Serina Hijjas

Architect and Director, Hijjas Architects & Planners


The second-generation architect champions sustainable design

Serina Hijjas
Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Serina Hijjas decided to follow in her father’s footsteps despite the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated field. More daunting was the fact that she had big shoes to fill as the daughter of an eminent architect, Hijjas Kasturi, the modernist who helped reshape Malaysia’s built heritage.

The younger Hijjas prepared well for her chosen path, obtaining a degree from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture before working for Foster + Partners in London. Her tenure at the prestigious architectural firm exposed her to green design, which became the pillar of her own practice later on.

Eventually, Serina joined Hijjas Kasturi Associates (now Hijjas Architects + Planners), the architectural firm founded by her father 45 years ago and where she now sits as director. Since then, the family-owned company has evolved to reflect a blended vision, a combination of Serina’s green advocacy and the elder Hijjas’s design philosophy. This is evident in innovative projects like the Telekom Tower, which was nominated for the Aga Khan Award.

The company’s portfolio began to fill with more high profile clients whose sustainability goals were perfectly aligned with Serina’s vision. That includes two of Kuala Lumpur’s architectural jewels: the Securities Commission headquarters (which received the ASEAN Energy Efficiency Award) and Shell Malaysia’s main office. Serina also spearheaded projects beyond the capital city, like the Celcom Tower in Petaling Jaya and Putrajaya’s Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, which features the country’s first living green roof.

More recently, Serina led the team to design the Malaysian Pavilion for Dubai Expo 2022, the Expo's only net zero pavilion which was recognised by the Bureau International des Exposition (BIE) with a Gold Award for Theme Interpretation, and the Global Architecture & Design Awards (GADA 2022) as the best Sustainable Project of the Year (Built).


Impacted Industries



Asean Energy Efficiency Award (First Runner-Up) for Putrajaya International Convention Centre


Asean Energy Efficiency Award (Winner) for Telekom Tower


Asean Energy Efficiency Award (First Runner-Up) for Securities Commission headquarters

Did You Know?

At age 16, Serina Hijjas started doing odd jobs at her father’s company to earn some pocket company.

Social Media



Imran Sulaiman

Tatler Asia
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