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Wins at Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area: ASEAN International Colleges Design and Construction Competition 2020 – Malaysian Stage

UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Bachelor of Science (Honours) Architecture students bagged several wins at “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area: Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) International Colleges Design and Construction Competition 2020 – Malaysian Stage” on 1 December 2020.

Two teams from UTAR emerged as Champion; one team came in the second place while three other teams won the honorary mention. The two champion teams from UTAR will be representing Malaysia at the International Level Bamboo Structure Competition at Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area ASEAN Nations Design and Construction Competition 2020 on 19 December 2020.

Themed “Waterfront Bird-Watching Pavilion”, the competition aimed to encourage students to experience designing real construction rather than the usual ‘computer modelling’. It also aimed to enhance the academic exchanges among different schools of architecture while providing an academic feast between South China and the ASEAN region.

The venue for the building competition was Nan Sha Bird Park, Guangzhou, China, a place that homes many different species of birds but mostly waterfowls. Located in the southern-most tip of Guangzhou, Nan Sha Bird Park is known as a great place to escape the city and embrace nature.

The judging session was carried out on 1 December 2020. The juries of the competition were Chairman of Yangcheng Design Alliance Sheng YuHong, Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) Education Committee Chairman Ar Adrianta Aziz, South China University of Technology Assistant Professor Zhong GuanQiu, Malaysian Bamboo Society Ir Major (Ret) Hj Ahmad Mazlan Othman, UTAR Centre of Sustainable Architecture Chairperson Dr Lim Poh Im and LKC FES lecturer LAr Ts Beh Jing Han.

Champion team (I) with their project titled “RE:Union Bliss on the Lotus Blossom”

The team members of the first champion team were LKC FES students Lim Chen Hee, Anderson Ting Guo Shen, Chong Zhen Hao, Chor Zhao Gen and Lau Chi Ying. The title of their project was “RE:Union Bliss on the Lotus Blossom” and they were supervised by Department of Architecture and Sustainable Design (DASD) Specialist I Abd Muluk bin Abd Manan. Besides qualifying for the International Level Bamboo Structure Competition, the team also walked away with a cash prize worth RM6,000, a trophy and certificates.

RE:Union Bliss on the Lotus Blossom was inspired by a blossoming lotus. The lotus flower is projected upward, representing an intense passion and gritty determination to rise above, while maintaining a blissful and elegant composition. The aim of the overall form was to create an ultimate lightness, embodied sturdily with a well-defined performance edge that celebrates the reunion of waterfowl. The profile and the levelling of the roofs created a visual dynamic architecture and beauty undulating of waterfowls’ imprint. The parametric roof structure expressed the spirit of persistence and consistency which is influenced by the ecology of lotus flowers.

Champion team (II) with their project titled “The Gesture”

The other champion team was supervised by LKC FES DASD Specialist I Ar Loh Khang Yong. The team members were Chin Mann Yuin, Ng Tze Way, Ow Kar Yong, Jonathan See Yu Hoong and Rachel Lee Thung Yan. This team too qualified for the International Level Bamboo Structure Competition; they walked away with a cash prize worth RM6,000, a trophy and certificates for their project titled “The Gesture”. 

 “The Gesture” concept refers to the basic of bird watching using hand motions. It showcases ‘elegant’, ‘concise’, and ‘connect’ gestures. The first site selection was selected using the “Framing Hand Gesture” which included framing map, framing the scene and no boundaries gesture. The second step involved form-making using “Distant View Gesture” which included the seamless form (hand motion of observing birds from far distance) and touch the river lightly (light, sleek and suspended). The third step was the Function which included “Binocular View Gesture”. It highlighted the focus of the tunnel vision, meditation swing and habitats for people. The fourth step involved structure and material, which is known as “Anatomy of Gesture”. The “Anatomy of Gesture” shows the sketch using the primary structure of the finger skeleton into the second layer. It then develops into the final version which is the surface material.

