Vale Tan Yeow Wooi – A Great Friend of AusHeritage

Members of AusHeritage who have had the pleasure of participating in missions to George Town, Penang in Malaysia will be both shocked and saddened to hear of the death of local conservation architect Tan Yeow Wooi.  He was the director of the Tan Yeow Wooi Culture and Heritage Research Studio which focuses on heritage conservation and architectural design.  He was a consultative panellist with George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI), and his studio had been involved in conservation and restoration works across sites in Penang.  He was also a prolific author and was tireless in his efforts to document and conserve the built heritage of George Town, which is was jointly inscribed in 2008 on the World Heritage List along with Malacca.  His Penang Shophouses is the definitive study of George Town’s iconic built form, bringing great insights into what makes these buildings unique and sustainable.

In our visits to George Town we were always impressed by his knowledge and delighted with his generosity in sharing this with us.  Yeow Wooi contributed so much to our understanding of George Town’s unique architectural heritage and its communities.  As a final tribute to his achievements, his Thai Pak Koong (Ng Suk) Temple project was given an Award of Merit at the recent UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.  Sadly, Tan Yeow Wooi had passed away shortly before the award was announced.  

Our thoughts go out to Tan Yeow Wooi’s family and his many, many friends.  He will be dearly missed.

Peter Romey

AusHeritage Board Member