company believes that context is important. Asia is undergoing an unprecedented phase in its development. The scale of the projects and their programmes require a thorough understanding of the dynamics of investment and a command of the technologies involved. The company responds to this challenge by maintaining an innovative and informed attitude. The purpose is to be ever-ready to bring a fresh view to every project. New developments implemented at great speed require not only technical know-how but also aesthetic consistency. Every design problem can be researched and expressed in fresh and relevant ways.

A good design must always make economic and technical sense, that is, it must optimize the resources, by making more with less. With wit, a good design can transcend the economic constraints and produce a surprising result that holds together with integrity. A good design also relates to the times and the stage of history. The architectural expression must therefore be a true manifestation of the times - not imitative but contextually expressive. It must be part of a place, its history and its culture. It must restore man's balance with nature and inspire human aspirations.


The practice engages in city planning, project feasibility studies, research, interior design and architectural works; in particular, educational buildings, health-care facilities, recreational and residential developments.