I have been a part of a recently concluded design contest of the foremost architectural design magazine in the country Bluprint. The Annual Visionary Design competition (AViD) is on its third year and the subject this time around is a design for a national pavilion. It was through the awarding ceremonies where I learned that in one of the original city master plans, the site of the SM North Edsa was drafted to become a location for an instance of a World Expo. This historic nugget gave the organizers the idea for this year’s contest topic.
Entry requirements were simple enough: two print-ready image boards under 2MB and an essay to support the design. The original deadline for the contest was the middle of October but it was moved to early November; if the first deadline had pushed through I wouldn’t have been able to take part in the competition and so I was very fortunate that it had been pushed back a little bit.
I didn’t win but my design had made it into the initial shortlist. It is quite interesting to see how all the other entries were formulated and it revealed to me some more points to consider when doing a presentation for such a contest. But losing the competition doesnt mean my design should take a backseat and not get even a little exposure right?!?!
And with that I introduce “Kalis.”
The design mimics the edge of a sword coming out of the earth, in the initial sketches I wanted it to be as simple as the tip of the sword with the windows forming the blade’s sheen, but as the design evolved I found that projecting the curve on its own would leave less room for fenestration.
There are three levels in the interior and I had originally intended for the circulation to go winding through the edges but this idea went down when I finally created the model and my floors went through my walls. Although it looked to be interesting and I actually considered going with it and placing entrances on them for use as an external, balcony-type, circulation, I decided to scratch the idea and work with the interior to maintain the smooth outer image. The final design uses a central stairway which would have the visitor going up or down continuously instead of having to go around to catch the next flight of stairs.
Lines formed on the exterior by both the negative spaces and the accents play tricks on the mind of the viewer as they are presented with seemingly perpendicular lines going through an inclined plane with a bit of an angle. I had envisioned it to encourage movement through its subtle nuances as is evident if you look through the various elevations. Activity and rest are also removed from the interior through the use of the opposing site elements: the social garden and the amphitheater; together they form the shape of the symbol of infinity and lend a sense of symmetry to the design.
This design is my very first completed competition piece under the professional category. Rest assured it won’t be my last.