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TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 ended with some shocking results.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2016 by vincentloy

TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 (萬千星輝頒獎典禮 2016) concluded a moment ago with some predicted and also some shocking results this year. This awards, held back in Hong Kong is the last of the three awards presentations to honour the best of TVB artists, dramas and programmes annually with the earlier two ceremonies being held in Singapore and Malaysia. For the full nomination list of the TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 before scrolling down to check the winners’ list, you can view back my previous post on that particular nomination list at this link:

https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/nomination-list-for-tvb-anniversary-awards-2016/

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Here below is the full result of the TVB Anniversary Awards 2016 along with my opinions:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Chow Chung

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Opinion: Chow Chung deserved this honour. Eventhough he will be already reaching 86 years old next month, he still actively participates in many recent dramas and I admire his commitment to TVB. Eventhough he appeared mostly in very minor or supporting roles, but his dedication is no doubt strong. I’m glad for him winning this award.

Most Improved TV Female Artist: Ali Lee (Fashion War, Brother’s Keeper II, Law dis-Order, Sidewalk Scientist, Organized Dining, Anchors with Passport Series 2)

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Opinion: I’m fine with Ali Lee winning as I do see she did very well this year with many good roles. I predicted earlier that Moon Lau to win this as I find Moon Lau slightly better with more notable and likable roles this year. Anyway, I still think Ali Lee deserves this award too.

Most Improved TV Male Artist: Jonathan Cheung (The Last Healer in Forbidden City, House of Spirits, A Fist Within Four Walls, Spirits on Vacation)

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Opinion: I’m very happy for Jonathan Cheung. His hard work paid off and I truly saw his excellent performances in all of the dramas he was involved in for this year. He is one good actor and shall be given more opportunities from now on. He nailed all the roles this year and there is no other person to take this award away from him.

Most Popular Series Partnership: Vincent Wong & Tracy Chu (Over Run Over)

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Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Over Run Over’ and so I couldn’t comment much on this one. Anyway, I’m fine with them winning. I believe they did have very good chemistry and have produced some sparks in that series.

Best Supporting Actor: Raymond Cho (Short End of the Stick)

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Opinion: Finally! I’m happy that Raymond Cho is finally winning. He has been in the acting industry for decades and finally this year, his work in ‘Short End of the Stick’ is paid off. Not only that an award for him is long overdue, but he also did very well portraying as one of the eunuchs in that drama.

Best Supporting Actress: Katy Kung (Two Steps from Heaven)

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Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Two Steps from Heaven’ and so I couldn’t comment further. Deep down in my heart, I wish for Joyce Tang (House of Spirits) or Grace Wong (A Fist Within Four Walls) to win this. The race in this category is particularly strong this year. I read from news that Katy Kung has the hype due to her crying scene in ‘Two Steps from Heaven’. I don’t like the way that Hong Kong citizens now prefer to judge a person’s acting based solely on his or her crying ability. It’s a poor judgement, and that leads to a poor decision to this result. I’m nothing against Katy but I still think Joyce or even Grace’s performances are more solid than Katy. This is the first shock of the evening.

Most Popular Drama Theme Song: ‘Never Know You Are The Best’ by Ruco Chan & Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Opinion: An expected result. This song which is only a sub-theme song for the drama ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ turns out to be a big hit. It’s a nice song and once you hear it, you know which drama we are talking about. That’s how good it is. A deserving win.

Best Variety Programme: I Heart HK

Opinion: I prefer ‘Sunday Stage Fight’ to win this. ‘I Heart HK’ is not much entertaining compared to ‘Sunday Stage Fight’ with much lesser games and funny scenes this time.

Best Enrichment Programme: Sidewalk Scientist

Opinion: No comment on this category as I have not watched any of the enrichment programmes this year.

Best Special Programme: Heaven and Earth

Opinion: Also no comment for this category.

Best Programme Host: Carol Cheng, C-Kwan & Luk Wing (Do Did Eat)

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Opinion: I have no issue with them winning this. Everyone wants them to win since Carol Cheng is a very respected figure in TVB. Her partnership with C-Kwan and Luk Wing also turned out to be surprisingly awkward yet good. They created interesting hosting atmosphere.

Professionalism Awards x 3: Koo Ming Wah, Carlo Ng & Chun Wong.

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Opinion: Out of these three, I find Koo Ming Wah to be the least deserving. He has won Best Supporting Actor several years ago and that should be more than enough to recognize his contribution. This is a bit too much for him. I would rather have Power Chan to take this one since he is one great actor that has always been left out in races to win awards. Carlo Ng and Chun Wong are very deserving winners of this professionalism awards.

