Shin Tseng

Architect and Co-Founder, REXKL/ST/Arch Design


This young architect elevated downtown Kuala Lumpur by revitalising old heritage buildings

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Shin Tseng is one of the architects helping to rejuvenate Kuala Lumpur’s once-lacklustre Petaling Street, which is seeing a new lease of life with cool café, bars and restaurants springing up in the neighbourhood in the last few years. One such place is REXKL, the iconic old Rex cinema which Tseng helped re-purpose into a thriving arts-and-culture hub.

Malacca-born Tseng graduated from The Bartlett School of Architecture, London, with a Master’s degree, and worked in London and Hong Kong before returning to Malaysia. He gained design experience in urban planning, hospitality, mixed-use development and adaptive re-use. He is the founder and architect of ST/Arch Design, and was previously design director and partner at Ideaworkshop in his hometown, where one of his best-known projects was the office of the personal-growth company Mindvalley. Inspired in part by the stained glass in Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia basilica, the firm’s premises were voted one of the ten most beautiful offices of 2019 by Inc. magazine.

Growing up in Melaka surrounded by heritage buildings, Tseng has a strong appreciation for old structures, and is passionate about adaptive re-use as a means of breathing new life into them. In 2017, he partnered with fellow architect Shin Chang to re-purpose and revive the old Rex Cinema into a creative space, complete with a multi-purpose venue for events plus an all-day urban food hall and sustainable marketplace. Up next for the co-founders of REXKL is a new set of rejuvenation projects to transform downtown Kuala Lumpur.


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