Winners at the World Architecture Festival 2017.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2017 by vincentloy

World Architecture Festival 2017 was held recently in Berlin, Germany from 15 to 17th November. This annual festival contains events for the architecture industry and one of the main highlights of the festival is the awards presentation. The festival honors architectural projects across the world in various categories and will select a project to be declared World Building of the Year. Here below is the full list of winners for this year’s World Architecture Festival:

Completed Buildings

Civic and Community – Streetlight Tagpuro, Tacloban, Philippines (Eriksson Furunes + Leandro V. Locsin)

Display – The Smile, London, United Kingdom (Alison Brooks Architects)

Housing – Superlofts Houthaven, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Marc Koehler Architects)

This housing project receives this year’s newly created award; Director’s Special Award. 

A new co-housing concept that aims to create a global network of local building co-operatives, judges said the concept is “a game changer – a replicable and transferable model which could extend in terms of scale.”

Culture – The Palestinian Museum, Birzeit, Palestine (Heneghan Peng Architects)

House – Binh House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Vo Trong Nghia Architects)

New and Old – Post earthquake reconstruction and demonstration project of Guangming Village, Zhaotong, China (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

This project is also the winner for World Building Of The Year.

The project was initiated in response to the catastrophic Ludian earthquake in 2014, which destroyed most of the traditional rammed-earth buildings in the village of Guangming. When replacement materials such as brick and concrete proved to be too costly for most of the village’s residents, the architect team developed a new technique of constructing rammed-earth homes that will be more resistant to future seismic activity.

A prototype house built for an elderly couple was completed last year, proving the method could provide a safe, economical, comfortable, and sustainable reconstruction strategy for the village and the wider region of Southwest China.

The judges believed this to be an extraordinary project in terms of the scope of ambition, exemplified in the addressing of profound problems facing ordinary people. They applauded the re-use of traditional material and construction methods but with the addition of new technology – combining ancient wisdom with modern know-how.

The judges were also impressed by the iterative research process which could be re-applied to anywhere in the world affected by seismic problems and low levels of wealth. “The architects succeeded in translating ‘four walls and a roof’ into something which, through architectural commitment, becomes a project that is much more profound,” WAF Programme Director Paul Finch commented. “This building is a demonstration that architecture is just as relevant in the poorest of communities as it is in the richest.”

I am delighted that the juries decided to go for architecture that is really useful and resistant rather than picking those fancy designs. This is a fresh direction.

Office – Co Op Kyosai Plaza, Tokyo, Japan (Nikken Sekkei)

Production, Energy and Recycling – The Farm of 38 – 30, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey (Slash Architects and Arkizon Architects)

School – East Sydney Early Learning Centre, Sydney, Australia (Andrew Burges Architects)

Sport – US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, United States of America (HKS)

Health – Westbury Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa (Ntsika Architects)

Higher Education and Research – Maersk Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark (CF Moller Architects)

Hotel and Leisure – Vegetable Trellis, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Cong Sinh Architects)

Mixed Use – Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris)

Religion – Bushey Cemetery, Bushey, United Kingdom (Waugh Thistleton Architects)

Shopping – Victoria Gate, Leeds, United Kingdom (ACME)

Transport – Transformation Chemnitz Central Station, Chemnitz, Germany (Gruntuch Errnst Architects)

Villa – Bach With Two Roofs, Golden Bay, New Zealand (Irving Smith Architects)

Future Projects

Leisure-led Development – Bodrum Loft, Bodrum, Turkey (Tabanlioglu Architects)

Competition Entries – New Cyprus Archaeological Museum, Nicosia, Cyprus (Pilbrow & Partners)

Health – Desa Semesta, Bogor, Indonesia (Magi Design Studio)

Experimental – Sharjah Observatory, Mleiha National Park, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (3deluxe Transdisciplinary Design)

Office – Viettel Offsite Studio, Hanoi, Vietnam (Vo Trong Nghia Architects)

Civic – Consulate Building, Staff Housing & School Complex, Karachi, Pakistan (edgeARCH)