Most Favourite TV Female Character: Grace Wong (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Opinion: Second shock of the evening. I would prefer Grace Wong to win for supporting actress rather than this one. This is also a bit too much for her. She did very well in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ but I couldn’t accept the fact that Joyce Tang didn’t win anything for the evening. This is so unfair and unfortunate for Joyce Tang who gave extremely brilliant and likable performance in ‘House of Spirits’.

Best Actress: Nancy Wu (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Opinion: This is a predicted outcome. There is not many strong competitors this year for best actress and so it’s the second consecutive win for Nancy. Anyway, she did a very good job in ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. There is no other choice as she is the only one that stood out this year. I would prefer her to get this Best Actress for the first time this year as I still think Liza Wang from ‘Limelight Years’ is a much better choice for best actress last year.

Most Favourite TV Male Character: Benjamin Yuen (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Opinion: Third shock of the evening. I hardly put my eyes on Benjamin’s character when I was watching ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’. His role is nothing much and out of sudden, he won this coveted ‘Most Favourite TV Male Character’. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I wonder how Hong Kong citizens vote? They have very poor judgement. Bobby Au should easily win this from his impressive and well-received performance in ‘House of Spirits’.

Best Actor: Ruco Chan (A Fist Within Four Walls)

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Opinion: Finally, it’s time for Ruco Chan to be awarded best actor after he lost out to Anthony Wong last year in this category. He is one talented actor and since ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ is such a hit and is a drama that required him to put in a lot of effort, in the end, he managed to pull it off, and that leads to his victory here. Very deserving. There was one moment when I’m afraid that Roger Kwok may win this again and snatch the best actor prize away from Ruco. Roger is good in ‘Dead Wrong’ but I find his acting is a bit forced, brittle and exaggerated this time.

Best Series: A Fist Within Four Walls

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Opinion: Also another quite expected outcome. ‘A Fist Within Four Walls’ is a fantastic drama this year with many suspense, plot twists, great action sequences, incredible cast performances and wonderful production. This drama is a huge hit, gets high viewership rating, and get us all talking about it when it was airing. A deserving win for this drama. It is also the biggest winner of the evening, also taking almost all the major acting awards as well as the song award. I felt pity for ‘House of Spirits’ that got snubbed heavily. They should award something to Bobby Au and Joyce Tang.

This year’s result for the TVB Anniversary Awards is not that good. Some are deserving but most of the major awards went to the people who I don’t think deserved them. I believe many out there share similar thoughts with mine too. Not a very good outcome this year. Poor voting decision by Hong Kong audiences in certain categories obviously.

As for the ceremony, I am annoyed by the poor editing of the ceremony as well as very rude cut-off of award winners’ speeches just to make time for the excessive slots for advertisements. I also hate it when they cut off the part when Ruco and Nancy sang their winning drama theme song for advertisements again. Very bad. I only enjoyed the ‘Mannequin Challenge’ done in the introduction part of the ceremony, but for that, it has sacrificed a usual segment to introduce all the attending nominated actors and actresses. Carol Cheng, Luk Wing and C-Kwan should have just stayed on stage all the time to host together with Sammy Leung rather than staying inside a room doing nothing much. The guests presenting the ‘Most Favourite TV Male Character’ and ‘Best Actor’ prizes should be of heavyweight celebrities rather than having two almost unknown young actresses presenting that two highly coveted honours. I hope TVB can do much better next year for its 50th anniversary gala and awards show. This year is pretty bad in almost all areas, and that includes the awards’ result.

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

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Winners of 2016 Tall Building Awards by CTBUH

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2016 by vincentloy

The Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat have announced the winners of the 15th edition of the CTBUH Tall Building Awards. From over 100 submissions, the best buildings from four regions – the Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe and Middle East & Africa – were selected, along with recipients of the Urban Habitat Award, the Innovation Award, the Performance Award and the 10 Year Award. The CTBUH will pick a global winner from the regional selections as well as announcing the winner for their prestigious Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award and Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal later this year.

