Going to a Higher Level
Providing a Platform for Young People to Fly Freely in Design and Creativity
Event message

Chen, Chung-Heng/Sun-Yuan Architects & Associate Host Architect、President of Taiwan Residential Architecture Award Association

I recalled the time when I went the onsite survey for the final selection of 2022 (8th) Taiwan Residential Architecture Award(TRAA)and went to Zhubei, Hsinchu with the judges to review a surveyed work. The design architect at the time mentioned the demand of owner, site restrictions, legal requirements, housing market trends, and so forth which limit the design of the work. Judges could feel the sense of helplessness and frustration of the architect. When an architect wants to design a residential house but all kinds of constraints follow with reality and design only becomes a formula of market rules. The idealism and enthusiasm of design are gradually worn out with each work. At that time, I felt the same way and feel that we should improve the quality of residence design, design creativity should be encouraged to fly freely with no restrictions. Meanwhile, a platform is also needed to allow young people's abilities to be seen. This is also the original intention of holding the 「International Residential Architecture Conceptual Design Competition」 after discussing with Ou Yang Jun, chairman of《TA》magazine in 2018. The goal is to allow young people from all over the world to compete in the same field without any limitation for design creativity. The expectation was that the solutions from the award-winning works would guide the innovative direction of real residence designs and then improve the quality of residential houses. Therefore, the International Residential Architecture Conceptual Design Competition was established in 2019 and three sessions have been held to date.

Thanks to the Support of Architect Rem Koolhaas, OMA
About the judge of this award, we expect to have a globally well-known architect to serve as the judge. The architect is to be in charge of everything from contributing the questions to the final selection review. We hope the architect's concept can be implemented in the award-winning projects. This year, we thank architect Lin Jia Ru to invite Rem Koolhaas who also agrees to help. For the selection process, not only were the Rem Koolhaas and OMA team put their efforts, but they also demonstrated the professionalism and effectiveness. Each part was proceeded precisely and on time, and they completed the selection with ranks of the 10 projects shortlisted. We also have to thank architect Lin Jia Ru for her assistance and communication during the time of competition.

Inspirations from the Award-Winning Projects This Year
First Prize ─ Sky Village Incubator/
Duan Ai Xin+ Geng Rui Jia + Chen Li Ying
This project focuses on the plight of migrant workers in China to integrate urban waste land in order to build residential space and provide houses for migrant workers. In addition, it provides arable land for farmers and workers to use their farming skills. The result is that  not only the life of migrant workers is guaranteed, but also cities lacking of fresh food can be provided with fresh food to achieve a win-win situation. It seems that the strategy reflects the beginning of modern architecture and takes care the living environment of workers.

Second Prize ─POLAR STOROZHKA/Алиса Романова
This case proposes a new idea for the style of houses in extreme climates. The building system is insulated through double-layer walls, and trees are planted inside so that the residents can still have a space like the outdoor space of activity during the cold winter. The idea could build cohesion and centripetal force of residents and let them to live in peace. The project approximately shows the architect's observation of environment.

Third Prize ─ Carbon Lab of Circular Economy - Carbon Capture Project/Chi Ko Yu
The site of the project is located in Donggang, Pingtung of Taiwan. This area has become a place of pollutant deposition due to its geography, climate environment, and surrounding man-made facilities. The intention of the case is to transform it into reusable materials through innovative carbon capture technology and then generating building materials through 3D digital printing. The idea aims to achieve a circular economy and clean the air in the surrounding environment. Unfortunately, this project mainly focuses on innovative technology and has less consideration for the new residential relationship.

Honorable Mention ─ Urban ZIP.per/Pan, Zhong-Yu
This project proposes a new imagination for social housing in Taiwan in recent years by dividing space into public, private, and spaces in between and then blending the three together. The idea is unlike past planning and design, in which the public space is placed on the ground floor to separate it from the private space. The intention of this project is to try to allowing residents to enjoy the public space on their living floor. However, if we review thoroughly the several planes of living, it is still a bit conservative and fails to propose an imagination responding to the current living demands.

Honorable Mention ─ Urban Instability - Participatory Urbanism/Hsiao Chung Yun+ Liao Chuan Yao
The project boldly uses digital software to provide residents with the possibility to freely adjust their living environment through mobile apps. The project is located in the traditional and prosperous Qingguang business district in Taipei, integrating the original complicated environment into a futuristic architectural space. The idea is consistent from the inside to the outside and proposes the possibility of people's future living.

