Bangkok High Rise Wins Gold For Aussie Designers At National Architecture A

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28th October 2010, 10:27am - Views: 3961


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10PM Thurs 28 Oct 2010

Winners not to be notified in advance

Bangkok high rise wins gold for Aussie designers

at 2010 National Architecture Awards 


revolutionary, naturally ventilated 66-storey apartment building in

Bangkok, and its Australian-born and educated design team, have won the

major Jorn Utzon Award for International Architecture at the 2010

Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards.

The Australian Institute of Architects’ Jørn Utzon Award for International

Architecture was tonight presented to The Met in Bangkok by Singapore-

based practice WOHA* from a strong field of projects across the globe. 

Announcing the award at a ceremony at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra tonight,

jury chair and leading architect Melinda Dodson said: “The Met in Bangkok,

Thailand, is a seminal project representing major advances towards a possible

future vision of ecologically responsible highly dense urban housing. “ 

The jury noted: “It is often claimed that high rise buildings, particularly in hot

climates, cannot be naturally ventilated, and that if we are to intensify urban density we

are therefore doomed to inhabit closed, air conditioned glass boxes.  The Met proves that

claim wrong, by creating tropical houses in the sky, with breezeways, outdoor living

areas, planters, gardens, and communal facilities on open-air terraces. Here, innovation and

brilliant architectural strategic thinking answer extremely challenging climatic conditions. “  

Above: The Met (Bangkok, Thailand) by

WOHA. Photography by Tim Griffith. 

Above: The Met (Bangkok, Thailand) by

WOHA. Photography by Patrick Bingham-Hall. 

Responding to the strength of this year’s entries, the jury also awarded an unprecedented

three National Awards for International Architecture and two National Commendations for


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International Architecture.  In an outstanding triple win for WOHA, the practice also received

a National Award for the Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit Station (Singapore), and a

National Commendation for the Alila Villas Uluwatu (Bali, Indonesia).

An extraordinary house ‘of rare beauty and serenity’ in Japan for one of the world’s most

revered designers – the Wall House by Sydney-based architects Peter Stutchbury

Architecture with Keiji Ashizawa Design - received a National Award for

International Architecture, with the jury saying: “From a country with an ancient tradition

of exquisite refined landscapes and architecture, it is perhaps surprising that an Australian

architect would be asked to add to that culture. The Wall House doesn’t disappoint.” They

added: “Australia’s growing international reputation for unique residential architecture that

relates to landscape is further enhanced by this simple, elegant house that beautifully

demonstrates the richness of cultural fusion.”

Above: Bras Basah Mass Transit

Station by WOHA. Photography Patrick

Bingham Hall. The station is both

hidden and revealed under a shallow

‘lake’ in the historic heart of


Above right: A house that is truly ‘part

of the landscape’ according to this

year’s jury – the Wall House by Peter

Stutchbury Architect with Keiji

Ashizawa Design. Photography: Mike


Right: Tanzania’s Kesho Leo Children’s

Home by watson architecture + design


totally self-supporting new

community for women, children and

orphans built on a shoestring budget.

Photography: Liz Halloran. 


home and community centre with education, social, and health facilities for 80 women,

children, orphans and the wider remote rural community of Sinon in Tanzania – the Kesho

Leo Children’s Home by Watson architecture + design also received a

National Award. The jury noted the project’s extremely limited budget, site

configuration restraints, the tropical climate, and high expense and poor availability of often

inferior materials as major challenges. Despite this, they said: “As is often with good

architecture, adversity inspired true innovation throughout the project. This was a project

literally conceived and built from the ground up, created from absolutely minimal means in

almost impossible conditions.   Australian architects have created in Kesho Leo an

architecture of great meaning and an international beacon for social and ecological



Around 20 projects from as far afield as Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan

Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Tanzania were entered in this

year’s Jorn Utzon International Award.  All international projects entered must be

submitted by members of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Full List of International Winners: 


International Architecture

The Jørn Utzon Award for

International Architecture

The Met, Bangkok (Thailand)


National Award for International


Kesho Leo Children's Home


watson architecture + design

National Award for International


Wall House (Japan)

Peter Stutchbury Architecture

with Keiji Ashizawa Design

National Award for International


Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit

Station (Singapore)


National Commendation for

International Architecture

Aman New Delhi (India)

Kerry Hill Architects

National Commendation for

International Architecture

Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali (Indonesia)


Members of this year’s International Jury were: Melinda Dodson, Melinda Dodson

Architects, Immediate Past President and Jury Chair; Elizabeth Watson-Brown,

Elizabeth Watson-Brown Architects; Max Pritchard, Max Pritchard Architect; and,

Cameron Bruhn, Editorial Director, Architecture Media. 

* WOHA is a young, innovative Singapore-based architecture practice with a growing

international reputation. Founded by design architects Richard Hassell and Wong Mun Summ,

the office works on a diverse range of multiple-residential, urban design, commercial, and

public projects, predominantly across the Asian sub-continent. The practice recently

completed their first Australian project, the newly opened Hyde across from Hyde Park in

Sydney’s CBD. They are currently working on a range of high rise apartment buildings in


The National Architecture Awards would not be possible without the support of our Principal Corporate

Partner - BlueScope Steel; Supporting Corporate Partners - Lockwood, Dulux, Autodesk, Virgin Atlantic,

AWS, Kingspan and Diversified Exhibitions; and is significantly enhanced by our media partnership with

the Australian Financial Review AFR Magazine and Architecture Australia (Aa) .


For embargoed media kits, high resolution images and interviews contact:

Trish Croaker, 

National Media/PR Advisor

Mobile 0408 756 163

The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession, representing more

than 10000 members across Australia and overseas.  The Institute actively works to improve the quality

of our built environment by promoting quality, responsible and sustainable design.

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