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2020-2022 Cycle

Project Finder

2020-2022 Cycle
Shortlisted Projects
Community Spaces in Rohingya Refugee Response

Rather than separate projects, the six sustainably built structures in the world’s largest refugee camps, housing Rohingya fleeing Myanmar’s genocidal violence, are a collection of practice exercise: Each created scope for the next according to need. Much of the design occurred collaboratively in the field. A women-friendly space, very low to withstand cyclones, features a complex roof truss built by Rohingya bamboo workers without drawings or models.

Aban House

On a narrow rectangular site in the heart of Isfahan’s dense historic centre, the three-storey house for two architects and their newborn daughter is arranged around three open courtyards. The ground-floor kitchen is the nucleus of the house; the living room is located on the first floor, and bedrooms on the upper floor; a terrace on the roof provides expansive views over Isfahan. The frame structure of the house is clad entirely with handmade local ochre-coloured brick laid in a variety of horizontal and vertical patterns.

Argo Contemporary Art Museum & Cultural Centre

Tehran’s first independent contemporary art museum is housed in a more-than-100-year-old former brewery that had been abandoned for decades. The Iranian-Austrian architect’s aim was to create a dialogue between old and new by inserting a new foundation and metal structure to support floating concrete floors and roofs independently of the original exterior walls, thus allowing generous ceiling heights (up to 12 metres) for the climate-controlled galleries.

Blimbingsari Airport

Shunning the standardised international style of most airports, this domestic airport embraces a context-conscious design approach. Serving over 1,100 passengers daily, it caters to the hot climate through a large-scale, contemporary interpretation of vernacular passive design principles. Openings and overhangs are optimised for temperature control through natural ventilation and shading. A continuous arrangement from landscape to interior space helps airflow, with lush plantings bringing nature inside the building.

CEM Kamanar Secondary School

When architects from Dawoffice saw the overcrowding at Thionck Essyl’s only secondary school, they resolved to build a new one through their charitable foundation, Foundawtion. Climatic comfort and low cost were paramount. Clay, the region’s most abundant material, was freely available on site; the quarry became the school’s sports field. The catenary vault form was chosen because it works purely in compression – the only stress that clay can withstand. Clay vault modules produced by volunteers using local techniques are enclosed with wooden lattices, allowing light in.

Expandable House

Tailored to and learning from the rapidly expanding peri-urban fringes of Asian cities like Batam – the world’s fastest-growing in 2015 – this new sustainable dwelling type is designed to be flexibly configured around its residents’ often precarious resources over time. Its steel-reinforced concrete frame has aerated concrete block cladding at ground and composite bamboo cladding or retractable bamboo screens above. It is based around the following five principles. (1) Sandwich section: the roof can be hoisted to add levels – the foundations can support up to three floors.

Flying Saucer Rehabilitation

The Flying Saucer is a 1978 Brutalist-style building that originally housed a café, restaurant, newsstand and gift shop; use of the building changed several times from 1988 onwards.  It comprises a star-shaped canopy around a seven-metre dome over a circular arrangement of eight columns and V-shaped pillars.  The building was fully restored as a community art space, and a later extension to the building was demolished.

Issy Valley Improvement

One part of a large government-sponsored hydro-agricultural project for the valley, this initial phase of the project focuses on the improvement of trails and facilities for rural tourists whilst improving the palm orchards and water reservoirs/collectors. The beginning, centre and terminus of a 14-kilometre trail have been created as stone-paved circles, all using traditional techniques and materials by labourers from the 2,500 residents of the valley.

Jadgal Elementary School

Months of participatory studies after villagers invited the NGO client to build a school here led to the idea of it serving also as a sustainable development centre for surrounding areas, nurturing creativity, freedom and critical thinking. Standing in a vast field, its enclosing wall is treated not defensively but as an inviting, playful shell featuring large irregular-shaped perforations, with one thicker portion housing tuckshop, concierge and storage.

Lanka Learning Centre

Civil war and the 2004 tsunami wrought displacement and destruction in Sri Lanka. The client – of mixed ethno-religious background – survived both and became a child psychologist thanks to a German couple’s benevolence. Two NGOs that he founded to encourage education and inter-community reconciliation helped bring about this centre that hosts gatherings, craft education for adults and a large annual sports, games and music festival for children, to reduce inter-ethnic prejudice. The pentangular plan’s circumferential wall meanders inwards and outwards, creating pockets of space.