The towers were chosen by a panel of architects from world-renowned firms and were judged on every aspect of performance, looking in particular for “those that have the greatest positive impact on the individuals who use these buildings and the cities they inhabit.” To be able to contest in this year’s awards, the buildings/materials must be completed in year 2015, excluding the Performance Award and the 10 Year Award. Here’s below is the full list of winners:

Best Tall Building – Americas: VIA 57 West (BIG)

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“VIA 57 West is an inspired hybrid of the traditional courtyard block and high-rise tower. Its complex and intelligently orientated architecture maximizes occupants’ views to the Hudson River and activates the New York City waterfront with a dynamic new standard for integrated urban infill development.” – Juror Michael Palladino, Design Partner, Richard Meier & Partners Architects.

Best Tall Building – Asia and Australasia: Shanghai Tower (Gensler)

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“Shanghai Tower shows the greatest commitment to communal space in a tall building since Commerzbank Tower completed in 1997. It contains the world’s first truly ‘inhabitable’ double-skin façade on a skyscraper, which is not only remarkable for its intended greenery, but its incorporation into the tower’s overall ventilation strategy. The sacrifice of valuable floor area to realize this social amenity proves that the aspirations for Shanghai Tower went far beyond mere commercial gain.” – Juror Antony Wood, Executive Director, CTBUH.

Best Tall Building – Europe: The White Walls (Ateliers Jean Nouvel)

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“The White Walls is a truly groundbreaking exercise in materiality, serving as a successful expression of the architectural and environmental values of the Mediterranean across the vertical axis. Extensive vegetation on the north façade and the presence of loggias on the south façade create a very real connection with nature, while the tower’s punctured concrete walls quite literally ‘bleed green’ with tangles of local plant species.” – Juror Karl Fender, Director, Fender Katsalidis Architects.

Best Tall Building – Middle East and Africa: The Cube (Orange Architects)

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“The Cube indicates a clear alternative to the extruded box typology that defines the majority of residential high-rises around the world, instead comprising a stack of completely unique villas in the sky. The tower is particularly successful in its structural design, which features a system of elegantly framed girder walls that add visual flair and allow for completely unobstructed floor plans.” – Juror Hashimah Hashim, Executive Director, KLCC Property Holdings Berhad.

Urban Habitat Award: Wuhan Tiandi Site A

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“The Wuhan Tiandi Mixed-Use Development demonstrates that a master plan for a tall building neighborhood can include vibrant public spaces that offer a high level of intimacy, walkability, and social design. The disposition of tall buildings combined with an animated public realm creates a vibrancy that is rarely found in newly created communities. The Wuhan Tiandi complex offers a high quality of life for those that live, work, and visit – a quality of life that rivals long established tall building neighborhoods found elsewhere in the world.” – Juror James Parakh, Urban Design Manager, City Planning Department of Toronto.

10 Year Award: Hearst Tower (Foster + Partners)

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“Walking along the base of Hearst Tower, you might not even realize that you are right next to one of New York’s greatest architectural achievements of the 2000s. Built directly on top of a 1920s office relic, the tower made the world reexamine what’s possible in terms of preserving historic low-rise buildings in a dense downtown core. There’s also something cathartic about the juxtaposition between its classically reserved base and contemporary diagrid structure above.” -CTBUH Trustee Timothy Johnson, Design Partner, NBBJ.

Performance Award: Taipei 101 (C. Y. Lee)

Aerial view of Taipei 101, the world's new tallest building.

“It is rare to see a commitment to upgrade an existing building to this level of environmental performance. The extensive documentation of its energy upgrades and sustainability initiatives speaks for itself; TAIPEI 101 has been the subject of a tireless and exhaustive effort to become one of the most sustainable tall buildings in the world, and it has been successful in this mission. In addition to a comprehensive set of green technologies and systems installed throughout the building, a rigorous occupant engagement program really puts this project in a league of its own.” – Technical Juror Bill Browning, Co-Founder, Terrapin Bright Green.

Innovation Award: Pin – Fuse

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“The Pin-Fuse system opens the door to realizing increased resilience in buildings constructed in highly active seismic regions. By providing just the right amount of give under pre-determined axial loads, the system is innovative for its tested impact on repair frequency, costs, and structural longevity for buildings that have experienced an earthquake.” – Technical Jury Chair SawTeen See, Managing Partner, Leslie E. Robertson Associates.

More information can be found from its official website here at this link below:

http://awards.ctbuh.org/media/ctbuh-names-2016-tall-building-award-recipients/

(Images and information in this post are from the website as stated above. Further information is obtained from http://www.archdaily.com/790068/ctbuh-names-winners-of-2016-tall-building-awards)

22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards; my thoughts on the winners in films’ categories.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2016 by vincentloy

The 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards (commonly referred to as SAG) was held last weekend to honour the best of both Hollywood films and TV series in 2015. This is the third of the annual ‘Big Five’ movie awards with the other four being the concluded Golden Globes and Critics Choice and the upcoming BAFTA and the prestigious Oscars. As usual, I won’t be posting up the list of winners for the TV categories. I’m only into the films’ section of which there is not much surprise to the result.

