Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Design Against the Elements Competition

Design Against the Elements is a global architectural design competition meant to find a solution to the problems presented by climate change. Spurred by the devastation wreaked in the Philippines by tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana) and driven by a powerhouse multidisciplinary group of organizations from the private, institutional, and government sectors, the project aims to draw together the most innovative minds in the fields of architecture, design, and urban planning to develop sustainable and disaster-resistant housing for communities in tropical urban settings.

The winning design will be built as a prototype disaster-resistant and livable eco-village in Taguig City, Metro Manila. The village will be the first green and disaster-resistant community in the country. It will provide a model that can be studied and replicated in similar areas. The finished project will house a marginalized community living in an environmental danger zone, giving them a sense of security, ownership, and awareness of sustainability that can be practiced at all levels in their everyday lives.

The project also aims to present a definitive green building solution in a truly local context. Too often, home-owners, architects, and policy-makers think of sustainable building as a luxury that only privileged landowners and advanced countries can afford. Design Against the Elements considers green architecture as essential to survival; it has the ability to reduce the frequency and impact of environmental disasters and lessen the cycle of poverty.


March 5, 2010: Competition launch

July 31, 2010: Deadline of Registration

August 14, 2010: Deadline for submission of questions

August 28, 2010: Deadline to dispatch answers to questions

September 25, 2010: Deadline for submission of entries

October 4-9 2010: Judging

October 13, 2010: Announcement of winners

November 19, 2010: Awarding


Category 1
First Prize: $10,000.00
Second Prize: $7,500.00
Special Nomination 1 (Energy): $3,500.00
Special Nomination 2 (Green Design): $3,500.00

Category 2
First Prize: $3,000.00
Second Prize: $2,000.00
Special Nomination 1 (Energy): $1,500.00
Special Nomination 2 (Green Design): $1,500.00

Detailed Project Information

The design problem is presented here in more detail to serve as a brief for interested competitors and researchers. The Official Competition Manual will be available on this website soon. Additional briefs and competition updates will be available regularly from the Updates section. Alternatively, interested parties are encouraged to sign up for our e-mail news letter for news and updates.

Project Objectives

The objectives of the project are:

· To foster local and global awareness on climate adaptability and its relevance to poverty alleviation. Disasters are setbacks to sustainable economic growth as well as human tragedies. Having safer structures “ahead of time” will not only lead to less casualties, displacement, and damage, but will empower communities to uplift their quality of life.

· To build the first green, livable, affordable, and disaster-resistant village in the Philippines that will serve as the blueprint for other communities threatened by climate change.

· To compile an encyclopedia of climate-resilient and affordable design solutions for urban poor communities.

Design Task

The submitted design is therefore expected to address all of the following tasks:

· Develop a master plan for an urban housing development that can be applied to similar areas.

· Integrate development that addresses the sustainability of the community by understanding the local economic, social, and environmental attributes.

The design is expected to take into account the various economic, social, and environmental conditions of the community in which it will be built. The following are the criteria against which the entries will be judged.

* Disaster Resiliency

The design should be flood proof, fire proof, and earthquake resistant. It should also consider livability for residents after a disaster. It should be assumed that power, food, and clean water will be limited in some way due to flooding of the area. Transport shall likewise be hindered.

* Innovative Construction Technology

To break the cycle of destruction-rebuilding-destruction, new building technologies or approaches must be explored. The design must present innovative construction solutions, both in terms of materials (recycled, renewable, engineered, etc) and systems (structural, cladding, electrical, irrigation and plumbing, etc).

* Socio-Economic Sustainability.
o Sustainability of the Built Environment.

The design should incorporate green building strategies for both the community infrastructure and individual housing. At a minimum, the design should include the following considerations:

§ Optimal building orientation:
§ natural light
§ natural ventilation
§ Passive systems
§ Water efficiency
§ Energy efficiency
§ Indoor air quality
§ Waste management and minimization
§ Building life-cycle
§ High performance building fabric
§ Use of recycled materials
§ Use of rapidly renewable materials

o Sustainability of the Community.

In line with local building codes, 70% of the land is allocated for residential use only, while 30% is left for other uses.

§ Commercial spaces: Micro-enterprises are an integral part of urban poor communities. Space for small shops or businesses, street vending, and dry and wet markets are some of the commercial aspects which should be considered in the design.

§ Public spaces: Including in this land area are roads and other public infrastructure.

§ Social Sustainability (Community Sensitivity). While the design should be adaptable to other sites (discussed below), it should be sensitive to the local culture and way of life of the beneficiary community.

* Cost Effectiveness

The design shall be built to house a marginalized community and is thus expected to have a limited budget.