Shortlisted─Spatial Folding of Urban 'Patches'/Zhao Guan Lyu
The project utilizes current hot tool of AI to digitally generate planar software as the main element then inputting parameters to generate plans and volumes to create spaces of residential buildings. However, there are still many deficiencies needed to be considered through a thorough review of spatial configuration and planar relationship. Nevertheless, such an creative idea deserves to be encouraged.

Shortlisted─Four Filtering Pieces House/Giacomo Caputo

The presentation of the project is very eye-catching and the proposed strategy is accurate. By dividing the building into four levels, it responds to the public, social and private spaces respectively. The idea manages the openness and safety of the space accordingly with light and precise movements. Unfortunately the designer loses out due to unable to attend the final review caused by work and the topic is relatively simple.

Shortlisted─No One is an Island/Zhang, Zi-Hui

The designer intends to create a settlement space taking care both privacy and cohabitation through configuration and single-building design. From the relationship among small-scale rooms all the way up to the relationship among buildings, the idea creates an abundant indoor and outdoor movement space. It allows residents to have a good quality of living during the isolation period. Unfortunately, the briefing could not be done fully due to the poor quality of internet at final review to present the relationship between settlements.

Shortlisted─Alveolar Filter/Yang Xin+ Liang LinTao
The design of the project is novel and a very effective control method is proposed. Through large-scale filtration and disinfection equipment, people can enjoy the cleanest and freshest air after entering houses while bacteria is kept out of houses. However, although such a building and design is safe, it also makes people to worry about whether it is excessively protective. In addition, the relationship between the environment and space outside the base is weak. Therefore, this part may could be strengthened.

Shortlisted─Return To The ( )/Lin, Jia-Zeng
By compressing the living space, the design allows the largest space for friendship and openness. It also allows residents to enjoy a variety of different functions in the community, which include libraries, theaters, farmland, etc. Moreover, the design of ramps allow people to freely walk and explore the residential space. However, the overall architectural composition lacks logic. If it can be integrated and established into a system, then it will be able to gather the cohesive forces of the residents and create a community settlement.

Outstanding Performance by Students and Alumni of Feng Chia University’s School of Architecture
This year, a total of 274 entries from 24 countries around the world participated in the competition, among which there are quite a few entries from Feng Chia University students and alumni. Five of the ten award-winning projects come from Taiwan (One of them is a student studies in Taiwan), and three projects are from Feng Chia University. One is the third-place project of Carbon Lab of Circular Economy designed by Chi Ko Yu. The second Honorable Mention project is Urban Instability - Participatory Urbanism designed by Hsiao Chung Yun and Liao Chuan Yao. The third project is from Zhang, Zi-Hui, who is studying in Taiwan (Feng Chia) and comes from China, and the shortlisted project is No One is an Island. Chi Ko Yu is currently just a junior student and being able to stand out is truly impressive. We should congratulate the result of teaching in Feng Chia University’s School of Architecture.

Establishing the 「Taiwan Residential Architecture Award」 and Moving Forwards
Since its establishment in 2006, the Taiwan Residential Architecture Award has been held for eight times, and this year is the ninth session. The Award aims to improve the quality of residential design in Taiwan and arouses the industry and society to pay attention to residential buildings. Although the Award is held once every two years, I still think to actively promote extended activities such as discussions on housing issues, exchanges of housing works, and online architectural lectures to try to improve the quality of residential design. Therefore, there is an agreement to formally register the association in the Ministry of the Interior last year (2022). The official website will be updated this year to increase its functions. Besides updating award-related activities and information, it is also expected to achieve the following functions:

一、A platform of residential architecture projects: It could be a platform for the publication of residential projects published on this website will become the entries for the Award the year.

二、Promotion of residential building issues: Design solutions could be found in discussions of residential housing issues through the publication of articles, seminars, symposiums or interviews.

三、Regularly lectures of residential housing: Providing professional knowledge for professionals and social public housing designers through holding online professional lectures of residence to tightly follow social trend.

High-quality residential buildings and outstanding architects could be seen each time since the beginning of Taiwan Residential Architecture Award which gradually improve the quality of residential design in an intangible way. The association also carries such a mission and will continue to work hard to improve the quality of Taiwan's architecture.