Le Jardin d'Afrique

On Tunisia’s southern coast, the project is a memorial to and graveyard for migrants who drowned whilst crossing the Mediterranean. The artist Rachid Koraïchi initiated the project when he discovered the situation, bought a plot of land and designed the entire project: A small residence for a caretaker, a morgue and a doctor’s office, public sanitary facilities and an ecumenical prayer room form the architectural components in the walled complex. Due to the coastal location, the 600 graves are waterproofed.

Lilavati Lalbhai Library at CEPT University

The library acts as a living case study of passive climate mitigation strategies, high on the teaching agenda at CEPT University (formerly Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology). Its materials respect those of the campus’s existing buildings, and placing three of its six storeys underground keeps it within their height datum. Centrally located, it has separate and equal entrances on each side. Complete with an operating manual for students, its modulated, louvred façades can be manually adjusted to admit less light or more ventilation.

Niamey 2000

To combat housing shortage amid rapid urban expansion, this prototype housing seeks to increase density while remaining compatible culturally.

Outros Bairros Rehabilitation Programme

Growing out of a design initiative at the local Institute of Art, Technology and Culture, this rehabilitation of the Alto de Bomba district of the port city of Mindelo is rooted in the day-to-day life of the population. It works through construction, listening and collaboration – defining policy alternatives that recognise informality as a valid method of urbanisation. Its projects form public space; upgrade drainage, electricity, water and sanitation systems; and include three specific urban-rehabilitation schemes.

Rehabilitation of Tarsus Old Ginnery

An adaptive reuse of a historic industrial complex as a contemporary centre for archaeological research and public engagement, this project involved the restoration and redesign of the dilapidated buildings of an abandoned 19th-century ginnery in Tarsus. It serves as the premises of the Boğaziçi University team excavating the ancient mound of Gözlükule (with living quarters, an artifacts depot and study room) as well as a conference hall and exhibition space open to the public and a library, café and courtyard.

Rehabilitation of the Manama Post Office

The Manama Post Office, formerly the Customs Building, one of the oldest public buildings in Bahrain (built in 1937), was rehabilitated. A new concrete extension housing 4,400 mailboxes and sorting facilities was built, but more importantly, the façade and portico made of concrete and steel built in the 1980s – which made the building unrecognisable – was removed.  It was also important to return the historical building to its former role as a functioning post office.

Renovation of Niemeyer Guest House

Designed in 1962 by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer but abandoned on the brink of completion when civil war erupted in 1975, the Rachid Karami International Fair was recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage tentative list. One of its 15 pavilions, the Guest House was chosen to be transformed into a design platform and production facility promoting Tripoli’s long-established, pioneering but latterly declining wood industry.

Tulkarm Courthouse

On a prominent triangular site in this West Bank town of 50,000 inhabitants, the ensemble features two buildings, one for administrative facilities and the other containing 10 courtrooms; the two are accessed from broad stone stairs that give onto an open urban plaza.  The concrete structure employed stone facing for the outer formwork.  In the administrative building, the deep-set windows are shielded from direct sunlight by angled stone-faced frames; the courthouse building features galvanised, powder-coated steel screens that filter direct sunlight.  The two buildings are arranged to for

Urban River Spaces

The community-driven project provides public spaces in the riverine city with 250,000 residents; over time, access to and use of the river and banks had become impeded. To date, the project comprises two ghats – steps leading down to platforms at the river, with adjacent walkways – and the opening of obstructed pedestrian pathways leading to them. Locally available materials such as brick and concrete were used in the simple, contextual designs, all built by local builders and masons; the site-specific projects retain all existing trees and vegetation.

Wafra Wind Tower

In the Salmiya area of Kuwait City, the 13-storey building contains 12 duplex apartments and a rooftop penthouse.  Conceived by the architects as a wind tower, it features a central, vertical courtyard that provides natural ventilation to each apartment unit.  Circulation stairs and elevators are located on the southern side of the tower and provide insulation against solar penetration; the other façades are designed to provide natural lighting, cross ventilation and good views, especially those on the north that face the sea.  Each apartment is provided with shaded balconies, and all of th