Architecture Residential Award

Young Visionary Architecture Competition 2023 - Winners


Prin Ke | United States of America

Project Title: Entropic Encounters: Designing for the Urban Social Experience
Project Typology: Residential Tower

Project Description

Recent migration surges and rapid urbanization have dramatically increased the human population, particularly in dense cities all around the world, such as Tokyo, New York City, Hong Kong, etc. As a result of growing urban-centric job opportunities and increasing shortage of space, people from distinctly diverse cultural, economic, and demographic backgrounds are likely to live in high-rise and high-density apartment complexes. Although mixed-income housing creates a foundation for tackling discrimination and fostering understanding, purely organizational strategies are not enough to shape inter-cultural interactions. Simply placing different people in a building together will not produce meaningful interactions and connections between them.

According to Richard Sennett in, Designing Disorder: Experiments and Disruptions in the City, rigid, overdetermined forms ore smothering the modern city, in which they suppress people's freedom to act, stifle informal relations, and inhibit the city's ability to grow.' He argues that an alternative, undetermined form of city-making, one which disrupts rigid forms, is required in order to create more life-enhancing designs. The city has to be loosened up, so that open experimentation is possible, and informality is encouraged. To connect with others who differ racially and religiously, people have to loosen up inside themselves and treat their own identities as less absolute and definable, in a process which Sennett describes as "self-disordering."2 How, then, can architecture be designed in a way to loosen up fixed habits and disorder the absolute images of self?

Architecture as a discipline has the power to reinforce certain behaviors that are acceptable in society. However, it also has the potential to allow individuals to rebel from societal norms and express themselves freely. There are too many strict rules in today's architecture about how one should use a space. The borders between domestic and public as well as interior and exterior should be flexible, adaptable, and open to constant change. This will allow there to be the possibility of informal, spontaneous, and unplanned uses in the public realm, where cultural and individual expression can be stimulated. People are naturally stimulated by the unexpected, in which the social experience is able to expand beyond the values of like-minded people. Through the construction of familiar and unfamiliar places, an atmosphere of tolerance toward difference and the unknown can emerge where people can interact and share their interests and experiences. Only then can the public realm be transformed into a medium for human interactions where acknowledgment, negotiation, and compromise take place. My project challenges the modern, high-rise typology by proposing a modular housing complex that promotes human interaction and community engagement in the domestic and public realms as well as the spaces in-between through the creation of ambiguous border conditions, atmospheres that stimulate diverse sensory experiences, and complex yet systematic modules that re-configure the possibilities of dwelling.

1st runner up

Yong Rong Ooi | Malaysia

Project Title: Stilt-scape
Project Typology: Masterplan, Housing & common spaces, Multi-user dwellings

Project Description

#Design Concept & Statement

  • Stilt-scape  

"Stilt-scape" is an innovative and visionary architectural concept that celebrates the fusion of urban living with the natural environment through the elevated beauty of stilted structures. This design concept reimagines the traditional notion of community and sustainability by embracing the unique charm and functionality of stilt houses to the masterplan. The masterplan encompasses a housing project that integrates facilities essential for fishing communities, along with affordable, mid-range, and high-end housing options. 

Stilt-scape revolves around three fundamental principles: elevated living, ecological harmony, and community connectivity. By elevating the entire township on stilts, Stilt-scape creates a captivating and enchanting atmosphere that offers residents an extraordinary connection to the surrounding natural landscapes. Fishing villages and 'rumah kampung' are archetypes of urban contingency, and part of Kuala Kedah’s identity. We preserve it as treasure. The two-level township can spread over the water, integrate the bridge and elevated walkways in own logic. Through the enchanting beauty of stilted structures, it creates a sustainable and inclusive township that harmonizes with nature and fosters a strong sense of community among its residents. 

#Issues & current housing development project in Kedah

The housing development project in Kedah has faced significant challenges as housing units have been built without considering the specific needs and cultural context of the fishermen community. This ill-fitted approach has resulted in discontent among the existing community. 

