Aloha Hian Ka TJEN: 1956-2021




Hian Ka was a 1982 graduate of the UHM Architecture program, then featuring only a BArch undergraduate program. He explained that he came here from his home in Singapore because his mother wanted him to be not so very far away. After graduation he returned to his home country, eventually founding SAA Architects — a highly successful firm responsible among other projects for many of the Singapore rapid transit system’s stations. (The firm’s work is in fact wide-ranging including planning and housing projects, airport terminals and much more). Hian Ka had recently purchased a resort in Bali and was working on a large-scale transit project in the Philippines.


Hian Ka was a strong supporter of the School of Architecture, with his generous gifts to the school and especially the Global Track program, a partnership between Shanghai’s Tongji University and UHM SoA. He was always happy to serve on juries and also fostered many SoA students for their Practicum experience. He was generous, always friendly, with, as Clark Llewellyn says, “a broad smile, stories of life and energetic support.” He will be very much missed.


It is with great sadness losing a most valued colleague and alumni TJEN Hian Ka in January 2021. He is survived by his wife Susan and daughter Jacqueline.