Global Architecture and Design Awards 2019 recognizes Carlo Calma’s Infinity House

December 13, 2019



Denny Mata

In May 2019, the Global Architecture Design Awards (GADA) announced its winners. Hardly anyone in the Philippines had heard the news, save for Juan Carlo Calma (and his family), principal of Carlo Calma Consultancy, who earned an honorable mention for his Infinity House in the Private Residence (Built) category. BluPrint learned of this news and got in touch with Calma. “As architects, it’s nice to be recognized for the work you do—we apply in different global design awards and sometimes we are finalists, honorable mention, or even winners,” he says. “To continually put your work out there is the most important thing when you do join these awarding bodies because you become part of the global conversation on the architect’s role to shape cities and the world.”

GADA 2019 is a program of Rethinking the Future, an online platform “that provides global exposure and opportunities for constructive criticism.” This year’s edition of the GADA has over 50 categories and over 150 awards. Previous GADA winners include Bjarke Ingels Group & Dialog, Perkins Eastman, Page, RTKL, AHR, Henning Larsen, CAZA, DLR Group, Behnisch Architekten, UNstudio, and WOW Architects.

“Consider the grand curvilinear staircase made of weathered steel with details that resemble eyes—a kind of monster,” a passage from the Infinity House entry description reads. Pictured here is a top view of the living room from the EYES stairs.

The Infinity House

In July 2019, Calma’s Infinity House was also shortlisted at the World Architecture Festival (WAF), which concluded December 4 to 6 in Amsterdam. In his entry description, he stated: “Is Infinity House simply a place to live? Or is it, as our studio views it, a living kinetic sculpture and an example of what we call ‘architecture of exuberance’?”

The house, a sculptural piece in its own right, is a magical, whimsical place designed and built for Calma’s 90-year old father, Pabling Calma. In Calma’s presentation to the WAF jury, he admitted that the house mirrors his eccentric sensibilities while also expressing his father’s fancies and desire for a home that reflects his various artistic pursuits.

During his presentation, Calma played a short film that revealed the flamboyance and playfulness of the Infinity House. The film was produced in collaboration with Ballet Manila and Leeroy New.

Although Calma did not win the WAF award, he did pique the judges’ curiosity and earned their praise. One member of the jury commented that “the private house is a place of fantasy…” and that the Infinity House is “a brilliant evocation of that quality of fantasy becoming a reality.”

Watch the full presentation and Q&A:

Filipinos watching the ‘live crit’ in the Philippines through BluPrint’s Facebook Live coverage also left cheers and congratulations to Calma, lauding his presentation.

One of the jurors, creative director of London-based firm, Solidspace, Roger Zogolovitch, called the Infinity House “a triumph of engineering” and “a living sculpture… made in a really beautiful and thoughtful way.” Calma shared with BluPrint that Zogolovitch approached him after the crit to congratulate him and express interest in collaborating with him in the future.

Watch our exclusive interview with Zogolovitch:

READ MORE: Carlo Calma explains the design of his Infinity House

Photographed by Mark Go

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