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Outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture

“Beasts of No Nation”

“The Big Short”

“Spotlight”*

“Straight Outta Compton”

“Trumbo”

Opinion: From earlier on, people already see it as a fight between ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Spotlight’. Either of them win is very much  expected. I didn’t see ‘The Big Short’ yet but I do heard of good reviews for the movie, but still not as better as ‘Spotlight’. Hence, ‘Spotlight’ won. However, I don’t really enjoy watching ‘Spotlight’ and it’s not a best picture material for me.

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Outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role

Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”

Johnny Depp, “Black Mass”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”*

Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”

Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”

Opinion: This is Leo’s 9th nomination in SAG Awards and he had never win before. Everyone would have gone crazy if he couldn’t win it this time. He is long overdue and totally deserved the award this year for his excellent performance in ‘The Revenant’. The other nominees were all splendid too, but it’s Leo’s year. Nobody can take anything away from him.

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Outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role

Cate Blanchett, “Carol”

Brie Larson, “Room”*

Helen Mirren, “Woman in Gold”

Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Sarah Silverman, “I Smile Back”

Opinion: Another very much expected result as Brie Larson had already taking home many best actress prizes for her marvelous portrayal of a mother in ‘Room’. I love this movie a lot and she totally shined in this role. Having Helen Mirren and Sarah Silverman in this category is quite surprising and I’m certainly sure they won’t win.

Outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role

Christian Bale, “The Big Short”

Idris Elba, “Beasts of No Nation”*

Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

Michael Shannon, “99 Homes”

Jacob Tremblay, “Room”

Opinion: This is a surprise. Idris Elba didn’t get nominated in the coming Oscars but win here ultimately, defeating even the Oscar nominees, Christian Bale and Mark Rylance. I have heard many positive reviews for his performance in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ but I didn’t watch that movie. It’s good for him to win so that we can all still cracking our head on who will win in Oscars end  of this month. There is no guarantee or any lock in frontrunner status till now in this category which makes it the most exciting category ever in this year’s race. I would have prefer Jacob Tremblay to win but I think his chance is low. Anyway, he still has many years to come and so I think he can wait.

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Outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role

Rooney Mara, “Carol”

Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”

Helen Mirren, “Trumbo”

Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”*

Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”

Opinion: I’m happy that Alicia Vikander won for her amazing performance in ‘The Danish Girl’. She defeated two other hot favourites in this category, Rooney Mara (won Cannes Film Festival for best actress) and Kate Winslet (won Golden Globes for best supporting actress). Since Alicia had now won the Critics Choice and SAG Awards, her chance for BAFTA and the Oscars are now much higher. Rooney Mara’s award buzz is getting a lot lower now since few months ago, she had even been regarded as a lock to sweep all best supporting actress’ prizes. Now, everything turned to Alicia Vikander, another very deserving woman in this category.

Outstanding action performance by a stunt ensemble in a motion picture

“Everest”

“Furious 7”

“Jurassic World”

“Mad Max: Fury Road”*

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”

Opinion: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ must be recognized in at least an award and so here it comes. It is a great film and I’m very positive that it will win not one but some trophies in the Oscars end of this month especially in technical achievement. However, my personal choice in this category would actually be ‘Furious 7’ for its heart-stopping and wonderfully captured action sequences in most of the movie’s running time.

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

Full list of winners of the World Architecture Festival 2015.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2015 by vincentloy

The World Architecture Festival, which is often billed as the biggest global architectural event annually has concluded yesterday at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore for this year after three days of successful run. All the winners for multiple awards contested in this festival are announced. Overall, there are over 30 competition categories with nearly 340 project entries to be assessed in this year’s festival. Official website of the festival: https://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/.

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First of all is the highest honour of the festival, World Building of the Year 2015 award. The winner goes to The Interlace, Singapore and is designed by OMA and Ole Scheeren. Aptly named, the complex features 31 apartment blocks which ‘interlace’ or cross over each other diagonally. The complex features structures stacked one on top of of the other and is surrounded by pool and garden areas. This development also won the Complete Housing category before taking the top prize.

