WOHA is a Singapore-based architecture practice, founded in 1994 by Wong Mun Summ (born 18 August 1962) and Richard Hassell (born 28 October 1966). The name comprises of their surnames WOng and HAssell, therefore makeing the name WOHA.
In 1989, Wong graduated from the National University of Singapore and Hassell graduated from the University of Western Australia. Both were then employed by Kerry Hill Architects in Singapore, where they realized that they shared a logical approach to solving architectural problems, determined by the requirements of a building’s program rather than by the form-making opportunities.
In their early years of practice, the partnership became well known throughout Southeast Asia for their crisply detailed houses in Singapore. In 2000, when the partnership won the open competitions for two MRT railway stations in Singapore and the commission for the 1 Moulmein Rise, apartment block, they decided to focus on public and commercial architecture rather than houses. Their unsuccessful entry to the Duxton Plain Public Housing competition in 2001 was a groundbreaking scheme, which comprised nine forty-storey towers, separated by large vertical spaces and linked by sky streets on every fifth level. By opening up the elements of the building and creating natural ventilation, WOHA were proposing a new model for tropical architecture and a passive, structural solution to the problems of sustainability. These ideas were subsequently adapted to a series of completed apartment towers and public buildings, notably Newton Suites and the School of the Arts in Singapore, and The Met and Hansar in Bangkok. These high-rise projects appear as monumental expressions of their structural functions, and demonstrate a sustainable alternative to generic glass-clad towers. Greenery is used extensively as a protective second skin on the façades of the buildings, particularly as walls of hanging vines. When The Met won the RIBA Lubetkin Prize in 2011.