* Adaptability to Other Sites

The resulting designs are intended to serve as prototypes to build an encyclopedia of solutions for disaster-resistant design and planning. Concepts utilized in the design should be adaptable to other urban communities in tropical regions.
Program Requirements

* Housing Development

The residential structures shall be multi-story buildings without elevators, with a maximum of four (4) floors. Each dwelling unit shall conform to the requirements laid out in the National Building Code [link] and BP220, or the Guidelines for Socialized and Economic Housing [link]. Each dwelling unit shall have a floor area from 26 square meters to 32 square meters and shall include spaces for the following uses:

o Basic everyday activities, such as sleeping, eating, cooking, cleaning, and sanitation needs

o Landscaping with considerations for urban gardening.

* Community Facilities

Community facilities should likewise conform to the requirements laid out in the National Building Code [link] and BP220 [link].These should include the following:

o Community center / multipurpose hall
o School / day care center
o Waste management facility
o Public market
o Other facilities to supplement the development concepts of the entry

Submission Requirements

The design shall present the project concepts enumerated below. Further submission and presentation requirements as well as the manner of submission can be found here [link].

o Master site development plan and site concepts
o Housing building plans and building concepts
o Community facilities and community building concepts


* Category 1

is open to all local and international architects, registered according to the relevant laws in their respective countries. All entrants are required to provide relevant professional registration on the registration form. Where an entry is made by a team of professionals, the team must be led by a person who meets the above criteria. That member must be indicated on the registration form as the entrant.

* Category 2

is open to all local and international students of architecture in their senior years and to graduates of an architecture degree. Student entries must have the endorsement of the school dean/head and graduate entries shall have an endorsement from an architect-mentor.

The following are disqualified from this competition:

o Professional Adviser/Consultant
o Members of the UAP Executive Committee
o Chairman and members of the UAP Competition Committee
o Officers of UAP Fort Bonifacio Chapter
o Members of the Jury
o Architects employed by any of the promoters of the competition
o Architects employed by MyShelter Foundation
o Immediate family members of the persons listed above.


Competition opens on April 5, 2010. Please refer back to the website on April 5, 2010 for registration instructions, the full architectural brief, and further competition details.

Competition Website


Monday, October 12, 2009

Designer Village Challenge 2009

The destruction caused by natural disasters such as typhoons has long been one of the major contributors to the perpetuation of poverty in developing countries like the Philippines. The suffering of the poor are amplified as climate change - reinforced storms lead to loss of life and property, and a costly halt in their way of life. They are plunged deeper into poverty when they are faced with the economic burden of having to rebuild their homes and livelihood. Many have been forced to relocate to urban centers, further congesting and expanding informal settlements. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, the Philippines is one of the ten most afflicted countries in the world in terms of the number of lives and property lost as a result of damage due to climate, and these are mainly in the form of increasing intensities of typhoons visiting the islands annually. In short, poverty and the lack of climate adaptability has proven to be a treacherous formula for poor communities.

Current mitigation and disaster management strategies are simply insufficient to shield the poor from the onslaught of the changing climate. Building disaster-resistant structures ahead of time would drastically reduce the impact of climate on poverty, bringing an end to the viscous cycle of: disaster – destruction – reconstruction. Moreover, the sense of security brought about by disaster-resistant structures would empower communities to uplift the quality of their lives as they gain more control over it. Without the fear that a storm can easily wipe away the lives that they have built, hopes and plans for the future may grow clearer and within reach.

This competition responds to the urgent need for radical adaptation. Designer Village Challenge calls for a masterplan and design of an eco-agro-tourism development for a rural community in the tropical hotspot of Camarines Sur, Philippines, a province that has repeatedly experienced catastrophic damage caused by strong tropical cyclones. The province of Camarines Sur has made it their mission to rise above it with progressive and pioneering projects that seek to alleviate the condition of its people. With the help of the global architecture community it believes that it can be an example of strength, resilience and innovative adaptability.

The top 3 winning designs will be awarded US $ 10,000, US $ 5,000 and US $ 3,000 respectively. The 1st prize winning design will be built by the Provincial Government in Camarines Sur as a prototype master planned community of 150 houses. Gawad Kalinga, the largest and most active non-government slum upgrading and rural community builders in Asia shall also build one of the winning designs. In addition, all design entries will be compiled and published into an encyclopedia of architecture and planning solutions for climate adaptability. The United Architects of the Philippines shall facilitate the competition and function as its secretariat.

The competition is open to all local and international architects, registered according to the relevant laws in their respective countries. All entrants are required to provide relevant professional registration on the registration form. Where an entry is made by a team of professionals, the team must be led by a person meeting the above criteria. That member must be indicated on the registration form as the entrant.