Infrastructure – The Bridge, Ras, India (Sanjay Puri Architects)

Commercial Mixed Use – Battersea Power Station Phase 2, London, United Kingdom (WilkinsonEyre)

Education – Aga Khan Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios + SHATOTTO Architecture)

Culture – Kulturkorgen – A Basket Full Of Culture, Gothenburg, Sweden (Sweco Architects)

Kulturkorgen6-Sweco Architects

House – Queenstown House, Queenstown, New Zealand (Monk Mackenzie Architects)

Masterplanning – Sydney Fish Markets, Sydney, Australia (Allen Jack + Cottier Architects)

Residential – Goksu Residences, Istanbul, Turkey (EAA Emre Arolat Architecture)

My country, Malaysia did have few projects that were able to make it to the finalists. However, none of them succeeds to be listed as winner. It shows that there are a lot to do to improve the architectural field in Malaysia.

(Images and information in this post are from Archdaily)





A good day to walk in the city…and a visit to Heath Ledger Exhibition

Posted in Wonders and Places on November 20, 2017 by vincentloy

It’s a sunny day today, which is great for a walk in the city after a lunch with a friend. Weather is not too hot in recent days compared to last week when temperature rises to above 30 degree celsius. I have all the time now to tour the city before returning to Malaysia end of this month. I have not visited the city for quite some time (few months) and there are some noticeable differences (new Christmas decorations all around the city, construction progress going fast at the Elizabeth Quay area and at the Perth Busport area, etc) now. Having dim sum for lunch is one of the best things to do in Perth as many Chinese restaurants in the city offer great and delicious dim sum (definitely better than Malaysia ones).

I went to the WA Art Gallery after the lunch to visit the Heath Ledger Exhibition (Life in Pictures). It is free and is held in the art gallery for few months before concluding at the end of January next year. Heath Ledger is one of the actors that I admire due to his acting talent and dedication. He is Perth born and is famous for portraying the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ film. His amazing performance in that film won him Best Supporting Actor (posthumously) in major film awards including the Academy Award. Unfortunately, he passed away not long after filming that movie due to accidental intoxication from prescription drugs at the age of only 28. What a huge loss to the movie industry. He is no doubt the most famous Hollywood actor that comes from Perth. There is even a state theatre in Perth that is named after him.

(Image above from

The exhibition displayed his photographs, the movie sets that he has used before including the famous Joker costumes and shirts from the movie ‘Brokeback Mountain’, his major award trophies (Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, etc), his research journal on some acting roles, his film performances, etc. This exhibition is a simple yet great platform for visitors to get to know more about this extraordinary actor.

I also visited some of the other exhibitions held in the art gallery although I do spent only a short period of time there as I’m not the person who knew how to appreciate or understand arts. I walked around in the city and at the Elizabeth Quay to enjoy the view of the city and the Swan River before heading back home. What a pleasant day…

(Copyrights reserved for all the images in this blog post unless mentioned otherwise.)

TVB celebrates its golden jubilee with its grand anniversary gala.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2017 by vincentloy

TVB, the largest television station in Hong Kong celebrates its 50th anniversary recently in a grand fashion. Its dramas have been accompanying me for over 20 years. Despite the criticisms of having poor dramas in recent years, facing lack of talents and with many good artists leaving the station, it is undeniable that the station is the home that have trained many superstars we saw today. It is undeniable that the station is the home for all the classic series that we remembered till this day. It is undeniable that the station has had impacted lives of over millions of Chinese not only in Hong Kong or China but also throughout the world where there is Chinese people.

