the world's most visited architecture website

FuturArc Prize 2016 & FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2016

FuturArc Prize seeks forward-thinking, innovative design ideas for Asia. The Competition offers a platform to professionals and students who are passionate about the environment. Through the force of their imagination it aspires to capture visions of a sustainable future.

Open Call: The 3rd “Earth God Temple” Student Design Competition

The Earth God (Tu Di Gong / 土地公) Temple, the symbol of humans' respect for Nature, exists in harmony and as one with the land and environment. However, current urban development practices have caused the gradual shrinking of this civic and religious center, as the property has been frequently ceded to the city under expropriation regulations. In response to this issue, Tai Square Arts and Aesthetics Association has organized the "Earth God Temple Student Design Competition", inviting young students with creativity and ideas to evaluate and provide a solution that will improve the situation of the temple and its surrounding

Call for Ideas: Imagining a New Eurasia

Imagine that Eurasia has been brought to absolute destruction - by wars over religion, ethnicity or countries, or maybe even nuclear destruction. Cities, towns and villages across the super-continent are left in rubble or abandoned; all forms of organization are a fairy tale from a bygone era. Thousands of years of culture and civilization, gone.

What if a new Eurasia could arise from the remnants of this destruction? What artifacts and memories would remain, to seed the creation of a new Eurasia? Imagining New Eurasia, commissioned by Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea, invites anyone living in, or from Eurasia to submit their ideas, in the form of drawings, sketches, text, artwork, found objects, photographs, maps, memorabilia or any other kind of artifact, on how the future of a New Eurasia may pan out.

2A Asia Architecture Award 2015 : “The Emergence of Contemporary Architecture in Asia”

2A Magazine is pleased to announce the first annual 2A Asia Architecture Award; 2AAA 2015, which celebrates “The Emergence of Contemporary Architecture in Asia”.

The Panda House / DA-LAB Arquitectos

© Renzo Rebagliati
© Renzo Rebagliati

© Renzo Rebagliati © Renzo Rebagliati © Renzo Rebagliati © Renzo Rebagliati

5 Architectural Secrets of the Badjao: 21st Century Sea People

Thousands of years ago, a small civilization of hunter gatherers migrated to the coastal regions of Southeast Asia. These people progressed into a widespread tribe of travelling sea dwellers. To this day, they remain a stateless people with no nationality and no consistent infrastructure, sometimes living miles away from land. Yet these people are one of the few civilizations whose collective life practices have survived so long through human history. They are called the Badjao, and they have a surprising amount to teach us about architecture.

Badjao community off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Image © Dolly MJ via Shutterstock Badjao woman rowing boat. Image © Dolly MJ via Shutterstock Temporary construction in Southeast Asian ocean. Image © asnida via Shutterstock Badjao child rowing near coast. Image © idome via Shutterstock

Examining China's "Edifice Complex"

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Dinny McMahon and Yang Jie visit Shenyang - a "chilly industrial town" in north eastern China which was once the country's capital (circa 1600). The city will soon be home to what's being dubbed the 'Pearl of the North', "a 111-floor office tower that will, briefly, be the seventh-largest in the world, dwarfing One World Trade Center." The tower, designed by Atkins, is "symptomatic of China’s edifice complex," McMahon notes - and the city is "just getting started." Read the article in full here.

AD Interviews: Moshe Safdie / Safdie Architects

During this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) held in Singapore, we had the chance to talk with keynote speaker Moshe Safdie. Standing inside the Marina Bay Sands, a massive mixed-use project by Safdie Architects and an example of the firm’s ongoing research on density, Safdie talked to us about Asia's urban environment and the challenges of working there. As the world's growth is happening in dense areas, this subject is utterly important, and Safdie has proven that these kind of mega-urbanism projects can be functionally integrated into the city. “Working in Asia at the intensity and scale that we do has been a paradigm shift for our practice because much of our work in the United States and Israel and elsewhere in recent years has been focused on institutions - on libraries, museums, airports - here we are involved with urban place, mixed-use mostly, extremely dense, working for the private sector, and having to reconcile the market forces with the architectural environmental demands, which is no mean task,” he said. 

AD Interviews: Moshe Safdie / Safdie Architects AD Interviews: Moshe Safdie / Safdie Architects AD Interviews: Moshe Safdie / Safdie Architects AD Interviews: Moshe Safdie / Safdie Architects

13 Projects Win Regional Holcim Awards 2014 for Asia Pacific

Teams from Thailand and New York have received top honors in the 2014 regional Holcim Awards for Asia Pacific, an award which recognizes the most innovative and advanced sustainable construction designs. Among the top three winners are the “Protective Wing” bird sanctuary and a locally-adapted orphanage and library in Nepal. 

