SCDA is a design studio seamless integrating architecture, interiors, landscape and product design to create holistic spatial experiences. Established in 1995 by Founding Principal and Design Director Soo Chan, SCDA was awarded the inaugural Royal Institute of British Architects Award for International  Excellence  (2016);  the  RIBA  International  Award  for  OneKL  (2012)  and  the  Lincoln  Modern  (2003); and  the  SIA-Getz  Architecture  Prize  for  Emergent  Architecture  in  Asia  (2006),  in  addition  to  nine  Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Awards.

SCDA’s  designs  strive  for  tranquility  and  calmness  qualified  by  space,  light  and  structural  order.    Architectural expressions are distilled to capture the spiritual essence of ‘place’. Its architecture and interiors are inspired by the cultural  and  climatic  nuances  of  its  context,  integrating  landscape,  water  features  and  blurring  the  distinction between  interior  and  exterior.    Spaces  are  often  characterized  by  lush  gardens,  water  courts  and  air  wells, engendering  a  sensuous  engagement  with  the  elements.  Projects display sensitivity  to  the  inherent  beauty  of natural materials expressed through clarity in construction details and elemental architectural expression.

Soundtrack: Orteip by Sense

SOO K. CHAN  |  Principal 
Soo K. Chan is a practicing architect based in Singapore. He is the founding principal and design director of SCDA, a multi-disciplinary firm engaging in architecture, interior, landscape and product design. Mr. Chan is the recipient of several awards, including the inaugural Singapore President’s Design Award, Designer of the Year, the SIA-Getz Architecture Prize for Emergent Architecture in Asia and three RIBA Awards. A graduate of Yale University, Mr. Chan is Professor of Architecture (Practice) at the National University of Singapore.
SCDA’s portfolio ranges from master planning, resorts and hotels, high-rise luxury residences, commercial and institutional buildings, and private homes spanning Asia/Oceania, Africa, Europe and America. SCDA has more than 120 employees with offices in Singapore, Shanghai and New York. Mr. Chan is currently working on three residential towers in NYC, including 118 East 59th Street, 515 West 29th Street, and Soori High Line.
Mr. Chan is both the architect and developer of Soori High Line. Soori High Line marks Chan Soo Khian’s third global Soori-branded offering, joining his line of Soori Living furniture for Poliform, and the award-winning Soori Bali. Soori Niseko, a ski resort in Japan, is currently under development.

BAET YEOK HOON  |  Director

Baet Yeok Hoon graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1994 and attained his Architectural Diploma from Bartlett, University College London in 1997. Baet relocated to Shanghai in 2004 and joined SCDA in 2013 as Director of Shanghai office. 
EDWARD LAU  |  Director

Edward Lau is a Director at SCDA with over 25 years professional working experience in the United States and in Asia. Edward was the Architecture valedictorian at the University of Houston 1988. He is registered in the State of Texas and a member of the American Institute of Architects. He returned to Singapore and registered with the Board of Architects, Singapore in 1997 and has been practicing in the region ever since.
JIN A. OON  |  Director

Jin Oon is a UK-trained and registered architect. Jin graduated from University of Manchester and obtained his PostGraduate Diploma in Architecture at University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture and received his professional registration in the UK in 1996. 

Malcolm McCulloch is a Director at SCDA with 20 years of professional working experience. Malcolm graduated from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 1996, and started his professional career in Singapore the same year he received his registration with the Singapore Board of Architects in 2005.

To understand one's own architecture requires an understanding of self. We are a product of the sum of all our experiences and this is true of architecture as well. The influence of my training in the early 1980s, and coming into contact with influential mentors, played a big part in my own development as an architect.

The projects designed at SCDA refer to the fundamental elements of architecture (light, space, transparency, materiality, and order) and aspire to humanist qualities of serenity, and beauty. Spaces are composed to be experienced sequentially, through choreographed processions that re-center and re-align the perceptual ‘axis’, terminating in landscaped vistas or open spaces. The approach is phenomenological and is about the emotional response of the user to the space. The figure of the architectural forms, often a series of rectangular boxes, define equally important courts, gardens and other external spaces set against the walled boundaries of the lots. Building lots tend to be fairly rectangular, and when not, differences are usually taken up by shrubs or landscape as poche. This organisational strategy allows for the concept of inversion. This can be interpreted architecturally as the building and outdoor court spaces (grounds) being given equal importance and weightage. This strategy has been applied to projects such as ther Heeren Street House in Malacca, the Emerald Hill House and the Sennett House, among others, where the diagram of the expected open spaces (grounds) has been used to generate the building form.

Interstitial spaces between a building and its perimeter, often created by zoning bylaws as setbacks, are claimed to become defined view courts. Corners of rooms are often cut to destabilise the space propagating it outwards towards the garden or courts while allowing for possibilities of refocusing the spaces centrifugally towards internal courts in the more urban typologies. Large sliding doors that disappear into pockets blur the interior zone to the fully exterior surface.

Liberated from notions of representation and the vernacular, massing and façade is built on archetypal elements, of volume, light and surface. Walls are treated as separate planes allowing for physical material separation between walls. While this vocabulary provides possibilities to re-interpret and transform the spatial essence of a given vernacular, it is also able to incorporate the rudimentary elements of place-making, through considered interpretation of local craft, culture and climate.

This process of understanding by rote the basic building blocks of the architecture is not unlike the training in architecture in the Beaux-Arts. One must not confuse a consistent design language with a familiar style. I must stress that this approach has not in any way diminished the ability to layer a process and concept-oriented approach with the design practice; while the spirit of the spaces are classical, the details are universally modern.

Increasingly, as practice becomes globalised, the applied design vocabulary has to absorb nuances of climate, culture and place. Working with a clean design language allows for the reconciliation of issues of universality versus regional specificity.


Soo Chan,  SCDA Architects: The Architecture of Soo Chan,  2004