The Seed wins fourth place in CTBUH

The Seed wins fourth place in CTBUH

The team preparing for their presentation

A team of Bachelor of Science (Honours) Architecture students from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES), namely team leader Chor Zhao Gen and members, Tan Yu Qin, Lim Chen Hee, Lee Ze Bin and Lau Chi Ying, won fourth place in the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) International Student Design Competition, which concluded on 29 October 2021. The team was selected as the fourth finalist from a pool of more than 150 entries and received US$1,250 cash prize.

Official winners’ announcement on organiser’s website

Held for the tenth time, the competition, sponsored by TK Elevator, aimed to shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society. Participants were asked to engage with the exploration and resolution of the synergistic relationship between a tall building and its urban setting; how that tall building can be inspired by the cultural, physical and environmental aspects of its site; how the programme of the building is influenced by the micro and macro site/urban conditions; and how the building responds to global issues. Proposals were required to show evidence of a clear understanding of how considerations of structure, environment and servicing are as vital to the success of a tall building as the form, materials and aesthetics.

Chor enthused, “Urbanisation is our need, but also a crisis in the ecosystem. Making our living place more bio-friendly and sustainable is very crucial to create balance in development, which threatens the ecosystem and environment. Influencing the public to live harmoniously together with nature using architectural solutions is one of the many things we can do as architects, and I believe this concept was well represented in our project, which enabled us to secure fourth place in the competition. Therefore, we are very grateful to our lecturer Ar Quake Huay Tin, who has guided us with her opinions, thoughts and experiences on ways to analyse, develop and present our ideas in the competition.”

Artist impression of The Seed

The team’s winning project was titled “The Seed”. Chor explained, “Rapid urbanisation and excessive population growth have caused fragmentation to the greenery in most cities around the world. People are living in a “concrete jungle” and are under high pressure. The Seed is intended to build a home for all humans, flora and fauna, and to celebrate the nature to which humans originally belong. The proposed tower is located in one of the city’s most prime zones, serving as a “green catalyst” to attract local urban dwellers and tourists, leading to a substantial improvement in the living quality of the place. The Seed consists of modular containers intersecting between different themed farming platforms, the concept of which is inspired by the transverse plane of the plant that secures the harmonious coexistence between humankind and nature.”

The team further elucidated, “As cities around the world are developing rapidly, the original residents are not left with many choices, but to migrate to other greenlands. The Seed is constructed with multiple green bridges to welcome various types of flora and fauna to sustain lives, and this again supports the concept for humans to coexist with nature. The tower is manipulated in various directional considerations. It is flexible in the material chosen from the regional context. The structure is 3d printed and prefabricated off-site in various scales to suit the context and needs of the city. The modular pods can be easily plugged in and out and delivered via drone, and designed for different functions according to different needs.”

They added, “In the project, we are considering futuristic materials because the structure will not only consist of pure timber. We believe, in the future, building materials will be more sustainable. For instance, there is a possibility for timber material to be mixed with recycled plastics collected from recycling centres, and then reproduced into many building components for building construction purposes. We believe this method can contribute much to off-site production of modular components in the industry, as we foresee that the modular system will become a trend in the future.”

The Seed is also related to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 13: Climate Action, and SDG 15: Life on Land. “The tower serves as a green lung that is warped by the hanging plant to help refresh the air particles in the urban area. The tower collects rainwater from the top for farming purposes, supported by the mist system to sprinkle the seeds for agriculture and eco-farming around the tower. The tower receives sunlight on modular containers as offset energy consumed for light and sound. The wastes are valuable in biodegradable waste systems for energy generation as a renewable form of energy. Overall, the farming, green belt and landscaping around the tower allow insects to whoop in different ways, thus it enhances the biodiversity connection and defragmentation of greens. All these solutions overcome the still essentially anthropocentric and technical concept of “sustainability” while moving in the direction of new biological diversity in future generations,” said the team.

Chor presenting The Seed on behalf of the team

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