Buensalido wins Highly Commended Honors for Interweave

Interweave Building now has two Highly Commended nods for first-time WAF finalist Buensalido Architects; SHAU joins them with a third Highly Commended honor for Best Use of Certified Timber

Words Patrick Kasingsing, WAF
Images World Architecture Festival

Kanto.com.ph is an official media partner of the World Architecture Festival 2021
Interweave Building by Buensalido + Architects

The world may be a drab place to be in at the moment, with news of a new COVID-19 variant among other bad news, but there is still much to celebrate in terms of recognizing spaces and ideas that ably serves and inspires, as embodied by today’s Special Prize-winning entries at the World Architecture Festival 2021.

Buensalido + Architects, Best in Color Prize, Highly Commended

Netting another accolade for the Interweave Building, first-time WAF finalist Buensalido + Architects ends their campaign with a commendable two Highly Commended nods, the most recent one being under the Best Use of Color Prize. Awarded back in 2019 to Comfort Town by archimatika, the prize is awarded to a project which makes innovative and artful use of color in built spaces. Buensalido is joined by an ASEAN peer in the shortlist: RAD+ar’s Bioclimactic Mosque of Pamulang was also up for consideration of the prize.

The category winner for Best Use of Color, the Majara Residency by ZAV Architects won for how the structure’s “… color and form are beautifully integrated into these simple and stunning domes with their references back to Persian culture and to the immediate natural environment.”

Buensalido joins fellow WAF-first time entrant BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture + Design in bringing home Highly Commended wins for this year’s unprecedented batch of seven practices; BUDJI+ROYAL was also shortlisted for the Engineering Prize for the Clark Athletics Stadium but bowed down to a formidable set won by Nikken Sekkei’s Ariake Gymnastics Center.

Three of Buensalido’s WAF practice crit jurors have sent in their well-wishes for the studio’s admirable showing at the WAF. Their greetings follow:

“Jason and Nikki, my heartiest congratulations to you and your team.

“My first boss, the late architect Anthony Stoner, once said to me, “Architects think in terms of black and white.” Sometimes we tend to be so focused on the problem-solving aspect of design, that we disregard the part that appeals to the senses and emotions. Maybe using colors and patterns is so much fun that it becomes suspiciously like playing rather than working, and is seen as “too easy.”

“On the contrary, color is magic—so powerful that when you get it wrong, it can overshadow the entire outcome and eclipse all your precious concepts and narratives. But when you get it right—when you learn to master it and handle it with confidence—it can bring a design to life, and stir the emotions like nothing else can. And you got it right!

“Here’s hoping that your success will inspire other architects to play and explore. Fortune favors the bold, as you have proven so well! Hats off!”

– Tina Periquet, principal designer, Periquet Galicia

“Hey Jason, congratulations on getting the “Highly Commended” citation twice for your CIIT BUILDING. There was no doubt in our minds that you would be bringing home the bacon, and bring home the bacon you did. You do the Filipino proud.

“You would have scored 100 pogi points with your father-in-law were he still alive to see this accomplishment of his son-in-law! You da man!”

– Bong Recio, director, Rchitects, Inc.

“Congratulations Jason, Nikki and Team Buensalido! You have given pride not just to your own practice but to the Philippine Architecture community. Your team’s international achievement has uplifted the face of architecture coming from our own shores. And for you to actually have given me some time to discuss Interweave prior to the WAF presentation was actually quite special. The challenges behind the project and the masterful way of your interpretation deserves all the commendation you have received.

You and Nikki have been blessed with a second child earlier this year and those blessings keep coming. Congratulations, guys, and here’s to many more!”

  • Anthony Nazareno, principal architect, Nazareno + Guerrero Design Consultancy

Best Use of Color Prize Shortlist

SHAU, Best Use of Certified Timber, Highly Commended

SHAU’s Microlibrary Warak Kayu faced down design goliaths for a third Highly Commended nod for Best Use of Certified Timber, adding to a decorated belt that already had two Highly Commended nods (Civic and Community, Cultural categories). The tiny library-cum-community space fended off formidable opponents from established practices such as 3XN and Nikken Sekkei for their use of certified timber, a choice that was determined in a desire to lessen the structure’s carbon footprint. The Prize’s recipient is determined by “…a special jury, including a Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) representative (who) will identify entries which have used certified timber in an innovative, educational or artistic manner.” SHAU explains their rationale for using wood for their microlibrary in this excerpt from their project writeup:

“Wood as construction material outperforms many others when it comes to embodied energy, water, air pollution, and carbon footprint; it is also a material that can be regrown. For Microlibrary Warak Kayu, 100% of the wood materials comply with SVLK (Indonesia’s timber legality verification system) and 98% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Various types of wood products and wood species were used. For the main structural components like columns and beams, bangkirai-based FJL (Finger Joint Laminate) was used. For decking and the Zollinger brise-soleil, different meranti-based plywood types in various thicknesses were employed. Apart from the concrete foundation, all wooden elements are prefabricated at the factory in Semarang and then transported within 20 km of the site.”

The Best Use of Certified Timber Prize was awarded to RTA Studio and Irving Smith Architects’s Scion Innovation Hub, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata, in Rotorua, New Zealand. According to the judges: “The project proudly showcases locally sourced timber in a unique diagrid structure requiring less material than traditional mass engineered timber buildings.”

Microlibrary Warak Kayu by SHAU

Best Use of Certified Timber Prize Shortlist

WAF Special Prizes

Capping of the WAF program today is the announcement of the winners of Special Prizes. The well-deserved entries and studios below:

Small Project of the Year: Revolution, Temporary Housing Pavilion For Healthcare Workers
Engineering Prize: NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD, Ariake Gymnastics Centre
Best Use of Natural Light: Heatherwick Studio, Maggie’s Leeds
Visualization Prize: Atelier Sérgio Rebelo, Alto Douro Winery and Hotel
GROHE Water Research Prize: Aquasorbant Façade by Techlab, Shiraz University, Iran

Come December 3, category prize winners will be asked to present again in front of a Super Jury for a chance to be recognized as World Building of the Year, Future Project, Landscape, and Interior of the Year. •

Thanks to GROHE Philippines for sponsoring the practice crits that Kanto organized for Filipino WAF finalists. Your support is building a community of architects and designers who believe in life-long learning and critical thinking. Excerpts of the practice crits will soon be available for viewing in GROHE Pacific’s Facebook page.

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