Vietnamese architect to receive UIA prize

Vietnamese architect Hoang Thuc Hao will be awarded the Vassilis Sgoutas Prize by the International Union of Architects (UIA) at a ceremony held in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.


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Architect Hoang Thuc Hao has won many domestic and international architectural prizes.

Hao has been nominated by the UIA’s Vietnamese section.

The prize honours an architect or a team led by an architect that has made a significant contribution to improving the living conditions of the poorest – to their habitat, their environment and their well-being.

This year’s UIA gold medal, the highest honour, will be awarded to Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Other awards such as the Auguste Perret Prize, Jean Tschumi Prize and Robert Matthew Prize will go to Russian, Egyptian and South African architects, respectively.

Created in 1961, the UIA prizes honour professionals whose qualities, talents and actions make an international impact on diverse sectors of architectural practice. In 2017, the Secretariat received 46 nominations.

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An aerial view of Lung Luong Primary School in Viet Nam’s northern province of Thai Nguyen, one of architect Hao’s projects for the community. 

Currently, Hao is a lecturer at the National University of Civil Engineering. He has spent 25 years researching and developing architectural projects for the community. 

His constructions include Suoi Re Community House in the northern province of Hoa Bình; Ta Phin Community House in the northern province of Lao Cai; and Nam Dam homestay village in the northern province of Ha Giang, all of which are low-budget projects built for ethnic minority communities in mountainous regions using local building material and labour.

UIA chairman Esa Mohamed said the jury has recognised Hao’s commitment to improving the daily lives of under-privileged Vietnamese citizens living in rural, mountainous areas, while respecting the local culture and paying heed to the natural environment.

Till date, Hao has been awarded 35 domestic and 30 international architectural prizes. Last year, he became the first Vietnamese to receive the SIA-GETZ Architecture Prize for Emergent Architecture in Asia, presented by the Singapore Institute of Architects and Getz Bros. & Co. 

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