BluPrint in Berlin for 10th World Architecture Festival

November 15, 2017



Judith Torres

It is 6 PM Tuesday, 14 November 2017, here in Berlin; 1 AM Wednesday in the Philippines. Tomorrow at 10 AM, live crits start at the World Architecture Festival sponsored by founder partner Grohe. Over 400 architecture projects from 68 countries are shortlisted to compete in some 30 categories. The ultimate prizes: Building of the Year and Best Future Project of the Year.

Among the biggies presenting their entries to a panel of judges and a live audience at the WAF are Zaha Hadid Architects, Viñoly Architects, Oppenheim Architects, Heatherwick Studio, Foster+Partners, and BIG. Along with the Brobdingnagians in architecture are WAF favorites, Neri & Hu, Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Stanton Williams and CEBRA—modest-sized studios, yes, but no design Lilliputians, they.

Five Filipino teams shortlisted

This is the most number of shortlisted entries the Philippines has to date:

  • Eriksson Furunes + Leandro V Locsin for Streetlight Tagpuro in Tacloban, in the Civic and Community and Small Projects categories;
  • Jorge Yulo Architects & Associates for the New Philippine Supreme Court Building in Bonifacio Global City, in the Future Project – Civic category;
  • Visionary Architecture for One Ayala, Makati City, in the Future Projects – Infrastructure category
  • WTA Architecture and Design Studio for three projects competing in four categories:

– El Museo del Prado in Intramuros, Manila, in the display category;

– One Mall Valenzuela in Valenzuela City, Bulacan, in the shopping category;

– The Chapel of St Benedict and St Scholastica, Pambujan, in the Religion and Best in Color categories.

  • ASYA for Biomound in Malate, Manila, in the Future Projects – Experimental Category, although firm representatives told BluPrint last month that ASYA had withdrawn its entry.

New York City-based firm CAZA, run by Carlos Arnaiz, who was born to Colombian and Filipino parents in Cebu, is also shortlisted for its design of the New Supreme Court of Philippines, in the Future Projects – Competition Entries category. Both CAZA and Jorge Yulo Architects were bested in the design competition earlier this year for the Philippine Supreme Court by Mañosa & Company.

READ MORE: PH teams run through WAF live crits at GROHE send-off

Filipino architects in Berlin

Upon landing at Berlin Tegel airport, BluPrint touched base with the Filipino architects to find out how and what they were doing before the big day.

Terence Yu of VisionArch was spending a quiet day, remarking at how cold it was the past couple of nights. “I went to see the dome on the Reichstag building by Norman Foster and the Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind. Tomorrow, I’m rooting for all in the Filipino contingent!”

William Ti: “We’re going to be walking around downtown today near the Holocaust Memorial. Just gonna be enjoying the city.” If he had to choose only four more spots to see during his visit, it would be the Jewish Museum, Brandenburg Tor, Bundestag, and Checkpoint Charlie. At the WAF, “Definitely gonna be listening to the talk by Pierre de Meuron.”

Like Yu and Ti, Jorge Yulo was spending a relatively quiet and introspective day outdoors.

In contrast, Sudarshan Khadka and Alex Furunes, representing the Locsin and Furunes project in Tacloban stayed indoors, finetuning their presentation for tomorrow, taking into account the feedback they had gotten during the BluPrint Circle event Grohe hosted for the Filipino WAF finalists last October 26. The sightseeing, Khadka said, would have to wait until after the WAF: “We are going to spend a few days after the WAF to explore Berlin. We want to see the Pergamon Museum, Neue Nationalgalerie, Neues Museum, Crematorium Baumschulenweg, Jewish Museum, Unité d”Habitation, and many others!”

All four Filipino teams are presenting tomorrow, Wednesday, November 15: both WTA and Yulo at 12:20 PM, Furunes and Locsin at 3:40 PM, and Visionary Architecture at 4 PM. Then WTA has three more presentations on the two days after: November 16 at 10:20 AM and 3:40 PM, and on November 17 at 12:20 PM.

Philippines WAF track record

This is the second time for Jorge Yulo Architects & Associates to be shortlisted at the World Architecture Festival. The first time was in 2015, for Hacienda Santa Elena’s Community Center. That year, Yulo was also shortlisted at INSIDE (the interior design competition and festival counterpart of the WAF), for the interiors of Japanese restaurant Mecha Uma in BGC.

This is is the third consecutive year for WTA Architecture and Design Studio to make it to the World Architecture Festival shortlist. Their future project design for a cube-shaped building in the BGC made it in 2015, and a small library called the Bookstop made it in 2016.

The very first Filipino architect to be shortlisted at the WAF was Emmanuel Miñana, for the Villa Marina in Laguna in 2014.

The very first Filipinos to join the World Architecture Festival won the grand prize in 2013. They are the architecture students of the University of San Carlos in Cebu who joined the student category and swayed the judges in the live esquisse and defense at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore. The student team was led by Jon Medalla, son of Cebu architect Alex Medalla, principal of Arkinamix. The other members of the USC student team were Miguel Jorge Rocha, Kathleen Canlas and Keshia Stephanie Lim. 

WAF student competition 2013 USC win
The winning team of the University of San Carlos accepting the grand prize for the Student Competition of the World Architecture Festival held in Singapore in 2013. From Left to right: Keshia Stephanie Lim, Miguel Jorge Rocha, Jon Medalla, and Kathleen Canlas.

In partnership with GROHE. GROHE is exclusively distributed by Wilcon in the Philippines.

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