While affordable housing development is critical to alleviate the pressures on cities, designing and implementing these housing solutions across the country requires a lot of support from the government. The time is also now for architects, urban planners, and engineers to implement new design strategies for mass housing in Vietnam; it’s critical time to invest more significantly in exploring the new design model for Affordable Urban Housing in tropical Vietnam.
In that context, Manuel Der Hagopian and Nguyen Duy Tan from G8A Architects have launched the first studio of a series called Sustainable Urban Villages at Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City. The Studio proposed to explore new possibilities for Utopic Social Housing in the tropically dense Mekong Delta region.
HCMC is a vibrant city; dynamic, contemporary and exceptionally local. These simultaneous energies harbour a landscape allowing for fluid explorations of complementary disciplines. We also find ourselves in a unique position where the current economic, political and cultural context is allowing ourselves and our contemporaries to shape the future of Vietnamese architecture and urban design.
SaiGon Talks – series of lectures is a free space to question the status-quo and push the confines of what architecture and urban design is said to be. Rich and lively conversations follow on from presentations of the speakers having chosen subjects that they passionately want to share. The audience, involved and active, contribute to the exploration of ides in this environment of study. Through these thought provoking and energetic exchanges, we are able to better understand the evolving nature of user-led design.
“Le Concours Suisse: a culture of architecture” is the title of this ambitious exhibition that aims to highlight the incredible democratic tool that we have at our disposal in Switzerland. This exhibition gives the general public an insight into the spirit of Swiss competition, and how it inspires excellence and advancement in architecture and beyond.
Curated by the l’Association Le Concours Suisse in Conjunction with Swiss Weeks 2022 and coordinated by G8A Architects.
On the island state of Singapore live giants. These utopian constructs – massive structures built post-independence – sought to shape civil perfection. Born of architectural, political and social ideologies these buildings exist today as a backdrop to the human scale.
How did Singaporeans appropriate these projects? What does it mean to walk among these giants? How can we navigate a diversity of utopias?
Through this exhibition of poetic and surreal streetscapes photographer KHOOGJ examines the truth of urban existence on ground level. As bodies negotiate surfaces and movements call for variety, the textures of the everyday are here presented.
A series of personal trajectories documenting one of the shorter periods of modernist architecture momentums. The final moments of built communist ideology in Vietnam.
The research focuses on the context and accomplishments of architectural practice during the period from 1968 to 1994 in Hanoi, Vietnam. This dense historical period includes drastic mutations for Vietnamese society, moving from the crisis of war through reconstruction, and further to an open-market economy. These developments directly influenced architectural education, training and production. Through a series of interviews, documentation sourcing, essays and graphic descriptions we illustrate how political, historical and personal narratives impacted the architectural culture of the time.
Le Corbusier, an internationally recognised luminary who had a profound impact on the 20th century, had 17 of his buildings classified in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Noted for inventing a new architectural language that gives way to light while modernising architectural techniques and technology with an architecture that develops upwards towards meeting modern people’s social and personal needs with functional spaces.
The exhibition is organized by the Alliance Française de Singapour with the support of La Fondation Le Corbusier and in conjunction with Archifest 2021. Co-curated by SUTD, RT+Q Architects, and G8A Architects.
The Panoramic Utopian Singapore photography series displays aerial views of selected Singaporean built projects. Typically defined as “an unbroken view of a whole region surrounding an observer” these panoramic views isolate specific architectural accomplishments, built from the 1970s until today. Each visionary project demonstrates the utopian dimension of architecture in Singapore, and have had significant impact on the discourse on architecture and urban design in Southeast Asia and beyond.
The series “The Architectural Moment” by Sébastien Löffler revisited, through the medium of photography, what Le Corbusier termed as “objects of poetic reaction” placing in relation to each object-image a modern icon of architecture. Here, our interest in the photographed objects hints at a cyclical relation between tradition to modernity.