Since it is TVB’s grand golden jubilee, I would not want to miss the chance to watch its 50th Anniversary Gala last evening. The scale of the show is noticeably upgraded but there is still more that can be done. Since it is their golden jubilee, they should have some sort of fireworks display too to celebrate this significant occasion. The show should have been extended to 3 hours rather than the typical 2-hours time to allow for more performances. Celebrities who attended the show are Liza Wang, Eric Tsang, Carol Cheng, Nat Chan, Simon Yam, Ray Lui, Wayne Lai, Kristal Tin, Nancy Wu, Ruco Chan, Kenneth Ma, Vincent Wong, Benjamin Yuen, Wong Cho Lam, Ding Dang, Pakho Chau, Nancy Sit, Michelle Yim, Susanna Kwan, etc. Besides than Simon Yam and Ray Lui, I was actually expecting more heavyweight stars (formerly TVB artists) to attend the show.

It is also very obvious that the front segment of the show is heavily inspired by the movie ‘La La Land’ with the similar musical score. The performances by the 50 male artists and the 50 female artists are too ordinary and boring. They could have done much more (something challenging?). It is also very obvious that the singing by the artists are pre-recorded (I can see clearly the lip-sync by almost everyone). The ones not doing that are the three singers performing at the last section of the show and hence, you will noticeably hear poor live singing. And what are the three singers (from various countries) doing here? I thought they would be singing classic TVB theme songs. Totally irrelevant for that part. While I admire the ‘Hidden Heroes’ segment that honors all the less-known frequent faces in the past dramas, the way it is executed by ‘Fuk Luk Sau’ team (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee) is awkward.

Besides that, too much time has also been wasted for excessive advertisement and segments showing the prizes that will be handed out for the evening (the 2-hour show is already not enough!). The one great section of the show that I enjoyed is the ‘recruit’ sketch by Eric Tsang, Kristal Tin, Wayne Lai, etc. The scene with Kenneth Ma and Bob Lam is particularly hilarious. The scene with FAMA who tries to imitate Carol Cheng and Eric Tsang is also funny to watch. This year’s gala show is certainly much better than last year but I was still slightly disappointed that the organizer didn’t want to further elevate it up. And when is this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards going to be held? Until now, there has been no news or date announced for the awards. There is speculation that the awards will be pushed to January next year. Does that mean from now on, the TVB Anniversary Awards will be held on January every year or this schedule only occurs for this year? This will mess up the standard annual schedule.

I’m particularly excited for this year’s best actor and actress race (forget about most favourite male and female characters’ categories). Out of sudden, Kenneth Ma is rising to be a top contender for this year’s awards due to his strong performance in the currently airing ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. Before that, Vincent Wong is at the top of the pack in terms of the chance on winning the best actor since he has won at the Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards and is rumored to win the same at TVB Star Awards Malaysia to be held this week. I’m picking Kenneth as he has been much longer in the industry that Vincent and he is really good in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ to my surprise. I find that it is a bit too early to hand in best actor to Vincent Wong. For best actress, I’m rooting for Kristal ever since I saw her performance in ‘Destination Nowhere’ early this year. There is no other strong contenders but I have a feeling that Kristal may not win in the end. What do you think of the gala show and the best actor and actress race this year?

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Movie review for ‘Justice League’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous on November 17, 2017 by vincentloy

Just one day after I finished everything for my study, I felt weird. There is no more pending assignments for me to do daily. There is no more deadlines for me to remember. This hasn’t happen for a year. My life as a student is officially over. It’s good to be free but it’s not good when you have nothing to do at all. I’m staying in Perth for like 12 more days before returning to Malaysia. I’m going to use this time to clean up my room and go out to explore more of Perth.

A day after finishing everything is a perfect day to go out for a movie. ‘Justice League’ has just been released yesterday and that’s perfect timing! It is the last superhero movie of the year and is the first in DC to assemble a group of their own superheroes to battle against the villain. Marvel has done it with their ‘Avengers’ movies much earlier. It’s not surprising that DC is going on the same path in their cinematic universe. In ‘Justice League’, Batman recruits a team comprising of Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash and Aquaman (and they are later joined by Superman) to fight Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons who came to Earth to retrieve the Mother Boxes.