World Building of the Year winner: The Interlace / Singapore / OMA & Ole Scheeren

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(Comment: I first get to know about this project some long time ago and from that time onward, I’m already very interested into its concept and its unique form. A very well deserved winner for this year’s World Building of the Year award. Would love to check this building out when I’m in Singapore next month).

Future Project of the Year winner: Vancouver House / Canada / BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

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Landscape of the Year winner: Yanweizhou Park / China / Turenscape International

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Small Project Prize: Lidingövallen / Sweden / DinellJohansson

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AkzoNobel’s Prize for Colour in Exterior Architecture: ONS INCEK Showroom & Sales Office / Turkey/ Yazgan Design Architecture

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Arcaid Images Architecture Photography: EPFL Quartier Nord, Ecublens / Switzerland / Richter Dahl Rocha & Associes / Photographer: Fernando Guerra

(My comment: I knew it. Previously I did wrote a blog post highlighting all the finalist images for this award (link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/20-of-the-worlds-best-building-images/) and I personally picked the image above to win. And it did. My prediction went right and my own judging is on expert’s level too. Haha…It’s really a nice and a picture full of feel and meaning in architectural sense).

Student Charrette Winner: School of Architecture and Planning, Bhopal for City of Lakes

Completed projects’ categories:

Civic & Community winner: Cam Thanh Community House / Vietnam / 1+1>2 International Architecture JSC

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Display winner: Brazilian Expo Pavilion / Italy / Arthur Casas & Marko Brajovic

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Higher Education & Research winner: Toho Gakuen School of Music / Japan / Nikken Sekkei

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House winner: Saigon House / Vietnam / a21 Studio

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Housing winner: The Interlace / Singapore /  OMA & Ole Scheeren

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Mixed-Use winner: Casba / Australia / Billard Leece & SJB Architects

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Office winner: Nakayama Architects / Japan / HIGO

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Shopping winner: Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu / China / The Oval Partnership

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Culture winner: SOMA City Home for All / Japan / Klein Dytham Architecture

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Health winner: Walumba Elders Centre / Australia / Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects

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Hotel & Leisure winner: Lanserhof, Lake Tegern / Germany / Ingenhoven Architects

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New & Old winner: Courtyard House Plug-In / China / People’s Architecture Office

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Production, Energy & Recycling winner: Fabrica de Oliva / Uruguay / Marcelo Daglio Arquitectos

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Religion winner: Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies / Qatar / Mangera Vyars Architects

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School winner: Ballet School / Russia / Studio 44 Architects

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Sport winner: San Mames Stadium / Spain / Azcarate (ACXT-IDOM)

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Transport winner: Fulton Center / USA / Grimshaw, ARUP, James Carpenter, HDR, Page Ayres Cowley

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Future projects’ categories:

Culture winner: Museum of Painting and Sculpture / Turkey / Emre Arolat Architects

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Health winner: Al-Maha Centre / Qatar / HDR Rice Daubney

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House winner: ISSA Grotto Hill House / Croatia / Davor Matekovic & PROARH

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Infrastructure winner: Cukurova Regional Airport Complex / Turkey / Emre Arolat Architects

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Leisure-led Development winner: Olympic Stadium Transformation / UK / Populous

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Masterplanning winner: Kaliningrad Development Concept / Russia / Studio 44 Architects

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Office winner: Reservoir / India / Sanjay Puri Architects

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Commercial Mixed-Use winner: Gardens at Punggol / Singapore / Serie + Multiply Consultants

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Competition Entries winner: Quay Quarter / Australia / Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

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Education winner: Performing Arts Centre / UK / Studio Seilern Architects

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Experimental winner: Home Farm / Singapore / SPARK

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Residential winner: Vancouver House / Canada / BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

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Most of the winning projects shown above are already cool just by looking at the images. Unfortunately, no Malaysian works get to win this year again. I did wrote about the 5 Malaysian works competing in this year’s World Architecture Festival (link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/5-malaysian-architecture-and-design-competing-in-the-currently-running-world-architecture-festival-2015/) in my previous blog post. We are seriously lacking behind in terms of architectural excellence and let’s hope that Malaysia will build more aspiring and creative designs in near future. If not, we will not be seen in global architectural event like this.

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Is your city truly a global city? Check out the list below to find out.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2015 by vincentloy

A global city, also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center, is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system. The concept comes from geography and urban studies and rests on the idea that globalization can be understood as largely created, facilitated, and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade. Basically, a global city is a well-known international city with great urban surrounding and a major commercial hub with high economy that impacts not only its country but also the world.