The second-place team with their project titled “Sanctuary”

The team which won the second place was guided by LKC FES DASD lecturer Abdul Rahim bin Mohd Zin. The team members were Lee Jun Huang, Lum Yeong Kang, Ho Song Sen, Amelia Low Chuan Yin and Tai Si Wei. They received cash prize worth RM2,000, a trophy and certificates for their project titled “Sanctuary”. The "Sanctuary” is a waterfront bird-watching structure that utilised the Hollow Ecosystem concept. This concept combines nature into architecture and serves both human and avifauna; as a pavilion or shelter. “Sanctuary” aims to bring the feeling of excitement and calmness for visitors while watching the birds.

The first honorary mention team with their project titled “Sanctuary”

Three teams from UTAR won the Honorary Mention and they walked away with cash prizes worth RM300 and certificates. The first team with their project titled “Sanctuary” was supervised by LKC FES lecturer Ts Tsao Khee Ern. The team members were Chrislyn Lau Chin Xi, Candy Chan Teng Min, Chai Zhi Zhong, Chong Jun Hao and Kim Zhe Ro. The "Sanctuary” Bamboo Pavilion was inspired by the swarming of birds heading back to their nest, the origin spot. The origin spot depicts the birds’ sense of belonging every time they return to their nest regardless of how far or how high they fly. The origin spot aims not only to give a sense of belonging but also to recharge energy for their next journey.

The second honorary mention team with their project titled “In-Between”

The second honorary mention team members were Chan Nam Zhen, Chee Kai Meng, Kiew Si Ann, Ooi Zhong Min, and Sharon Thien Fang Jing. Supervised by Abd Muluk, the title of their project was “In Between”. The “In Between” is an in-between-space made by multiplying the bamboo screenings and openings erupted from the impersonation of mangrove roots. The emulation of the propagative mangrove roots, as the heart of the bird park's ecosystem, represents the resilience of life in Nan Sha Bird Park, as an aspiration to imprint a sense of hope and capture the vitality of the bird park.

The third honorary mention team with their project titled “Attra Versiamo”

The third honorary mention team members were Cheah Yi Theng, Lu Yien Jun, Lee Kai Shin, Keng Pei Ni, and Tan Shin Jie. Their project “Attra Versiamo” was supervised by LKC FES lecturer Ar Sam Chin Sing. “Attra Versiamo”, known as “The Crossover”, showcases the migration of birds to areas with better resources and nesting conditions. The form of the pavilion depicts the movements of a bird which is ready to cross over to the new borders into another world where they will call home.

For this competition, the teams had to follow three rules, namely positioning, size and function. Positioning is the technique of the design. The teams have to build a bird watching platform by the water scene within the park. As for the size rules, the teams were given 4x4x4 meters area with no bound for the upper limit volume. However, the size was recommended to be small and precise, highlighting the design concept. The third rule was the function of the platform; it must be designed to watch waterfowls. In addition, the teams were also required to highlight the bird watching platform in the night scene, with appropriate lighting and illumination structure applied.

The main requirements for the bird watching platform were construction, materials, exploratory and safety. For construction, the main structure of the bird watching platform must be made of raw bamboo; the foundation of the main structure must be made of steel structure platform built above the water surface. The steel structure platform has to be about 5.5x5.5 meters (pre-built). Besides, the materials used for the platform must utilise 90% of bamboo, steel and other materials for footing and joints; fabric and canvas are acceptable but should not exceed 10% of the overall structure. Next is exploratory; the bird watching platform must include inspired and brilliant innovation in bamboo structure and building. All these bird watching platforms must be sturdy and must be able to resist the typhoons and monsoons as well as meeting the safety requirements of bird watchers at all ages.

During the final competition, the teams were judged based on three outlooks in the scoring rules. The first outlook was the architectural design: 50% for conceptual innovation and design integration. The second outlook was the structural building: 30% for structural innovation and structural details. The last outlook was communication, presentation and promotion: 20% for the visual presentation using image and video demonstration.

Besides UTAR, the competition saw the participation other nine other universities, namely Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Seni Bina USM-KPT (PPD), Taylor’s University, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Puncak Alam, Universiti Teknologi MARA Seri Iskandar Perak and Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL).

UTAR, with the support of Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Malaysia Architecture Students Association (MASA) and The Malaysian Bamboo Society (MBS) will host the event. The competition is a joint collaboration between The South China University of Technology and Guangzhou Nan Sha Bird Park.

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