It’s a fun movie! Before seeing the movie, I noticed that it has less than 40% rating in Rotten Tomatoes. After watching it, I felt that it is better than expected. Certainly deserves more than 40%! It’s refreshing to see the other side (I mean DC) having their own team of superheroes and villains in their cinematic universe being materialized on the big screen too. That enables us not to just stick to the Marvel. The darker theme of DC also successfully differentiates its style with Marvel that comes with much lighter tone. Well, DC movies are not serious all the way. There are still some light and funny moments in those movies (including this Justice League).

Ben Affleck is still quite wooden for his role as Batman. He looks very uninterested to be in here. Although he is the founder of the league, but I still cannot get off my mind that he is just one rich guy with no superpower or abilities capable enough for him to deal with the villains. The founder and yet the weakest. During crucial battle scenes in Batman v Superman and this Justice League, he was just at the back contributing a little help. Sorry to Batman fans. But that’s the truth. Gal Gadot is awesome as Wonder Woman as usual. It’s great to see her again after her awesome solo ‘Wonder Woman’ movie early this year. Ezra Miller is contributing the fun and hilarious awkwardness to the movie with his role as The Flash. On the other hand, I’m not engaged to the over serious Ray Fisher as the Cyborg. Jason Momoa is fine as the Aquaman and same goes to Henry Cavill as the Superman who are revived in later part of the movie to save the world. And by the way, the villain, Steppenwolf is really badass in this movie, but once the Superman appears, he is no match to the latter.

The movie is full of actions and I’m glad that there hasn’t been any draggy or unnecessary scenes in this movie. It’s also slightly shorter that I’m expecting but that’s fine. This is certainly an improvement from Batman v Superman. Anyway, the solo ‘Wonder Woman’ is still the best DC movie so far. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Justice League’ a total of 7.5. If you have not watched this film, please stay up until the very end of the credits. There are one mid-credit and one post-credit scenes. (Spoiler ahead!) The first one shows The Flash and the Superman initiating a race and the last one shows Lex Luthor who had escaped from the prison and is trying to assemble a team of supervillains alongside with appearance of Deathstroke.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


Completed my Masters after having finished my thesis presentation today.

Posted in Explosive News and Results on November 16, 2017 by vincentloy

Today is the judgement day. Almost a year long thesis work is reaching its end today. Time flies. I still remember very well the day when I attended the first lecture for the thesis preparation unit early this year. I still remember very well the time when I was struggling with my thesis topic and research. I still remember very well the day when I first met my chosen supervisor. I still remember very well the mid-year break that didn’t come as a holiday for me as I was occupied with thesis work during the break. I still remember very well the days when I had very little sleep and stressful time just to finish the huge amount of works for this thesis.

And now, it’s the end after I have given my presentation today. What a huge relief! This also marks the end of my two-years of postgraduate study (Master of Architecture) at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. I couldn’t sleep last night as I was very nervous for my crucial presentation today although I have already practiced my speech a lot of times. Now, I’m sure that I will have a very good sleep and rest tonight. The report is done, the presentation is done, everything is done! Yay…now it’s just the grading part by the examiners and the unit coordinators. What I can only do now is just to wish for the best result for my thesis work so that I can end my study here with flying colours (hopefully!).

The presentation today went very well in my opinion. I’m delighted to receive positive feedback from the examiners and my classmates too. I hope that my grade will reflect the same. Although it is the end of my study, it actually marks the beginning of another new chapter for me; to venture out into the professional practice. Well, I have done that before previously when I finished my degree back in Malaysia few years ago. I have worked in two architectural offices in Kuala Lumpur for almost 4 years. Now, the cycle returns and I’m looking forward to find a job here in Australia. But let us put that aside first, and I shall enjoy the holiday! I think I deserve that. Looking forward to travel around without spending much as I have spent a lot in this thesis alone (it took me nearly 1000 dollars to print the reports, print the panels, laser cut my model, provide backing to my panels, etc).

A big thanks to my supervisor for giving me the push and advice needed for me to excel, a big thanks to the unit coordinator for facilitating the two thesis units this year, a big thanks to all the other lecturers who have guided me in the past, a big thanks to my family for their support, a big thanks to my friends for their help and care, and finally a big thanks to myself for having successfully completing this milestone! Now, I’m totally free (finally!) and looking forward to return to Malaysia while anticipating for my graduation!