‘Global city’ is different with ‘Mega city’ as the latter defines a city that houses very massive population and is not necessarily a global economic point. Global city status is considered to be beneficial and desired, and because of this, many groups have tried to classify and rank which cities are seen as world cities or non-world cities. The following are the criterias used mainly by those groups out there in classifying cities around the world in global city ranking;

  • A variety of international financial services, notably in finance, insurance, real estate, banking, accountancy, and marketing.
  • Headquarters of several multinational corporations.
  • The existence of financial headquarters, a stock exchange and major financial institutions.
  • Domination of the trade and economy of a large surrounding area.
  • Major manufacturing centres with port and container facilities.
  • Considerable decision-making power on a daily basis and at a global level.
  • Centres of new ideas and innovation in business, economics, culture and politics.
  • Centres of media and communications for global networks.
  • Dominance of the national region with great international significance.
  • High percentage of residents employed in the services sector and information sector.
  • High-quality educational institutions, including renowned universities, international student attendance and research facilities.
  • Multi-functional infrastructure offering some of the best legal, medical and entertainment facilities in the country.

In 2012, Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) updated a list that identifies three levels of global cities and several sub-ranks and the list is published in 2014. The categories / levels in the list are:

  • Alpha++ cities are London and New York City, which are vastly more integrated with the global economy than all other cities.
  • Alpha+ cities complement London and New York City by filling advanced service niches for the global economy.
  • Alpha and Alpha- cities are cities that link major economic regions into the world economy.
  • Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions into the world economy.
  • Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.
  • Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be obviously dependent on world cities.

So, here’s below is the list. Did your city made it to the alpha? (Click on the image below to view clearly on the list of cities listed:

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I’m quite excited that my city, Kuala Lumpur (KL) made it to the alpha level and that is considered very good. KL is no doubt a major economic centre in the region besides than the nearby Singapore (which is better of course). We are even ahead of Seoul (I guess Seoul will most probably overtaken us in the future ranking very soon), Jakarta, Bangkok, Taipei, and Melbourne. A recent view of the KL city below (amazing photograph):

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(Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126700026@N02/, from skyscrapercity.com)

 

However, KL still needs to improve on a lot of things (public transport, facilities, etc) and need to attract more investors, business partners and companies to come in to enhance its role as a commercial powerhouse in Asia. There are three other Malaysian cities listed in the ranking too (under the Sufficiency category only) and they are Penang, Johor Bahru and Labuan. There are many other lists like Global Cities Index by American journal ‘Foreign Policy’, Global Economic Power Index from ‘The Atlantic’, Global Power City Index by Tokyo’s Institute for Urban Strategies, City Wealth Report by London’s estate agent, Global City Competitiveness Index by ‘The Economist Group’, etc out there and KL didn’t really perform that well in those list. KL has to work hard to improve in these kind of crucial rankings. If not, we will be outpaced by other emerging cities quickly.

Information sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

2. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/gawcworlds.html & http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/world2012t.html

Full result and my opinions on the 68th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA 2015)

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2015 by vincentloy

And I did it. I purposely woke up 5am this morning to catch the live online broadcast from London of the 68th British Academy Film Awards, or commonly known as BAFTAs. I had only about three to four hours of sleep last night just for this. Once the presentation ceremony was over, I head up straight for work with all the Monday blues and sleepy mood.

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Overall, I’m very satisfied with the results of this year’s BAFTAs. The deserving wins. The only surprising thing is from one of the successful British films last year, ‘The Imitation Game’. It gained 9 nominations but left empty-handed after the ceremony. Everyone thought that the movie deserved at least a single trophy, most probably in the adapted screenplay category that eventually went to ‘The Theory of Everything’, another critically-acclaimed British film in 2014. The film also went on to be one of the biggest winners of the night with win also in Best Leading Actor (for Eddie Redmayne) and in Outstanding British Film. Professor Stephen Hawking himself also attended the ceremony in support of Eddie and to the movie ‘The Theory of Everything’, a biopic based on him and his first wife, Jane. He was brought up to stage with standing ovation from the audiences when he is about to present the award for Best Visual Effects.

Coming-of-age drama film, ‘Boyhood’ took home three top prizes at the night; Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (for Patricia Arquette). However, the biggest winner of the night (in numbers) would be ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, with win in 5 categories. On the other hand, ‘Whiplash’ performed above expectation with three wins. Another critically-acclaimed film, ‘Birdman’ went home disappointingly with only one award, while many expected the film to score at least 2 wins. But that disappointment didn’t go that worst compared to ‘The Imitation Game’ as mentioned earlier. Stephen Fry, hosting the ceremony for the 10th time did a great job again.

