Vietnam chooses an "architect of the year' for the first time

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Vietnam's architectural website Ashui.com named Vo Trong Nghia "Architect of the Year" for 2012 on December 31, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Tuesday.

Nghia, who was born in 1976 in the central province of Quang Binh, beat out two other nominees to win top honors, earning 54.6 percent of 361 votes in a survey conducted by the website for the first time.

A graduate of Japan's Nagoya Institute of Technology class of 2002, Nghia earned his Master of Art Degree two years later at Tokyo University. He has become famous for creating environmentally-friendly buildings.

The American magazine Architectural Record one of the leading information sources in the US for design, as well as modern and green architecture awarded Nghia with its Design Vanguard prize for 2012, saying he had successfully applied all techniques accumulated through the course of his study to the real situations in Vietnam.

Acutely aware that Vietnam, like all developing nations, is losing its connection with the natural environment and faces a severe pollution crisis, Nghia is intent on designing eco-friendly edifices, according to Architectural Record.

The Vietnam's most famous architect has won more than 30 international prices, including two gold medals from the Association of Asian Architects, five prizes of International Architecture Award in 2008 and 2009, and two prices for Asia's FuturArc Green Leadership Award.

Ashui.com wants to make the vote an annual activity to honor Vietnam's most outstanding architects who have created structures with practical value which also reflect the designer's creative talent and individual point of view.

The four-day voting process got underway on December 24 also aimed to highlight the role architecture plays in our daily lives.

Although experts in the field stated their opinions of each candidate

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, the winner was decided by the public and was unaffected by insiders' evaluations.

The website also handed out three other awards which are "Best Young Architect" for architect Vo Cao Thang, "Architect of the Community" for architect Hoang Thuc Hao, and "Architect Critic" for architect Hoang Dao Kinh.

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