Besides dramas, YouTube is my next source of entertainment, particularly for music!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on November 14, 2017 by vincentloy

I am now not committed to any more TVB dramas (most probably) until the end of this month when the ‘Heart and Greed’ (third series in the popular ‘Heart of Greed’ series franchise) releases. And so what am I watching? Did you know that I must find something to watch especially when I’m having my meals? (Please don’t think something dirty…haha) Now, I’m used to randomly watching some old movies that I have collected over all these years in my hard disks. I think I have over 500 movies in my collection. Besides that, YouTube is my next favourite platform to watch some latest news on sports, politics, entertainment industry, architecture, music videos, game shows, etc.

Recently, I have been following on the singing competition called ‘The Voice: Singapore and Malaysia’. This ‘The Voice’ competition is originally from US and it was so popular that other countries started to organize similar one too. Malaysia have this sort of competitions in previous years; in the form of Astro Star Quest for young singers and Astro Classic Golden Melody Competition for veteran singers. I’m unsure whether the latter would still continue but it is almost certain that the Astro Star Quest (it has 20 years of history) is no longer happening this year to make way for this ‘The Voice’ competition. It is also a joint show with Singapore in finding the best Mandarin-speaking singers in this region.

I like the way that the organizer will upload most of their weekly episodes on YouTube on time for us to watch (especially for me who are not in Malaysia and not having access to Astro). I am amazed by the number of talented singers in Malaysia (as seen from many great Malaysian voices I have heard in that show). Here are some of the contestants’ performances that I enjoyed listening to (they are great…but at certain point, still not as exceptional as the fantastic competitors from China or US in their versions).

This contestant’s clip has the most views among all the other contestants in the blind audition stage. The reason is clear; he is delivering a nice song, with great skill and plenty of emotion. His performance here made all four judges to turn over.

I have to include this veteran female singer. Her voice reminds me immediately of the late Anita Mui.

This is a pair of contestants advancing from the blind audition stage to the battle stage. They now compete against each other in one song and are coming from the same judge that they have chosen to mentor them earlier.

Here are some other music videos from YouTube that I have been listening frequently to in recent weeks:

The ending theme song for the TVB drama ‘Line Walker: The Prelude’. This song had just won My Favourite Theme Song’ at Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards last month. This song titled ‘Forgetting Myself’ by Hana Kuk is beautiful.

This is a live recording of Sammi Cheng’s Touch Mi 2 concert in Hong Kong. She felt ill during that time and she lost her voice. Hence, you will notice that her performance is quite weak but I still love that. I love her spirit and her songs of course. She has been my most favourite singer for many years. I particularly like this song (called ‘The Last Time’) in recent weeks. I’m sure in weeks later, I will be switching to her other songs (she has over 100 songs to date). Many of her songs are classic too. That is why she still stands today as a Cantopop queen.

Now, this is really a very old and classic Mandarin song that exists for around 30 years already (I think so). It attaches to me a lot as I remember I have been hearing and liking it when I was just a small kid. When I listen to it again recently (happen to found it back on YouTube recently to my delight), there is a strong nostalgic feeling overpowering me. I wonder if you remember this song too if you are also growing up listening to Cantopop and Mandopop songs.

I don’t only listen to Chinese songs. I also listen to English songs. Who’s in my mind? Definitely Ed Sheeran. He is so popular now not only with his great songs but also with his distinctive look (his hair!). Here’s his latest music video for his song ‘Perfect’ (just released five days ago). The song is literally perfect too.

I seldom blog anything about music. But here it is. Enjoy the songs!