United Architects of the Philippines
53 Scout Rallos Street, Diliman, Quezon City
Telephone (63-2) 4126364, (63-2) 4126374
Fax (63-2) 3721796


Sunday, March 22, 2009

303 East 33rd Street by Perkins Eastman

303 East 33rd Street, the first green development in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, is designed by top ranked green architecture and design firm Perkins Eastman. The LEED Certified development is a 12-story, 165,00 sf building defined as a series of single attached buildings facing the street alternating in height.


The interior of the building comprises 128 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes in a variety of layouts as well as a three-bedroom, four-bathroom triplex penthouse.

Additional amenities include a fully-equipped fitness center, media lounge with pool table, a children’s playroom, and full-service concierge.

A landscaped roof-top, with a total of 1,700 sf of outdoor space, takes advantage of distinctive urban views.


"A highly energy efficient envelope -exceeding the thermal requirements of New York City code-comprising brick piers, terraces, balconies, and large expanses of glass fracture the architectural repetition, heightening the concept of an ensemble of buildings rather than a single development."

"Using rapidly renewable materials and low-VOC finishes, a contemporary interior space is created that engages the residents to participate in a more sustainable lifestyle. Each unit is equipped with electrical sub-meters allowing the tenants to monitor their electrical use and manage their personal consumption. To discourage automobile use, the development purposely omitted a parking garage from the design and instead chose to offer parking discounts in an adjacent venue for hybrid vehicles."

"The roof-top design limits the use of potable water for landscaping, employing a variety of indigenous, drought tolerant plants to create an outdoor oasis for the residents."

Source: ArchDaily


Taipei Performing Art Center proposal by NL Architects

The design aim of NL architects proposal for the taipei performing arts center is to make the building accessible to everybody. The public character of the center is guaranteed by the elevation of a substantial part of its program, creating a public square underneath it. As such the square becomes part of the building inside of it.

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects


The design which could be considered to a table with 'four legs' supports a 'tabletop'that accommodates 3 storeys. inside you'll find an elevated fragment of the city, a public browsing space where cultural facilities such as a multimedia library, music stores, galleries, lobbies, bars, restaurants and clubs will be included.

view of TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

Balconies and terraces with different programs will also be included in the space consisting of swimming pools, a skate area, playground, hotel garden and cafe.

side view drawing of TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

The performing arts center structure will contain three theaters: a 1500 seat grand theater and two 800 seat theaters for repertory performances. The theaters are positioned on different altitudes. The proscenium playhouse is placed at the base of the southeast 'leg'. The lobby is placed under this theater so that it is flush with the square activating the space around it. the multiform theater is connected to the southwest leg close to the top. The volume of the grand theater is suspended under the horizontal slab. It hovers over the square while being part of it.

Source: Design Bloom

TPAC - taipei performing art center elevator diagram
image courtesy NL architects

side view drawing of TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center structure diagram
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center structure diagram
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects

TPAC - taipei performing art center
image courtesy NL architects


Taipei Performing Arts Centre by OMA

Architects Office for Metropolitan Architecture was selected from over 135 entries from 24 countries by an international jury to design a new performing arts centre in Taipei, Taiwan.


The design comprises three auditoriums, positioned around a corrugated glass cube that contains the backstage areas for each theatre. Built above an exisiting food market the design includes a 1,500 seat theatre and two 800 seat theatres which plug into a central cube, clad in corrugated glass,that combines the stage accommodations of the three theatres in a single whole.Each theatre can be used independently or in a combination.




From OMA:

OMA to build Taipei Performing Arts Centre

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been awarded the first prize in the design competition to build the Taipei Performing Arts Centre. The design, led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, was selected from over 135 entries from 24 countries by an international jury.

The scheme includes a 1,500 seat theatre and two 800 seat theatres which plug into a central cube, clad in corrugated glass, that combines the stage accommodations of the three theatres in a single whole. Each theatre can be used independently or in combination with the other theatres. Connecting the different theatres offers new and experimental theatrical possibilities. A public trajectory inside the cube exposes parts of the backstage areas otherwise hidden in typical theatres. The cube is placed on a socle preserving the existing lively local food market.

The project is led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren. The competition team included associate André Schmidt and architects Adam Frampton and Mariano Sagasta, amongst many others. Koolhaas’s and Scheeren’s previous collaborations include the CCTV Headquarters and TVCC Cultural Centre in Beijing, as well as Prada Epicentre Stores in New York and Los Angeles.

Source: Dezeen , Design Bloom


Taipei Performing Arts Center proposal by Architects Collective

Another remarkable competition entry for the Taipei Performing Arts Center is this proposal by Vienna-based Architects Collective:


The building possesses a unique appearance that derives from the urban context and the functional criteria merged into the design motif of a sound wave. The buildings undulating roof is reminiscent of an endless sound wave that radiates from the Performing Arts Center into the city of Taipei like a sound instrument.