Hereby are the full result of the just concluded 68th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs 2015), the biggest event in UK’s film calendar.

BEST FILM

Boyhood (Winner)
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

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Comment: Expected that Boyhood will take Best Film. Most of all said it is an ordinary story told extraordinarily, and the movie makes history in cinema for its filming in 12 years. Eventhough I don’t really enjoy the film, but I will go with the majority’s critical acclaim to the film. Birdman seems to have a chance here too, but lost in the end.

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

The Theory of Everything (Winner)
’71
The Imitation Game
Paddington
Pride
Under The Skin

Comment: Happy for ‘The Theory of Everything’ to win. Eventhough it received a bit lower critics’ rating compared to ‘The Imitation Game’, but the subject the former addresses is more appealing and touching for voters. ‘The Theory of Everything’ still deserves to win this. I love the film.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything (Winner)
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman

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Comment: Eddie Redmayne is phenomenal as Professor Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’. He nailed the role, which is seriously very hard to portray. I’m glad he win this. Now, he is tipped for Oscar glory end of this month. But still, he has to watch out for Michael Keaton, the strong dark horse and previous expected frontrunner in best actor category.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Julianne Moore – Still Alice (Winner)
Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

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Comment: Everyone knows that this is the year for Julianne Moore. No one else. The others have to step aside this year to make way for this great actress whom has not been truly acknowledged or honoured in the past. She is excellent.

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

JK Simmons – Whiplash (Winner)
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

Comment: A very predictable category. JK Simmons all the way. His role as the very harsh and abusive music teacher in ‘Whiplash’ gained everyone’s approval on his acting. If he isn’t here, then I’ll go for Edward Norton. He did very well in ‘Birdman’ too.

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood (Winner)
Rene Russo – Nightcrawler
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Imelda Staunton – Pride
Emma Stone – Birdman

Comment: Also another very predictable category. I guess Patricia Arquette took all the supporting actress awards from this role. Wonderful and heartfelt performance in ‘Boyhood’. She is the only one in the movie that makes me to finish the 3-hour long film. If she isn’t here, then I’ll go for Emma Stone  from Birdman.

BEST DIRECTOR

Richard Linklater – Boyhood (Winner)
Wes Anderson – Grand Budapest Hotel
Damian Chazelle – Whiplash
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman
James Marsh – The Theory of Everything

Comment: Richard Linklater’s ambition of shooting the film ‘Boyhood’ in a span of 12 years is already breathtaking. Who else deserved to stop on his way to clinch the best director award? No way.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten (Winner)
American Sniper – Jason Hall
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
Paddington – Paul King

Comment: Hoping for ‘The Imitation Game’ to walk home with at least a win in this category. But no… ‘The Theory of Everything’ wins. I’m fine with that anyway. But wait…what is ‘Paddington’ doing here? Not worthy for a nomination here.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson (Winner)
Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

Comment: Would prefer ‘Birdman’ to win this, since it is an excellent film and had only won one award in this BAFTA 2015. It seems like there isn’t enough recognition for ‘Birdman’ here. What a pity.

BEST ANIMATED FILM

The Lego Movie (Winner)
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls

Comment: BAFTA did it right on this one, so much better than the lousy Oscars that do not even care to nominate ‘The Lego Movie’ into their five nominees list for Best Animated Feature. I’m still angry. At least now, there is a consolation prize for the awesome ‘The Lego Movie’ from BAFTA here.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Citizenfour (Winner)
20 Feet from Stardom
20,000 Days on Earth
Finding Vivian Maier
Virunga

BEST FOREIGN FILM (FILM NOT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE)

Ida (Winner)
Leviathan
The Lunchbox
Trash
Two Days, One Night

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki (Winner)
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Ida – Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
Interstellar – Hoyte van Hoytema
Mr Turner – Dick Pope

Comment: Totally deserving for ‘Birdman’ to win in this category. Amazing cinematography!

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Winner)
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr Turner
The Theory of Everything

Comment: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ excels in many smaller categories like this one and few more below, eventhough it doesn’t perform that well in major categories. Many creative and distinctive outputs from this film that made it totally deserving for several wins in BAFTA this year. But winning 5 at the night is a bit too much. I thought 3 or 4 trophies for this film is good enough.