Drama review for TVB’s “Legal Mavericks” (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2017 by vincentloy

After submitting my thesis report last week, I finally have the time to catch up to my past hobby; watching TVB dramas. There isn’t any TVB dramas recently that have my attention. ‘The Exorcist Meter’ which is a series about supernatural and starred Kenneth Ma, Mandy Wong, etc. The supernatural theme itself is the one that push me away from watching it and TVB is definitely not looking serious to making this kind of drama with good quality. The other drama is called ‘My Ages Apart’ and starred Kristal Tin, Bobby Au, etc. This one has a better line-up of cast but I still don’t have the interest to watch it because its premise is not appealing and it has too many episodes (50 in total).

So, I’m up to nothing but to find dramas that are released earlier and yet I haven’t watch them. Many people recommended me to watch ‘Legal Mavericks’, a drama about a blind lawyer who usually crossed the lines when solving the cases with his friends. I trusted their opinions and I am also influenced by the success of this particular series at Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards held last month. Hence, I ended up finishing the whole drama (28 episodes in total) in less than a week. And I watched its last 8 episodes continuously today.

The drama starred Vincent Wong, Sisley Choi, Ali Lee, Owen Cheung, Pal Sinn, Tracy Chu, etc. First, I like the plot that emphasized on solving not typical large cases that involves murders but on smaller cases fighting for the rights of the minorities (although the series still has the last case being solving a murder highly important to the overall storyline). I also like the idea of giving the main character a disability (in this case being blind) besides than injecting in the similar professions that TVB love to tackle (police, doctor, etc…in this case; lawyer). It adds extra depth and gave audiences something new to see rather than conventional dramas about a single profession. This also allows the cast (particularly Vincent Wong) to showcase his acting skill as the lead actor portraying a blind lawyer who is excellent in his other four senses.

The cast did a great job. Vincent Wong deserves a best actor win from his role here. There isn’t any strong competition in lead actor category this year and I hope he wins. It’s very challenging to continuously maintaining the eyes to make them look like they are blind and at the same time carrying out the dialogues, the body gestures, the facial expressions and the emotions for the story. Vincent nailed it. People usually find Sisley Choi annoying in most of her previous series. But hey…she surprised me in this drama. Not only that I find her character enjoyable in this drama, I also think that her acting has improved significantly (particularly this year). Hence, I’m rooting for her to get Most Improved Female Artist at TVB Anniversary Awards. I pitied her character. She sacrificed so much for Vincent Wong and yet their relationship remains ambiguous even till the final episode. There are three females who love Vincent Wong (Sisley, Ali and Tracy). I find that a bit too much. Vincent’s love towards Tracy is too much and I find that very unfair to Sisley. As for Ali Lee, she at least has another admirer and lover, Owen Cheung.

Ali Lee did well in here too but I’m still surprised how she can win ‘Most Favourite Lead Actress’ in Starhub TVB Awards last month for her role here. She is beautiful and solid, but her performance here is not award-worthy in my opinion. On the other hand, this is Owen Cheung’s most heavy role to date (he is a nobody in the past and only famous for having similar voice with Chilam). I’m surprised that he has this level of acting and he delivered superbly. He is a strong contender for best supporting actor award. Even Pal Sinn who portrayed the ruthless main villain is doing very good too. I hated him so much and it means that he delivered that character very well. And one more person to compliment; veteran actor, Law Lok-lam who portrayed as Vincent’s father. His acting when his character is diagnosed with ALS is superb.

I’m a bit confused on the very last scene of this drama. Ali Lee died and yet she appeared again to join the three others for a walk. That’s weird. What does the scriptwriter want to tell us from this scene? Opening it up for the audiences to decide the ending on their own? TVB love this approach very much recently and it is overused. I rather they stick to a very clear conclusion for this drama. Anyway, this drama is still a decent one. I’m happy that I didn’t left this drama out before the year ends. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Legal Mavericks’ a total of 7.8. There is not many particularly great TVB dramas this year (also for the last few years), hence this drama do have a strong chance to emerge as winner for Best Series at the upcoming TVB Star Awards Malaysia and Hong Kong’s TVB Anniversary Awards. His other competitor so far would be ‘The Unholy Alliance’ of which I had also given 7.8 in my drama review post earlier.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)