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Auckland Student Takes Top Architecture Award

University of Auckland Student Takes Top Architecture Award

A University of Auckland student is the only entrant from the Southern Hemisphere to win an award in an international architecture competition.

Fifth-year student Logan Hooi received a Judging Panel Special Award for his entry in the Japan-based Northern Housing Style Competition, which attracted 897 submissions from around the world.

His design was one of the top 20 entries, and the only submission from a country in the Southern Hemisphere to receive an award.

"It was a real honour being chosen, especially as a student, as most of the submissions were from large professional design firms," says Logan.

Participants were required to design an urban housing complex, including about 200 apartment buildings, in the city of Aomori, located in the northernmost top of Honshu, the main island of Japan.

Aomori has a population of approximately 300,000 and experiences one of the heaviest snowfalls in the world.

"The Aomori City Council are concerned that the growth of suburban districts has caused the city centre to hollow out. They were looking for designs that would help to stem the flow out of the city and crease a snow-tolerant urban environment in the heart of the city," says Logan.

Logan says his design concept is base on the notion of "Nagare" - meaning "flow" in Japanese. The flow represents a transition between traditional and modern Japanese architecture.

"There is a lot of Japanese culture bound up in its traditional architecture, and I wanted to create a design that represented progressive, contemporary Japanese architecture, without losing these cultural elements.

He says his education at The University of Auckland was a great help in winning the award.

"One of the strengths at The University of Auckland's School of Architecture is sustainable design. I incorporated many different aspect of ecological architectural principles into my work such as passive heating and cooling systems where the 'skin' of the building is able to respond to the temperature and climate."

Logan's supervisor, Senior Lecturer in Architecture Koung Nyunt, says Logan's award is a rare achievement.

"If this award had gone to a New Zealand architectural consultancy, it would have been impressive. But the fact that the award has gone to a student is incredible," he says.

"It's a great demonstration that The University of Auckland really is producing world-class architects."

Logan will complete his Bachelor of Architecture degree through The University of Auckland this year, after which he is considering doing a Master of Architecture.


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