The exhibition was held at TB80, G8A’s event space in Singapore, in April, 2021.
With the theme “Architecture Saving OUR World”, the annual Singaporean event Archifest proposes to examine not grand architecture or the magnificence of architecture, but new ideas and responsible designs that benefit our ecology and humanity – climate change, public health, social equity and cultural continuity.
The Competition is a documentary film, the first of its kind, following the biggest names in Architecture (Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel & Dominique Perrault) as they prepare to present a design competition for a museum to be built on the Spanish border.
The film, directed by architect Ángel Borrego Cubero, was screened as part of the event series “Architecture Leaders Perspective 2018” sponsored by INAX & organised in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh Architecture Association, the Vietnam Architecture Association, VUUV Studio & kienviet.
Showcasing selected projects from 1970 to the present, Equatorial Utopia: 50 Years of Visionary Architecture in Singapore portrays how visionary architecture and urban design in Singapore, often with strong Western influences, have been tempered, adapted, and transformed by the socio-cultural, economic, climatic and political conditions of the location.
As an architect, a pioneer of Modernism; as an urbanist and author, a guarantee for sensation; as a designer, the creator of timeless armchairs: Le Corbusier – born in 1887 as Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris in Switzerland’s La Chaux-de-Fonds – was a berserk of creative power, fabulously productive, incredibly creative, in his own lifetime equally idolized and demonized.
As part of the Vietnam Festival of Media and Design, 2019, the Contrast and Cohesion open studio exhibition presents G8A’s designs through video installation, photography & visual documentation. The event wishes to highlight the agency’s international scope & focus on interdisciplinary practice and is put forward to celebrate the release of the “Contrast and Cohesion” publication dedicated to G8A’s work.
TB80 Space is a hybrid event and social space nestled symbolically in Singapore’s first social housing complex of Tiong Bahru. Constructed in the 1920s by the Singapore Improvement Trust, the British predecessor to the Housing Development Board, Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore. The area’s rich history has led it through rapid evolution and today is known as a buzzing and trendy neighborhood full of fashionable boutiques and popular cafes.
A series of short videos embracing design through architecture, contemporary dance, videography, original score and costume. Presented as a 3 channel installation the videos parallel key projects of the G8A architectural portfolio: Concrete Lace (Hanoi, Vietnam) Punggol Waterway Terraces (Singapore) and The Birds (Geneva, Switzerland).
Since 2015 a continued collaboration exists between G8A and the Vietnamese luxury brand Hanoia. With completed projects in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the central design proposition pays witness to G8A’s keen and longstanding interest in Vietnamese cultural and urban typology.
Each project has been integrated into zones of historical importance, or specific typological interest developing on the concept of the “architectural promenade”. That is, the experience of space and movement directed by a series of sequences with constructed views, vistas and understandings.
The Contrast and Cohesion exhibition presents G8A’s designs through video installation, photography & visual documentation. The project highlights the agency’s international scope & focus on interdisciplinary practice, and is put forward to celebrate the release of the “Contrast and Cohesion” publication dedicated to G8A’s work.
Co-curated with WY-TO, the exhibition will last the length of the Singapore Design Festival 2019.
The first book to document G8A’s achievements to date, Contrast and Cohesion reflects the Swiss firm’s work in these starkly contrasting parts of the world; Singapore the “Tropical Switzerland” and Hanoi the “Anti-Geneva”. Featuring twenty-seven projects through drawings, photographs, plans, and descriptive texts, the book also brings together essays that expand on the different concerns and challenges that accompany the creation of architecture in Central Europe and Southeast Asia.
As a part of G8A’s think tank “8+”, which is dedicated to research and development, the HANOI TALKS series continued to spark interest in 2018 with seven invited speakers plus a special edition of “The Competition” film in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Specialists were given a platform to share and challenge their thematic of choice offering insight on topics that influence or are influenced by the practice of Architecture.