The 13 recognized projects will share over $300,000 in prize money, with the top three projects overall going on to be considered for the global Holcim Awards, to be selected in 2015.

The full list of Asia Pacific winners, after the break…

Aedas Announces Demerger Into Two Separate Companies

As of this week Aedas, which was recently ranked as the 5th largest and influential practice in the UK by the Architects' Journal, has demerged into two separate practices. The thirteen offices in China, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the US, will continue to operate under the Aedas brand whilst the eight UK offices and the offices in Russia, Poland and Kazakhstan will operate under a new name: AHR. According to the outgoing board, the demerger "will allow both companies to focus on their respective strengths and will enable them to grow the businesses in different directions." The intention is that both groups will continue to work together on projects in the future.

“Move to Care” Winners Envision Relocatable Healthcare Facilities for Southeast Asia

Responding to the demand for healthcare services in rural Southeast Asia, Building Trust International launched an international competition - Moved to Care - to envision flexible and relocatable healthcare facilities. Over 200 entrants participated; one professional winner, a multi-disciplinary team from the USA, and one student winner were honored. Check out their winning proposals, after the break...

VIDEO: What We Can Learn From Tall Buildings

What do you think the North American, Asian and Western European tall building communities most need to learn from each other? This is precisely what the Center on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) sat down to ask five leading architects, whose responses formed an eclectic and meaningful overview on the state of tall building worldwide. As Rem Koolhaas noted, each region has their own journey that is worth understanding, such as the Arab world’s transition from “extravagance to rationality” or Asia’s hyper-focus on project realization. But, as James Goettsch points out, “not every building has to be something remarkable." It’s alright for some buildings to be nothing more than “good citizens.”

AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA

During the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, we had the opportunity to speak with David Gianotten, partner-in-charge of OMA’s Hong Kong office. Gianotten launched the Dutch firm’s Asian headquarters in 2009, where he supervises major projects such as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre.  

Standing outside of the recently completed Stock Exchange headquarters, he answered our questions about urbanization, innovation and the intricacies of running an office in an environment with such rapid urban growth. Shenzhen has proven an experiment of economic openness and is a vivid example of China’s recent growth. The city’s skyline is practically a physical graph of an upward-trending economy, with buildings designed by nearly every internationally renowned architecture firm. But OMA’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange building stands apart from the rest not only because of its impeccable construction (a rarity in the fast-paced building booms of Chinese cities), but also because it houses the institution that lists China’s biggest companies.

The 254 meter tower is an elegant structure that combines pure volumes with an exoskeleton grid clad in translucent glass. It represents a characteristic OMA-approach to innovative architectural solutions, made possible by extensive programmatic and technical research.

Read the full interview (which includes Gianotten’s insights on the study of architecture, the role of architects, and the importance of simplicity when communicating complex innovation) after the break. 

AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA AD Interviews: David Gianotten / OMA

World's Tallest Buildings of 2013 Dominated by Asia

Courtesy of Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats
Courtesy of Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats

According to the latest Tall Trends Report, 73 buildings in excess of 200 meters were completed in 2013 worldwide, the second highest total only behind 2011 with 81 completions. The increase of completions from 2012 to 2013 continues a significant upward trend that, since 2000, has seen an astounding 318 percent increase in tall buildings. 

El Golf D17 Beach House / rrmr arquitectos

© Elsa Ramírez
© Elsa Ramírez
  • Architects: rrmr arquitectos
  • Location: Asia District, Peru
  • Architects in Charge: Roberto Riofrío Navarro, Micaela Rodrigo Graña
  • Area: 255 sqm
  • Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Elsa Ramírez

© Elsa Ramírez © Elsa Ramírez © Elsa Ramírez © Elsa Ramírez

In Progress: Lotte World Tower / KPF

image by dbox branding & creative for KPF
image by dbox branding & creative for KPF

Construction of the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea designed by high-rise architectural firm KPF is well underway. Won via an international design competition, this new tower will rise up to a pinnacle height of 555 meters. Organized around a mixed-use program including retail, office, hotel and an observation deck at the peak, the tower pulls inspiration from historical Korean arts of ceramics, porcelain, and calligraphy. More details after the break.

image by dbox branding & creative for KPF © KPF image by dbox branding & creative for KPF © KPF

OMA Announces New Partners

Today OMA announced the appointment of Iyad Alsaka and David Gianotten as new partners in the company. Architectural and research projects in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia have been increasing for OMA and this recent appointment signifies their investment to grow and develop projects within these regions.