Vietnamese architect wins gold at ARCASIA Awards

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A Vietnamese architecture and his Japanese teammate won the golden prize at an annual awards show held by the Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) on Friday.

Vo Trong Nghia and Nishizawa Shunri won the top prize in the Public Amenity Resort Building category for their Binh Duong Bamboo Dome design a 30-feet high structure they built for the Gió và Nưá»›c (wind and water) café in Binh Duong Province.

The bamboo frame at the café allows daylight to stream inside but does not let the area get too hot. Most of the structure is built from local materials.

"Like many other Vietnamese structures, it is covered by a local bush plant, which evokes African-esque aesthetics. And contrary to what you might think about building with natural, local materials, the end result is not "homemade" looking at all and is actually rather streamlined and majestic," Nghia said.

Nghia, who studied architecture in Japan, spent his childhood at a small village in central Vietnam and he said that inspired him to use the common plant to build the structure.

"We used bamboo and cane and such materials for everything from farming tools to cooking utensils, it was all woven together," he said.

The Bamboo Dome is the only of six designs submitted by Vietnamese architects to win at the competition, which was held in Da Nang City during ARCASIA's 32nd meeting and 16th Forum.

A total of 132 designs were sent to the event from architects from 17 member countries/territories, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Nepal, Macau, Malaysia, Tibet, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Chinese, Thailand and Vietnam.

The ARCASIA Award for Architecture, given every two years, is aimed at acknowledging exemplary work done by architects working in Asia.

It encourages "the sustenance of the Asia spirit, the development and improvement of the Asian built environment and enhancement of the awareness of the role of architecture and architects in the socio-economic and cultural life of Asian countries," according to the organization's website.

Also, it "aims to demonstrate that good architecture is a major component of the positive influence on the human environment, and that physical development in Asia need not be in disharmony with the cultural values, national identity or the natural environment of developing countries in Asia," said a statement on the website.

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