Saigon house wins top prize in world’s largest architectural competition

By Minh Trang   December 9, 2021 | 11:26 pm PT
Architect Nguyen Hoang Manh's Sky House in HCMC has been named among the top winners at the 2021 World Architecture Festival.

Manh won the ‘Completed Buildings - House & Villa (Urban/Suburban) award, one of the event's 33 categories, it was announced this week.

Built in 2019 in District 2’s An Phu Ward, Sky House is surrounded by skyscrapers and houses tightly packed together.

It has a floor area of 433 square meters.

With the giant metropolis grappling with high construction density, Manh and his team at MIA Design Studio designed the building using concepts like "open" and "airy" to create a connection between its occupants and nature.

From the outside, its gardens with bell flowers, areca palms and orchard trees seem to float in the air.

Sky House by MIA Design Studio. Photo courtesy of the architecture firm

Sky House by MIA Design Studio. Photo courtesy of the architecture firm

The team said the process was divided into two parts with the first devoted to the sun, wind, water, and trees using empty spaces, and the second focusing on family activities and necessary utilities.

MIA is an architectural, interior and landscape design company Manh set up in 2003. It specializes in hotels, resorts, spa retreats, apartments, and villas.

WAF is the world's leading architectural event, and has been held annually since 2008.

Its theme in 2021 was: 'Resetting the City: Greening, Health and Urbanism'. It was held online from Dec. 1 to 3, and received thousands of entries from 62 economies. The jury comprised 150 experts from 70 economies.

Besides the awards in 33 categories, it also gave away the World Building of the Year 2021 to Bjarke Ingels Group's CopenHill, a waste-to-energy power plant in Denmark that also serves as a ski slope, climbing wall and rooftop bar.

Several Vietnamese architectural firms have won WAF prizes.

In 2017 the Vegetable Trellis in Saigon by Cong Sinh Architects won in the ‘Completed Buildings – Hotel & Leisure’ category.

Vo Trong Nghia Architects' Viettel Offsite Studio in Hanoi and Binh House in Saigon won in the ‘Future Projects Winner – Office’ and ‘Completed Buildings – House’ categories the same year.

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