NUS Architecture student, Bryant Lau awarded Honorable Mention in UIA HYP Cup 2018 International Student Competition


October 16, 2018



NUS Architecture student, Bryant Lau awarded Honorable Mention in UIA HYP Cup 2018 International Student Competition

UIA HYP Cup 2018 is an International Student Competition with the topic of urban co-living:customizing modules for the community; led by more than 10 renowned architects and spearheaded by Patrik Schumacher, Principal of Zaha Hadid Architects. This year, the competition received participation from nearly 2000 college student groups internationally, resulting in 1 First-Prize winner, 3 Second Prize winner, 8 Third-Prize winners, 22 Honorable Mentions and 34 finalists after intense discussions between the jury.

"Void Mountain is situated at Wen Shu Fang within Cheng Du, a site rich in history and culture that has been slated for future business developments due to Cheng Du’s shift from manufacture to knowledge / research based industries. In the middle of Wen Shu Fang lies Wen Shu Monastery, a Chinese temple that have survived the test of time by going through agonizing wars and raging fires, resulting in numerous changes over the years. The latest change comes in the form of conservation repair works – but regretfully the goal isn’t to protect the cultural value of the temple but simply to promote it as attraction to draw new millennials over to live and work. The proposed project aspires to negotiate with this dichotomy by embracing the new culture of work and live that China will soon adopt.

In tribute to the essence of spirituality coming from the temple where Monks empty their personal attachments to the world to reach enlightenment - the design adopts the concept of “void” spaces. Modules are designed in relation to these void spaces, where multiple configurations are allowed for the module to expand into the void, or even sharing of the void between different users. The module itself adopts a flexible shelf system that toggles between work and live configurations, but still leave room for modification to suit the user’s needs. Each expansion can only be made possible via the integration of a green roof, which contributes to a mountain silhouette for the city. This condition serves as a counterpoint to the rapid growth dilemma that China is facing, as one contributes to the image of the city via a mountain now when one expands instead of merely meeting his or her own capitalistic agendas.

The programmatic strategy adopts the cycle of time found in most business models, from conceptualizing (Seed) to expansion (growth) and finally maturity (exit). The first storey consist of public co-working spaces; the second and third storey consisting of offices with room for expansions via the void concept, while the upper stories have living units and pitching halls to sell the business. This planning strategy also references the pilgrimage from the spirituality of Wen Shu Monastery – with the design visually dissipating into the skies as it goes up higher. Spread across all these floors are other co-living amenities such as gym, library and pantries. The nature of the lifespan of businesses leads to constant permutations that create reversible expansion spaces, allowing Void Mountain to change over time, similar to the history of Wen Shu Monastery – thus establishing a dialogue with the city."