Archive 2011

Volunteer Profile: Kooiying Mah

1112e1Kooiying Mah has been practicing architecture in Australia and South East Asia since the early 1980s. Through architecture, her projects are always devoted to understanding their climate, topography, lifestyle and culture.

Born in Malaysia, Kooiying migrated here in the 1970s to study architecture at the University of Melbourne. After several early years at notable commercial practices in London, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Sydney, she started her own practice.

Kooiying has since completed numerous private residential projects, as well as large scale commercial projects such as The Civic Hotel in Sydney's CBD. This project was awarded an RAIA (NSW) Commendation for recycling and adaptive reuse in 2000.

Dana Hall

- Dana Hall

The Scarp House is also another project gaining recognition through the Historic Houses Trust 2008 Sydney Open Focus Tours as well as being featured in Monument and ‘21st Century Houses Down Under' publication. The house is impressive for its structure and sensitivity to the difficult surrounding environment. Located on a steep incline in the Castlecrag foreshore, it unfolds delicately around a large rock escarpment, embracing part of the rock as a unique feature to the house.

Scarp House

Scarp HouseScarp House

- The Scarp House

One of her more recent and special projects are ‘Dana Hall', a meditation and giving hall for devotees to a Buddhist monastery in North East Thailand.

This was a pro bono project that involved her being actively engaged with the Buddhist monks and their ascetic lifestyle in the rainforest environment.

Civic HotelCivic Hotel

- Civic Hotel

Kooiying relishes having the skills of an architect, believing it is invaluable to be able to contribute to the community and environment through architecture. This is defined in such projects as ‘Dana Hall' and ‘The Scarp' but is also distinct in her approach to larger commercial projects such as The Civic Hotel.

Kooiying considers public engagement with architecture as integral to the profession, which is why she enjoys volunteering as tour leader for the AAA Sydney City Architecture Walk.


- Screen House - Under development