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Architect Nghia snags major festival awards in Singapore

Architect Nghia snags major festival awards in Singapore

Monday, October 08, 2012, 10:36 GMT+7

Two works by architect Vo Trong Nghia have won top prizes at the World Architecture Festival.

The final round took place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on October 3-5 with over 300 short-listed entries in three categories, including Completed Buildings, Landscape Projects and Future Projects. Entries in each category were divided into different types such as House, School, Office, Residential and Infrastructure.

Nghia's Stacking Green House in HCM City won the House category.

The tall, thin house on a narrow plot was, said the judges, "a holistic piece of architecture with great clarity of vision and strength and memorable iconography.... It is a simple yet elegant solution to a common problem in developing cities and offers an easily repeatable typology. It deals elegantly with issues of security, privacy, climate and light in a poetic yet economical way."

Nghia said he was inspired to create the Stacking Green House from a large number of homes with tropical plants and flowers hanging from their balconies and courtyards.

"The house, designed for a 30-year-old man and his wife and mother, is a typical tube house constructed on a plot 4m wide and 20m deep," Nghia said. "The front and back facades are entirely composed of layers of concrete planters cantilevered from two side walls.

"Stacking Green is just one small house, but it is generated from the context of a busy city. I hope that the kind of house will makes HCM City become more distinguished and fascinating with much more tropical greenery in the future."

Another design by Nghia, for the Binh Duong School, won in the School category. The judges admired the way the building related to its site and responded to the tropical climate.

"A complex programme for 800 children was adeptly handled to create a series of humanely scaled spaces and places," they wrote. "Though built for a very modest budget, it has an architectural presence and lyricism in the way that light and air penetrate the interior. It embodies qualities of the best kind of effortless critical regionalism, reinterpreted for the current era."

The awards were a surprise for Nghia because they marked the first time he has won competitions for non-bamboo works. Previously, Nghia won a number of international architectural prizes for works such as the Bamboo Wings at the Flamingo Dai Lai Resort and the wNw (Water and Wind) Bar in the southern province of Binh Duong.

Since it began in 2008, the World Architecture Festival has evolved into a truly global event, attracting over 8,000 participants from around the world to date. The festival represents an exclusive forum for the architectural community to showcase projects, debate and discuss current trends and learn from some of the world's most inspirational designers, said festival programme director Paul Finch.



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