Friday, May 6, 2022

why competition on architecture is important ? Inspireli awards in CTU Czech Republic

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak in this international forum. I remembered that I visited CTU university in Prague almost every year for 4 consecutive years, except during the pandemic in 2020; I really enjoyed not only the hospitality of the university, but also the lectures and the students.  All of them demonstrated great spirit but also the appreciation of different cultures from Africa, the USA, Europe and also from middle eastern countries. I believe CTU in prague became an important university, bringing the international scholar to meet but also to celebrate the awarding ceremony and the workshop with the enthusiasm from students. But the most important thing was that the representative students from around the world could come together discuss the several aspects of the competition. The exchange of knowledge between us have been the greatest thing.

Personally, I believe the architectural competition at the Inspireli Award provides a forum for architectural students to actually dare to submit their work or student work on campus in order to get a more global review.

I feel that Karel's idea to create an international competition like Inspireli, shares the same ideals as the founder of Facebook. For example, when Mark Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard, he never thought that he would be this rich. He thought that the one major aspect to change the world would be how to socially relate to other people without limitations of space or geographical boundaries, so his idea was very noble for everyone – but we see that many try to clone or imitate his idea, yet his vision is to make himself rich and famous, even though Mark thought it was the result. Maybe Karel thought the same way about how to make an architectural competition for students with free registration and then look for the best jury from all over the world. This is an amazing job, I'm sure in the next five years Karel will be blown away by his network and passion from all over the world. I really appreciate working with you Karel.

The most difficult thing is actually the jury which consists of prominent architects from various countries who will determine the criteria and choose or give a score to the works of these students; the easiest is how they will prepare the killing picture as one of the imaginary images to attract jury.

The second is context and how they respond to that context. The third is how students can try to present a new typology in their work. The fourth is the design method, which involves how they can propose a design method in order to produce a new work and obviously includes the complexity of the analysis.

For a jury like us, we actually learn a lot from students with brilliant and extravagant ideas, who are able to offer comprehensive architectural and urban design proposals but also dare to attempt using various design strategies and new design methods, which is even supported by the latest technology.

So it's no longer important for students to use the latest parametric technology or use deluzian theory of abstract machine, but all of them neglected the climate, context, or social aspects of the project. The sustainable aspect of the material or system of building must be directly implemented in the project, so this aspect must always exist on every single project.

I am personally very interested in phenomenology, it’s an important aspect of philosophy. Historically we have experienced several phases after modernism, for example globalization, just like rem koolhaas theory of programming and density. But at this moment in time, we are facing new era in which the density on urbanism is no longer valid, and we have to face social distancing which is the new normal in which low density would be the right thing. The gated communities in several Asian countries has been developed since 1980-ies now it seems like the right thing also since they really take care of the gate and it has its own restriction. This is a new normal of new voluntary prisoners to do the right things. And I think the communism aspect is getting stronger and capitalism is becoming weak. We can see that all countries who have their own military education such as Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland all of them have easily survived to control the people and at the same time more capable of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Nowadays, we see that all of metropolis like New York, Paris, London, Rome all of them have been left behind by young people for cleaner, greener villages… it seems like the work from home trend can be extended and gain a good standing in society.

In the context of work from home, actually students are in the adaptation period where they have to adapt to a completely new learning system and method. In fact, the aspect of creativity can be grown from pressure or because of the encouragement of friends and the environment. I hope that in the future, the collaboration model of teamwork between students is no longer limited to their friends from the same campus – but beyond the definition of their own university fortress they can work beyond their own boundaries, collaborating between different universities with multi-cultures and multi-languages beyond geographical boundaries . So, I think we could learn from the disease that when we get pressure from the government not to do this or that, I think our own adrenaline of creativity has started to grow very well.

In a professional context, in Indonesia, we are struggling to get the architectural Competition under government organized, since they are not mature enough to make a very comprehensive brief but at the same time lack of vision. So almost all public buildings or government buildings are not well and systematically competed, due to a lack of training. My own office (BPA) always tries to participate in international projects, not to win necessarily, but to increase flight hours and at the same time, I hope that the system can be built and slowly grow into maturity to become more advanced. Perhaps this is a reflection of a third world country with a strong and nepotistic climate, with low competition.

Re Thinking post disaster Architecture by Budi Pradono

Re Thinking post disaster Architecture 

An opportunity for architectural intervention and innovation.

“Soul of Beirut” memorial day seminar 


By Budi Pradono


I would like to start by conveying the positive values gained from ​a bad disaster. I believe that following a disaster, we as architects are born with a positive instinct. The instinct to build something that will produce new and innovative solutions in responding to the disaster. 

In this decade alone, we have experienced many disasters.

Architects play a pivotal role in disaster mitigation and recovery after hazard events. Architectural design, then, serves to prevent or decrease destructive consequences of disasters on structures.

Quite recently, the ammonia explosion that occurred in Beirut was one of the triggers for change in the port security innovation system. This might also provide an opportunity for architects to create a new icon in this port to regulate new mobility to build a responsive architecture in the port. 

I can already envisage that the revitalization of this region will lift Lebanon back into its position as a prosperous country. I know Lebanon from the story about a fig tree that is strong and rooted deep into the ground, and its wood can be made into a strong building.

I am sure that the new net generation is ready to bring in a new spirit in terms of mobility, a new fa├žade, or new urbanism.

Can architecture make a significant contribution to the city? 

Will this be is based on tolerance or negotiation? 