BEST FILM EDITING

Whiplash – Tom Cross (Winner)
Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
Nightcrawler – John Gilroy
The Theory of Everything – Jinx Godfrey

Comment: Happy that ‘Whiplash’ is also honoured in other category rather than just JK Simmons, again and again.

BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIR

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon (Winner)
Guardians of the Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Into the Woods – Peter Swords King, J Roy Helland
Mr Turner – Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
The Theory of Everything – Jan Sewell

BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat (Winner)
Birdman – Antonio Sanchez
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
The Theory of Everything – Johann Johannsson
Under the Skin – Mica Levi

Comment: I actually prefer ‘The Theory of Everything’ to win this. Absolutely fascinating and moving music from that Stephen and Jane Hawking’s biopic.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock (Winner)
Big Eyes – Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Mr Turner – Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

BEST SOUND

Whiplash – Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann (Winner)
American Sniper – Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Birdman – Thomas Varga, Martin Hernandez, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A Montaño
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
The Imitation Game – John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley (Winner)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R Christopher White
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

Comment: Glad that ‘Interstellar’ win at least for this category. Beautiful visual works in the film, but I guess after this, voters will be bored by another outer space film again.

BEST BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

The Bigger Picture – Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka (Winner)
Monkey Love Experiments – Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
My Dad – Marcus Armitage

BEST BRITISH SHORT FILM

Boogaloo and Graham – Brian J Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney (Winner)
Emotional Fusebox – Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
The Karman Line – Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
Slap – Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
Three Brothers -S Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

Stephen Beresford, David Livingstone (writer and producer Pride) (Winner)
Elaine Constantine (writer/director Northern Soul)
Gregory Burke, Yann Demange (writer and director ’71)
Hong Khaou (writer/director Lilting)
Paul Katis, Andrew De Lotbiniere (director/producer and producer Kajaki: The True Story)

Comment: Didn’t watch ‘Pride’, and so I was actually rooting for the members behind the film ’71.

RISING STAR AWARD

Jack O’Connell (Winner)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Margot Robbie
Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley

Comment: A good choice in this category which is the only category voted by the public. Jack O’Connell certainly had a wonderful career in 2014 in films. His works in ’71’ and ‘Unbroken’ are incredible. He deserved to win. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are also great actually.

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

Done watching ‘Whiplash’ (2014) in just few hours before the BAFTA 2015.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2015 by vincentloy

‘Whiplash’ is a 2014 film that tells the story of a young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy and finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school, one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The drummer then came through all the pressures to achieve greatness and perfection in his performances. The film starred Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, etc (both of them steal the show, the others mean basically nothing in this movie).

whiplash-poster

It is a critically acclaimed film and went on to receive five nominations in the coming 87th Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. This is what encouraged me to watch it, and I just did. A fantastic and electrifying film. I’m with the majority of critics out there on agreeing that ‘Whiplash’ is certainly one of the ten best films last year. It’s energetic and exhilarating! Perhaps the best praise to the film shall goes to the performances by J.K. Simmons. And that is why he went on to sweep almost all supporting actor awards available in the current Hollywood awards season. He deserved it so much from his brilliant performance in ‘Whiplash’ as the harsh and abusive music teacher, Terence. But wait…let us not forget on Miles Teller too. He is fantastic as the drummer, Andrew. I can see how much effort he put into this movie. Definitely a young rising star to watch out for!

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‘Whiplash’. What an intense and inspiring film. Out of 10 points, I rate it a total of 7.9.

We are just few hours away from the biggest event in British film calendar, the 68th British Academy Film Awards (or widely known as BAFTAs). It will be held today from 9pm onwards (means very early in the morning over here in Malaysia). What is your predictions, particularly on those important categories?

My personal predictions (final predictions before the awards); Best Film will be a tight race between Boyhood and Birdman. If Boyhood wins Best Film, Birdman will probably takes the Best Director, or otherwise. Outstanding British film will be also another tight race between The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, both that also earned very good amount of nominations in the coming Oscars. Best Leading Actor will most probably goes to Eddie Redmayne for his terrific performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He had since won Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild for Best Actor too. Dark horses in this category are Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game). Best Leading Actress…no question; Julianne Moore (Still Alice). Also 100% sure that supporting actor will goes to Whiplash’s J.K. Simmons and supporting actress to Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette. The Rising Star Award is the only one voted by the public, and I will go for either Miles Teller or Jack O’ Connell. Both are great and had a wonderful past year in films.

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