A renowned conservation architect, Laurence Loh is the principal at Akitek LLA and has instigated the award-winning restorations of heritage buildings in Malaysia

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Laurence Loh is a self-taught Malaysian conservation architect who is responsible for numerous built-heritage restorations including Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Suffolk House in Penang, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple in Malacca and Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, all of which have won Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage awards. With a body of work spanning 30 years, he has contributed immensely to architectural conservation locally and internationally.

As the principal architect at his own firm Akitek LLA, Loh primarily focused on modern architecture before his appreciation for heritage buildings led him to embark on conservation work. In 1990, Loh and a group of like-minded individuals joined together to buy Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, to save it from potential demolition. They spent the next four years painstakingly restoring it to its original state using authentic materials and workmanship.

The restoration not only returned the building to its former glory, but breathed new life into it as the former residence was turned into a four-star heritage hotel and grew into a popular tourist site. Loh is also an advocate of including heritage as part of sustainable development, and encourages adaptive re-use of heritage buildings. His conservation project, the UAB Building in Penang, is the first heritage building in the country to attain the LEED Gold certification.

Besides working on restoration projects, Loh shares his knowledge on conservation architecture as an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong.

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Loh was one of the key players who championed George Town’s Unesco World Heritage Site status, an honour conferred in 2008. 

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