Edifice in Ho Chi Minh 'university village' wins world architecture award

A building in the ‘village’ of the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCMC) has been honored at the World Architecture Awards (WAA), given away by the World Architecture Community.

The Student Culture Center, located at the heart of the VNU-HCMC in Thu Duc District, serves indoor and outdoor student activities for all universities in the village, which is home to the campuses of many top higher education institutions.

It won a title in the Realized Award for architecture projects that have actually been built competing for the 35th WAA, according to the awards’ website.

The project was designed in 2014 and put into operation in October 2019 at a cost of VND420 billion (US$18.1 million).

Nguyen Trung Kien is the major architect of the design, along with Japanese architectural chief Shatoshi Shimizu and architects Le Nguyen Huong Giang, Yuriko Nitto, and Jumpei Shirai.

The building was formed in a hexagon shape to allow natural sunlight to reach almost every single functional room inside.

It is also an impressive and unique shape among the square-box high-rise universities and dormitories around.

The building includes one basement and five floors.

The design team tried to minimize power consumption, maximize natural light and wind, and reduce heat absorption to create a green edifice.

With that in mind, the team came up with a green roof that can reduce sun radiation and heat. Rainwater can also be collected to cool the roof.

A big open void was arranged as an interactive space connecting the ground floor with the roof.

The purpose of the void is to let hot air go outside.

Meanwhile, sunlight can come through this void to other parts of the building and even the ground floor.

Inside the building are a cinema, a 900-seat auditorium, large conference rooms, space for club activities, libraries, consulting rooms, traditional spaces, and large living spaces.

Next to it are an outdoor stage, a sports field, and many other versatile spaces to serve the diverse needs of students.

The World Architecture Awards highlights and recognizes remarkable projects that have the potential to inspire exciting questions about contemporary architectural discourse, according to the organizers.

The awards are presented in three categories: projects that were not built (Designed Award), those that have actually been built within the last ten years (Realized Award), and ones designed by students (Student Award).

Realized and Designed categories fall into the Architecture and Interior Design sections.

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