The WAF award for World Building of the Year was awarded to The Chapel in Vietnam which is a perfect example of using natural materials and the right colours.
The recently concluded World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore has announced their list of the finest buildings in the world this year. The Chapel in Vietnam won the coveted World Building of the Year title designed by a21studio, at a dazzling award ceremony.
WAF is the platform to witness the breadth of international architectural excellence. The world’s largest, live, inclusive and interactive global architecture event is the annual meeting point for global architects, clients and suppliers. The project was selected by the jury from over 300 projects which were submitted from around the world. The jury comprised a selection of the world’s leading architects and designers, led by renowned British architect Richard Rogers, and included Rocco Yim (Hong Kong), Julie Eizenberg (USA), (Spain) and Peter Rich (South Africa). Being a community centre, the Chapel also won the Civic and Community category award.
The Chapel is a community space in a new urban ward on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. As the result of estate crisis, the surrounding area has a lack of communal centres. Therefore, the Chapel is designed to be the place for people, especially the youth, to participate in activities such as conferences, weddings, exhibitions or just to enjoy a light coffee and snack.
Located in a 10x20m land rented in 10 years, the Chapel takes advantages of materials from the owner’s previous projects such as steel frames and metal sheets. Moreover, by using steel as the main structure material, it not only makes the foundation lighter, but also helps shorten the construction period than normal, and saving cost as well. The portal frame is made by dual 40×80m steel columns with 40x40m steel braces connecting to white painted metal sheets. So from a distance, the building appears as a white chapel.
However, since the available steels were not strong enough, columns and beams were considered to stabilise the entire building. A tree shaped steel column with 90x90m steel bars stands as the only structure that appears inside the Chapel. This gives an aesthetic look to the Chapel as well as saves more space on the ground for different activities. Inside, the Chapel is the single space covered by a pure white.
The multi-layer colourful curtains add an extra charm to the Chapel’s indoors and outdoors too. They are orderly arranged and placed in the opens to add more colour to the entire space as well as soften the coldness of the metal frames. In addition to nature feelings, wood in its rustic look is also applied for floor and furniture besides the layouts of gardens around the building. The Chapel works commendably as a community space for the youth in a new urban area. The excellent use of colour, light and natural materials gives this community centre a new lease of life.