Vietnamese architect named world pioneer for use of bamboo

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The Gio va Nuoc (Wind and Water) Café in the southern province of Binh Duong is one of the most famous works by architect Vo Trong Nghia and his partners

Preeminent Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia has added another world recognition to his long list of accolades, as an American magazine has named him one of ten most innovative architects worldwide.

According a report on the website of the Architectural Record, Nghia, who runs Vo Trong Nghia Architects together with two Japanese partners, is among the winners of the 2012 Design Vanguard for environmentally-friendly projects.

It said the firm integrates "inexpensive, local materials," mainly bamboo, "and traditional skills with contemporary aesthetics and modern methodologies."

Famous works produced by Nghia and his partners include Gio va Nuoc (wind and water), a bamboo-framed café in the southern province of Binh Duong; the open-air Hill Restaurant, also entirely made from bamboo, in Mexico; and the Vietnamese pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

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Nghia's firm has won numerous international prizes such as the International Architecture Award in 2008 and 2009, and was named one of the top 21 architectural firms of the 21st century this year by World Architecture News for its bamboo works.

Design Vanguard began in 2000 with the intention of spotlighting future architectural stars, said the monthly Architectural Record.

Vanguard architects are selected by a panel of professionals including deans of architecture schools and critics from around the country after reviewing applicants' design portfolios, it added.

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