It was the usual steamy hot day in Southern Malaysia, at the beginning of the new century, when I first met Hin Tan. We were working on an airport project and heard about the new Senai Airfreight Hub, which Hin Tan had designed. We were keen to see it and remained impressed by the modern and high quality design, which we were surprised to find here.
It was the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation. Our company — Hochtief Airport — at the time was a new player on the market. We were investing in new airport projects. Myself, being the technical director of the company, I was looking for architects that might translate our limitless ambitions and visions into a new and fresh design.
Dr. Rudolf Burkhalter
Dr. Rudolf Burkhalter
When we experimented with a new layout scheme for the airport Terminal of Tirana, capital of Albania, we needed an architect that was able to understand our strong functional requirements and our severe financial limitations, but at the same time was ready and motivated to develop an appropriate design that captured local flavor and the atmosphere of a modern gate to the world for this young nation, that had just left decades of oppressive history and started to overcome its isolation and poverty.
Not only were we proud of the outcome. We were happy to see that the new Terminal was becoming a symbol of the revival of the country and its capital. From government officials to our appreciated clients - the passengers — we received compliments; the design was highly appreciated and was part of the recognition of our effort to provide a modern and high quality facility. It is my personal conviction that the exchange between a project developer and his architect has to be a hard and interactive process, where there is a constant exchange in search of optimized functionality and high quality design; a dialogue to be made in mutual respect and esteem for each other's role. Hin Tan is an architect, with whom such cooperation not only is possible, but is always thrilling, exiting, challenging and inspiring.
This may have contributed to our initial professional contact growing into a personal friendship. I am happy to have seen and to continue to see Hin Tan working on many more new airport terminal projects!