Joe Wu 2nd prize winner at International Velux Award

15 December 2010

Former The Why Factory student - Joe Wu won the 2nd prize at 2010 International Velux Award. Both him and his supporting tutor Daliana Suryawinata received the honors and a prize at the official award ceremony on October 16th in La Rochelle, France.

His project ‘Lightscape between gaps’ is based on a sunlight analysis in Hong Kong´s extreme vertical urban development and suggests reflective, adjustable elements on the facade that can track the sunlight. It goes back to his childhood memories, when he was living in an apartment building in a typical urban block in Hong Kong.

“A window with NO VIEW and FACING WALLS is not unusual in Hong Kong. How to let natural sunlight into the living space in this special urban situation is the basic concept of this project,” explains Joe Wu. His strategy is to create a reflecting system to reflect sunlight onto the dark side of the building – a system that incorporates, with the calculation of sunlight movements, distances between gaps, the orientation of every wall and window, and the sizes of the windows. The complexity of all these factors makes every reflecting element different. All the calculations can be computer programmed and thus digitalized fabrication plays an important part in this project. The gaps between two dark walls will become positive and accord with each other.

The jury found the project very workable, sensitive and simple as well as very well presented. It contends a series of reflections about privacy and how to make a space special. It works with a solution that could be universally applied to major cities all over the world – in dense urban spaces on the dark side of buildings that never receive light. Many other projects proposed the same problem – but not as clear.

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The International VELUX Award is a competition that encourages students of architecture to explore the theme of sunlight and daylight in its widest sense to create a deeper understanding of this specific and ever relevant source of light and energy. The International VELUX Award is presented every second year to promote and celebrate excellence in completed study works in any scale from small-scale components to large urban contexts or abstract concepts and experimentation.

The Award is global and open to any registered student of architecture backed by a teacher from a school of architecture. The total prize money is 30,000 Euro. The jury, comprising internationally renowned architects and other building professionals awards a number of prize winners and honourable mentions.