Not so out of the box-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
WHO would have thought that last summer would lead some students to an early semestral break flight to Singapore? In an attempt to make their break from school a more creatively engaging one, the architecture students in this story decided to dip their hands into some competition. Architecture design competition, that is.
Their eyes were set on an international contest organized by the World Architecture Festival (WAF), in which the finalists get to present their proposals in the WAF event in Singapore. According to the WAF website (worldarchitecturefestival.com), in this year’s student charette, “student teams from around the world submitted design proposals that responded to the needs of an aging society.”
Out of numerous international entries, these architecture students from the University of San Carlos College of Architecture and Fine Arts were among the top eight finalists to the culminating event this October.
The team, which is composed of Kathleen Canlas, Keshia Stephanie Lim, Jon Adriel Medalla and Miguel Jorge Rocha, will present their design to an international judging panel during the festival in Singapore together with other entries from Bulgaria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Russia, Italy, India and Singapore.
Jon, who initiated in forming the team, thought about something “worthwhile” to do last summer vacation. So, they thought of joining the WAF contest.
“I had heard about it from my father and architect Buck Sia who attended the festival last year. Thinking that the four of us would make a great team, I told Kat, Kesh, and Jorge about it and that’s how it all started,” Jon recalls. The design problem, they said, was not only aimed at catering to an “aging society.”
“The scope also stretched out to address concerns about society as a whole including growing families and how an abode could adapt to the changing needs of its occupants, how social spaces could be reinvented to make them more effective, and the like,” explains Keshia.
This prompted them to re-investigate how homes should operate amidst the dynamic lifestyle of today’s families. Keshia said that they developed this “idea of creating a flexible modular structure attached to a utility core wherein residents are free to purchase their module and connect them to one another as their families expand and contract.”
As they continued to develop their concept, the solution was to come up with a “vertical village” incorporating the positive characteristics of a condominium.
Kathleen describes the process as “marrying the condominium to the suburban single-detached house setting.” Compact and dense planning of spaces with respect to common utility core best characterizes their “village in a box” concept.
With four different ideas, it was not an overnight solution. “It was quite hard to deal with since there were not really limitations being presented.
The design problem itself was very broad,” Jorge reveals. He said that they had a week of brainstorming and consultations with architects to get them on a certain track. Thus being short-listed in the WAF competition finals is enough reward for all the days of conceptualizing to the eventual design solution.
Design competitions bring out the best in a designer. That’s why in many big project commissions all around the world, the hiring of an architect is decided through this process. These future architects indeed show a lot of promise of creating great-looking buildings soon. Thanks to those boring junctures last summer when they let their design ideas sizzle under the sunny weather.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 02, 2013.