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WOHA awarded RIBA Lubetkin Prize

October 7, 2011

The Met Building in Bangkok, designed by WOHA, receives the 2011 RIBA Lubetkin Prize.

WOHA’s The Met Building in Bangkok, Thailand has been awarded the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Lubetkin Prize, recognising the year’s most outstanding international project produced by a member of the RIBA.

The Singapore-based practice beat shortlisted projects from Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Rick Mather to walk away the 2011 award.

WOHA’s 66 storey, 370-unit perforate residential tower uses natural ventilation to cool the apartments. Openings in the building draw air through vertical voids in the structure, taking advantage of wind speeds at the top of the tower. With a mix of public and private spaces, the building includes gardens, leisure facilities and seating areas on the open floors. Green creeper screens create living walls all the way up the building to help shade the occupants and further cool the building through transpiration.

RIBA President and jury chair, Angela Brady, said of the winning project: “WOHA’s The Met Building is a highly deserving winner; the building combines beautiful design with sustainable credentials, creating a high specification residential complex and an intelligent alternative to the sleek, air-conditioned box in a tropical environment.”

WOHA’s project was named the winner over other shortlisted projects including Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House, Rick Mather Architects’ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and two projects by Foster + Partners: The Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

The award was announced at the presentation night for the RIBA Stirling Prize on 1 October. This year’s Stirling Prize was presented to Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy, a school in Brixton, London.

The Lubetkin Prize, named in honour of renowned Russian architect Berthold Lubetkin who established the Tecton Group in London during the 1930s, is presented to the most outstanding building built outside the EU by a RIBA member. The prize was established in 2006.

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