By conducting a study of several phenomena that occur in our urban culture, an architect is required to construct thoughts and summarize several disciplines (psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, social activists etc.) to provide comprehensive input for the improvement of the future of our city, and for the improvement of the future of our beloved Beirut Port. 

Moreover, at a time when the world's economic conditions appear to be deteriorating, amid uncertain political conditions, while the world is concurrently faced with the latest major environmental issues; regarding global warming, deteriorating ecology, urban density and poverty, or post covid-19 urbanism – we must prepare ourselves for the catastrophic events that lie ahead. Many architects behave opportunistically, ignoring relevant environmental concerns which has changed the role of architects as service providers only; providers of design services alone. 

I am particularly interested in new phenomena in our city life that exist due to advances in communication technology. At the same time, we are experiencing a new wave of globalization 4.0, also referred to as the post pandemic architecture. As the research based architectural firm I will ask myself or my studio member: 

Can architects play a bigger role in new agendas of change that go beyond the architectural domain? Who has a far-sighted vision?

It is important to note that there is not a single material that serves as a good fit for all kinds of hazards. For instance, research shows that lightweight and natural elements can increase the resiliency of buildings remarkably against some natural disasters, particularly earthquakes. However, they might not be the optimal choice for flooding – e.g., raw wood swells in water in the other hand, traditional wooden houses may not exhibit the same resilience against different types of natural disasters, such as floods or typhoons, as well as wildfires. In flood-prone areas, architecture can reduce disaster risks by employing materials highly resistant to floodwater damage, including damage caused by moving water. 

Ideally, new-built buildings should be built with a disaster-resilient architecture plan in mind.

What we could Learn From Disaster architecture

Ground zero of 9/11, New York

One of the new proposals of WTC 1 is The Bundle Towers (Designed by United Architects : FOA+GLK, KKA, IF & UN studio)

with a new high-rise typology. Indeed, the evolution of the high-rise has involved a process in which the tubular structures are kissing the skyscraper. 

The Bundle Towers, then, engage with the building mass, rather than just with the distribution of the structure along the perimeter of floor plates. It is assembled as a bundle of interconnected structural tubes. 

I believe this kind of architecture can provide innovation beyond disasters.

Later on our proposed tower in Manhattan was V tower, which is for

start-up companies, and this tower also offers a new typology 

The Manhattan island is divided into the city grid and have no choice to develop horizontally, the island is destined to extruded on every land making it a place that collects various forms of towers. Since 1909 every inch of the land is contested and made an experiment about a vertical city. This vertical city group mutates programmatically until it reaches its most competitive point of commercial value. Manhattan produces the skyscraper as a symbol of the victory of capitalism. When two twin towers were destroyed by a deliberate raid by a pilot of architecture graduates, it may also be an attempt to destabilize the existence of this skyscraper building.

The V tower is an antithesis to a new challenge engine where it offers a mutated skyscraper and has merged with public space. This tower will provide a wider public space on the ground floor. On the highest floor of the 32nd floor is a collection of space with a terraced like a staircase is a green public space and in between the separated tower we provided an oval sky terrace. On each floor facing the public spaces it has been greened as an oasis of tropicality above the altitude. It becomes a new tropical garden in the sky.

On each floor can accommodate an affordable and convenient place for start-up offices, which they can rent this place while utilizing the green area in a way. The elevator will be in three sections connected to the sky lobby. The tower is like a piece of an inverted pyramid, a V that has a sky terrace at the top.

Hurricane Katrina 2005

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 devastated parts of the United States along the Gulf Coast. The herculean hurricane was moving toward New Orleans, Louisiana state, with winds reaching 235 kilometers per hour, accompanied by very large waves. The entire area she passed was ravaged, taking numerous lives. At least over 200,000 square kilometers of territory in the south-eastern United States was hit by Hurricane Katrina and was included in the category 5 storm, which had the potential to cause havoc. After the disaster came architectural innovation with Brat Pitt, who proposed housing of make it right from contemporary architects such as Adjaye, Frank Gehry, mvrdv etc – they made such a new direction building with pole and it is a collection of beautiful houses.

Our studio proposed a wooden tower in Durban Africa; this wooden tower is a modular honeycomb structure comprised of wood with a very flexible specific joint system. This effort is an innovation in system structure and programming. So this building has the flexibility to move and withstand wind storms.

Floods in Jakarta

Jakarta floods occur every year, and in 2013, there were about 240 km of land affected by floods with 48 people dead as a result.

Our studio proposed the Fluid scape city, which has been exhibited at the Aedas Berlin in 2013. It attempts to respond to these catastrophic floods by creating a new ‘smart city’ and in turn establishing a new business district and residential area. Combining a series of Archimedes screws with solar and wind powered fans, the new system not only serves to regulate the water level in the reservoir, but can also treat it to serve and irrigate the neighboring regions. The city consists of office towers, modern apartment buildings and a vertical urban farm, which supplies organic food to the surrounding area.

The waterfront area will not only become a tool for educating people about the importance of the water as a resource for everyday human life, but it will become a highly desirable destination, with a series of promenades and public spaces allowing people to enjoy the area once again. 

From some of the examples above, I believe that Catastrophic is an opportunity for architects to rethink our role and revive the Region. This is the right time for architects to rethink the future of our city, the future of the port of Beirut. By understanding their culture, its history, and new technology – I am sure that all students of architecture will become the new generation, triggering the government of Beirut to Rethink their own port in their own beloved city.

New-built buildings should ideally be built with a disaster-resilient architecture plan in mind.