The world, and in particular the Southeast Asian region, is today a very different place than it was the time of Enviro Tec's inception in 1972. The practice was founded by Chew Tai Eng and Mun Chaing Lu. It was one of modern Singapore's pioneering architectural firms, helping to forge the shape of the metropolis after independence.
The practice also worked regionally. Its first overseas project (in 1972) was the International Convention Hall in Jakarta, Indonesia commissioned by PT. First Realty International Corp. It was one of the largest architectural projects in the city at that time, defining a new paradigm in Indonesian architecture with its wide-span tensile roof and earthquake-resistant ring structure.
Yet another milestone came in 1978 with the preparation of a feasibility study and master plan for a US$200 million multifarious development project on 60 hectares of land in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This pushed the boundaries of the practice for architectural exploration at a huge scale.
In Singapore, Enviro Tec designed prestigious multi-residential developments during the 1980s and '90s, some of which were awarded through competitions. Meanwhile, it continued to diversify its project portfolio overseas with jobs in Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and China.
With an increasing number of commissions and several major projects in Indonesia, a wholly owned representative office was established in Jakarta in 1992, allowing Enviro Tec to bring its expertise closer to local investors.
The new millennium brought a new era for Enviro Tec with the addition of Chew's daughter Ming Zhou (an architecture graduate who studied in Australia) at the Jakarta office in 2005. Building on Enviro Tec's strong foothold in Indonesia, the dynamic 'father-daughter' duo has transformed the firm into a multidisciplinary architectural design practice focusing on crafting projects through services in spatial branding, feasibility studies, master planning, interior architecture, and architecture.
A common thread tying together the firm's diverse projects is a strong sense of belief in the evolutionary nature of the design process, and the necessity to engage with existing culture and history. Working against the blind importation of architectural styles, Enviro Tec draws inspiration from existing site specificities, local conditions, and local crafts and trades, which become a main design driver. The firm is able to encompass a melange of tactile materials, details, forms, and design languages in its projects, which colours its work with unique shades.
Innovation is always essential characteristics of Enviro Tec's output. A healthy dialogue with clients and a professional attitude to management ensures that client's needs are met without undermining the firm's guiding principles. After all, building intelligently towards an engaging and sustainable environment is a collective effort.
In Indonesia, Enviro Tec has undertaken reputable projects such as Shangri-La Residences in Jakarta, Padma Hotel in Bandung, interior architecture for UOB Plaza (Office tower common spaces and Client's office) and recently the development of Sahid Kuta Lifestyle Resort comprised of the Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort and the lifestyle mall Beachwalk in Bali.
Enviro Tec has been published in magazines including SIA, SKALA+, Indonesian Design and Hello Bali, and online with Archilovers, Dezeen, the Sheraton website and others. In 2005 and 2007, Enviro Tec design was voted one of the top ten architectural firms in Indonesia by BCI Asia. In 2013, Enviro Tec was shortlisted in the prestigious international Inside Awards as part of the World Architecture Festival (WAF) for Beachwalk Bali (Shopping Centre category).