The theater complex fulfills all requirements of the various forms of the contemporary arts and complies with the needs of Taiwan’s diverse performance culture as well. It’s a world-class arts venue which provides both entertainment and the highest professional quality experience. In functional terms the three theaters are individual structures that are joined at their base like a corresponding vessel, sharing repair shop and storage and moving goods, staff as well as a single security point for the back of house. The design tries to achieve a marriage between theatrical and architectural concepts.


The three theaters are connected by the Common Lobby at the center of the site, a semi-indoor space that is 24-hour open and requires no ticket, with control points at the theaters entrance. It’s environment will be comfortable and energy- saving by providing sun and rain protection and at the same time natural ventilation and generous feeling of openness. The Taipei Performing Arts Center will be designed according to the perspectives of energy conservation and green architecture.


The building design springs not only from its urban and functional context, but also from a need to create a building capable of adapting and reacting to the sub-tropical environment. The roof of the individual theaters is covered like sun hats providing natural and efficient cooling for the building. The semi-enclosed Common Lobby is a partially shaded glass canopy open to the street that does not need to be heated or cooled.


The Taipei Performing Arts Center will be a professional-level facility that meets international standards, providing a world-class performing arts venue for the Taipei area. The design emphasizes the idea of a real people’s theater by creating a flowing urban landscape that allows various interactions by spectators, visitors and the general public.

At the heart of the complex is the Common Lobby which is an elevated platform from which the three theaters are accessed. People can visit the venues or the restaurant or just to walk through this urban passage. This multifunctional space can be used as a gathering space, for events or as an open air theater. The human experience is that of openness and connectivity to the outside and an attraction and drawing in toward the building when experienced from outside. The positive and negative space of the complex creates dramatic and fluid inside-outside spaces interacting with the city and the center.


The center consists of a solitary volume that is broken up into four blocks similar to shifting continents. The structure is further differentiated by the southern block (Restaurant) that is articulated as a bridge or gate and the northern block (Grand Theater) which is rotated in plan to open the center towards the Shilin Night Market. Through these manipulations the structure becomes porous and responsive to its urban context serving as a mediator and friendly neighbor to its diverse surrounding. The center is readily seen as a landmark from different main roadways and the TRST train and is a clearly delineated building volume.


The Common Lobby and the theaters are placed at an elevated platform like a Piano Nobile to connect the theaters (loading courtyard) on the level below and to provide flood control. The pedestrian edges of this elevated platform consists of shops and two gradual ramps the create a flowing landscape which connects the Shilin Night Market and Jian Tan Rd as well as the surrounding streets.


To the south the restaurant consists of a bridge to creating stage-like entry from Jian Tan Road into the Common Lobby for the three theaters. From the TRTS´s Jiantan Station the theaters can be directly accessed by a underground pedestrian passage that also includes the ticket office and a theater shop (optional) and is connected to the Common Lobby, Underground Parking and the sidewalk along Wen Lin Road.


Cars and motorcycles leave and enter the site at the north-west corner of the site. Service Trucks enter the building at a single security point at the north-west corner and leave at the north-east corner. The three theaters are accessed by a central covered loading courtyard that allows multiple 40-ft-containers to be loaded and unloaded simultaneously and has three entry points to the theaters and one for the shared repair shops.

All images by Architects Collective

Source: Bustler


Taipei Performing Arts Centre proposal by Abalos+Sentkiewicz

Here's one of the three finalists (together with OMA and Morphosis) for the two-phase international competition for the new Performing Arts Centre in Taipei which included more than 100 offices from around the world. The competition was won by OMA.

This is the proposal by Spanish architects Ábalos + Sentkiewicz:


From human being origins, people doing circles around someone who is speaking, singing, dancing or arguing -under a tree shadow if possible- has been the main characteristic of performing.



Our music halls maintain this original condition and extend their geometry to the whole complex, which turns into a group of big trees with a stratified structure, as the local tropical forest, working at the same time as a functional scheme and an environmental strategy:
  • Over the trees a roof tour that conform a new landscape is proposed, giving identity to the complex.
  • Music Halls are in the trees, organized around a principal lobby and two secondary ones. Each hall adopts a particular configuration reinforced by its different coloration (gold silver, bronze).
  • Under the trees, topography splits in two: Upwards, composing a park protected from the sun and the rain. Downwards composing a complex of commercial galleries that extend the activity from Shilin Night Market and goes through the building.

© Abalos+Sentkiewicz arquitectos

Against the typical configuration of a principal and a back façade this project achieves a total urban isotropy, not only with four but with five facades in relation with the context.

Source: ArchDaily

Architects:Ábalos + Sentkiewicz Arquitectos


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