A series of sculptural lighting volumes, Plissee is the result of a collaborative research practice that combines the unique technical & theoretical backgrounds of artist Laurent Barnavon & G8A. Producing works that can be placed in the field of architecture, fashion, contemporary art and industrial design, Laurent’s unique ability to perceive all scale as equal allows him to sensitively apply his specialist knowledge to any given material. The series Plissee is a result of design development in close conversation with G8A.
The Concrete Paper installation designed by Laurent Barnavon & curated by G8A, was presented in the context of a building project under construction. G8A acts as host to the French artist Laurent Barnavon as he explores the paradox of solid paper architecture. Within the context of the architectural concrete shell, we redefine the paradigm of typology, inspiring an intimate relationship with this new scale of architecture.
In a dual process of research and development French artist Laurent Barnavon produced “Reflection” an installation combining techniques of origami and kirigami.
Beginning and completing the perspective with these feature walls both opens and concludes this architectural dialogue. Here an interesting discussion is offered between G8A’s architectural design “Jungle Station” and Barnavon’s “Reflection”.
2017 saw the debut of the presentation series HANOI TALKS where specialists offer insight on topics that influence or are influenced by the practice of Architecture.The 10 invited speakers of 2017 were selected due to their detailed knowledge in their chosen field of practice. From designers to anthropologists, artists and researchers, presenters were given a platform to share and challenge their topics of choice.
HANOI TALKS are monthly presentations organised by G8A where invited specialists offer their insights on topics that influence or are influenced by the practice of Architecture. As a part of G8A’s think tank “8+”, which is dedicated to research and development, these conversation-based interactions are a branch of investigation; a place to share the ideas of tomorrow.
As cities around the world struggle with housing shortages, Singapore has invested in creative developments and building on this momentum the studio has explored challenges and opportunities that arise between high density seafront housing and the urban fabric. This catalogue is a condensed view of the work produced by term 7 and 9 students who participated in the Sustainable Design Studio led by G8A Partner Manuel Der Hagopian and hosted by SUTD.
Today the need for visual documentation is stronger than ever, photographing “the process” has overtaken traditional methods. Régis Golay, a Swiss photographer and Art Director of Federal Studio, was given carte blanche to capture the construction site of Punggol Waterway Terraces in Singapore.
This study is a condensed view of the work produced by the 4th year students who participated to the 13 weeks Sustainable Design Studios hosted by SUTD University. The studio “New Sustainable Housing Mass” proposes to explore and experiment, in a complete design project, new typologies and structures dedicated to a life in dense tropical conditions, observation and modelling being the key words structuring the different stages of this studio.
Typical Block Plan (TBP) as a matrix of high rise housing in South-East Asia and through this study we document objective views on the evolution in public and private sectors. From the second half of the twentieth century two major cities that developed extreme housing conditions due to their confinement, Hong Kong and Singapore, are studied from different decades, leading to a comparative study.
Sustainable design is ubiquitous; through maximising natural light, natural ventilation, gardens inside offices, sky gardens, rain water recycling, local eco-friendly materials, facade orientation and exposure. They all combine to create a dynamic green building that is integrated in nature and connected with its environment. Consequently, this “future ruin” looks beyond aesthetics and dives into a holistic approach, becoming inherent in the lifespan of a building that can have many adaptable future uses.
Industrial Shelter is the work produced by 4th year students at SUTD’s Sustainable Design Studio. The project, set in the former industrial area in Oerlikon-Zurich Switzerland, is on a new development where there will be a prominent public square. Proposed interventions aimed to transform this central square into a unique social incubator; juxtaposing users through spatial, programmatic and material considerations using concepts dear to Swiss design.
Following the architectural tradition for skylines in Singapore (Golden Miles 1967 / Marina Square 1987…), group8asia revives the public housing estate in Singapore proposing a terraced massing breaking with the regulated and monotonous heights environment. “Punggol Waterway Terraces” is the awarded project of the second international competition for public housing in the history of Singapore.