Moreover, the excessive cutting down of mangrove trees, which serve as vital ecosystems, has further aggravated the environmental impact. The decision to construct housing units without proper consultation and understanding of the local community's way of life has proven to be a misguided choice. It highlights the importance of inclusive and sustainable development practices that respect the unique characteristics and requirements of different communities.

  • Flood 

Kuala Kedah is a flood-prone area, it is crucial to consider and address the flooding issue to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents. The primary design element of Stilt-scape, the elevated stilt architecture, is inherently suited to deal with flooding. By raising the living spaces above ground level, the structures are less vulnerable to rising water levels during flood events.

2nd runner up

Javier Rubio | Spain

Project Title: Cigarreras
Project Typology: Residential

Project Description
  1. “Cigarreras” is a project that was born in the old Tobacco Factory in Madrid's Lavapiés neighbourhood.

    Despite having been a factory, the old tobacco factory, has a scale, in its interior spaces, unusual in other types of factories, an almost domestic scale, as the work was carried out by women, the Cigarreras: workers with a reputation for fighting and solidarity.

    An analysis was carried out by means of a catalogue with various proposals that represent the limits of the work area, the surrounding buildings, etc.., with an emphasis on the infrastructural condition of the territory, the public spaces and the gaps between the constructions.

    The proposal is based on the original structure of the tobacco factory, replacing the 20th century extension.

    From the original structural modulation of the former tobacco factory, which at first sight appears to be regular, all the inter-axes vary from one another. In order to generate a new regularised floor plan, this is achieved through the creation of communication corridors that absorb these differences, thus generating a structure that is repeated throughout the floor plan that allows the new dwellings to be housed.

    The new dwellings are joined and superimposed, creating a system of courtyards that shape them and filter light into the interior. All of them have an outdoor area as a private garden, a work and rest area and an equipped wall where all the services are located. All the dwellings are arranged in this way, generating a total of 100 new accessible dwellings, which follow the modulation to the rhythm of the former tobacco factory.

    This project extends to the east, also responding to a programme of market, museum and public spaces, between the buildings, which reactivate the complex.

    The whole is unified by the metallic envelope, giving it a light singularity.

    Likewise, the market is developed on a single open-plan floor illuminated by skylights, establishing a relationship with the project as a whole. 

    This is how “Cigarreras” is formed: Metamorphosis of the urban industrial heritage.

Honorable Mention

Mohsen Bokaei | Iran

Project Title: Rammed Earth House
Project Typology: Small Residence

Project Description
  1. The project is grounded in the distinctive characteristics of the village and its local architecture. Our primary challenge was to encapsulate the essence of the area's architecture in a small-scale project, resulting in an independent building inspired by the village's attributes. The goal was to not only harmonize with and reinforce the contextual surroundings but also to introduce a new dimension. To address this, we delved into the study of the local context, utilizing sloped surfaces as a foundational concept.

    Considering the diverse forms and heights of existing buildings, we explored various alternatives, ultimately selecting the most optimized form that aligned with both perspective and performance. The current sloped roof model is a scaled-down representation of the village's houses, featuring a combination of different heights and orientations. Our aim was to replicate the charm of the old sloped roofs, introduce new variations, and create a distinct architectural form.

    In the process of evaluating alternatives, we prioritized incorporating openings to allow natural light into the space. This was achieved by strategically positioning the forms to create empty spaces between them. Conversely, our approach to the outdoor surfaces differed. These surfaces, comprising walls, doors, and windows, were conceived as a neutral box, while the sloped roof was designed as a fluid form to maximize dynamism. This duality was intentional, with an emphasis on the roof, influenced by the surrounding buildings.

    Additionally, the roof's form is suspended using columns, contributing to the creation of a hollow space that reflects the landmark quality of the sloped roof. This design choice adds a unique element to the overall aesthetic of the project.