WAF Day One Winners: IDA’s Mactan Cebu Airport nabs WAF Category Award, Creative Crews gets INSIDE honors
Alero Design Studio kicks off Philippine representation with Baliwag Community Center but bows down to competition in the Civic and Community Category
December 5, 2019
Written by The BluPrint Team
In partnership with GROHE
WAF and INSIDE Day One sees multiple award nods from competition heavyweights China and Australia. ASEAN neighbor Thailand was able to nab the INSIDE award for the Health and Education category for their Classroom for the Blind project. The world’s first ‘resort’ airport Mactan Cebu International garners the transport category award for Hong Kong firm, IDA, who worked alongside BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture and Design and Kenneth Cobonpue among others for Cebu’s new international terminal. In the competitive Civic and Community Future Building category, Philippine representative Alero Design Studio bows to category winner, HCMA Architecture + Design’s Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre after a valiant effort in presenting their buntal-hat inspired building.
Blind hope: Creative Crew’s Classroom for the Blind
Bangkok-based studio Creative Crews finds success in their first INSIDE foray, the Classroom for the Blind project, impressing the jury panel of Crit Room 5, comprised of Ronald Hick, Weng Shanwei and Wendy Saunders. Studio principals Puiphai Kunawat and Ekkachan Eiamananwattana gave an emotive presentation that spoke of the research and experimentation-heavy process that informed this special commission for a classroom geared for blind children. “Our aim is to express the fact the blindness need not be seen as scary. That one should not shield blind children from the world, to learn and experience it like normal children. The disability increases when you shelter them. We want to ensure that these children get the same level of care and learning available to normal children.” Ekkachan explained. The simplicity of the project and the care and sensitivity the architects exercised to meet the needs of its handicapped users were positive points that helped the project secure its hold on the INSIDE Health and Education category award.
Catching waves: IDA’s Mactan Cebu International Airport
Transport category winner Mactan Cebu International Airport was an early jury favorite during the crit session, where IDA’s work was lauded by the panel, which included Peter Bishop and ZHA’s Fabian Hecker. The iconic wave-like roof of the airport, along with the use of sustainable glulam were warmly received, with Hecker calling the design ‘elegant.’ Bishop adds that he’d like to visit and experience the airport one day, and found the design a refreshing departure from the monochromatic and monotonous forms and textures of today’s airports. “I look at this airport and I feel that I’m going to get a delightful experience there,” he adds. IDA’s Winston Shu made a case for how the new airport has helped the surrounding community gain an anchor and a landmark to be proud of, fitting for a city known for creativity and world-class designers.
Hat’s off: Alero Design Studio’s Baliwag Community Center
The lone Filipino entrant to present on the first day of the World Architecture Festival, the team from Alero Design Studio overcame their nerves and delivered a valiant effort at the prize, narrating the story of a community united by a need for a worthy home for its centuries-old festival.
Inspired by the buntal hat, a well-known Baliwag product and the object of celebration of the annual town parade, the Baliwag community center is the city’s first publicly-funded community venue. It was designed to answer the need for a larger, weather-proof venue for the Bulacan town’s frequent festivities. The Alero team went beyond the brief and created a sheltered ‘town plaza’ replete with indoor parks and promenade terraces to foster a stronger sense of community.
While one can notice the nerves from the WAF first-timers, their presentation’s narrative was compelling enough to elicit gentle words and queries from the jury panel. The development’s plan, however, was pointed out by jury panel Cany Ash as more car-centric though this was responded to by Alero by saying they’d also done their homework for pedestrian-friendliness. Jurist Alexander Furunes asked about the structure’s natural disaster readiness and tropical responsiveness, which Alero prepared for with a design that was lightweight and porous. In the end, the category award was granted to Vancouver’s HCMA Architecture + Design’s Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre.