Archive for honour

Shanghai Tower named CTBUH’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 and won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2016 by vincentloy

Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China and is currently the second tallest building in the world. Completed in 2015, it is also the tallest building in China, a country that has been actively building supertalls in recent decades. Designed by Gensler Architects, Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and is one of the three supertall buildings in the prime area in Pudong. The other two are the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres high) and Jin Mao Tower (421 metres high).


Recently, the tower is named Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Besides that, the tower has also won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015. It’s a double joy for the tower. Shanghai Tower has accomplished such level of recognition due to many reasons. Some of them are its elegant spiraling cylindrical form, energy-efficient performance of the building, extraordinary double-skin facade, world’s fastest elevator, etc.




Shanghai Tower prevailed over other winners in smaller categories in CTBUH Best Tall Buildings selection to take the top prize after winning the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia. Best Tall Building Americas goes to VIA 57 West, Best Tall Building Europe goes to The White Walls and Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa goes to The Cube. As for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, Shanghai Tower topped the list of their 10 finalist selection. The other 9 in order from top to bottom are Evolution Tower in Russia (no.2), II Dritto in Italy (no.3), Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in China (no.4), ABODE 318 in Australia (no.5), Icon Bay in United States of America (no.6), D1 Tower in United Arab Emirates (no.7), 432 Park Avenue in United States of America (no.8), Citygate in Austria (no.9) and ICE II in Canada (no.10).

I would love to visit Shanghai Tower and goes up to its observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and to purchase a replica model of the skyscraper. If you know me well, one of my hobbies is to collect replica models of famous buildings and towers around the world. This hobby is actually very costly, but what can I do since it’s my interest. I have not visited Shanghai before and I am looking forward for a trip to that city in near future. I think I would be very impressed not only by the supertalls in that city, but also by the overall magnificent skyline of the city.


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



Alejandro Aravena, winner of 2016 Pritzker Prize.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2016 by vincentloy

Pritzker Prize, awarded annually to honour a living architect (or architects in partnership) is regarded as the highest architectural award in the world. The past winners of this prestigious prize include Philip Johnson, I.M.Pei, Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel, Peter Zumthor, Toyo Ito, etc. The recipient for this year’s Pritzker Prize had just been announced not long ago, and the winner is Alejandro Aravena.

He is the 41st Pritzker Prize laureate and the first Chilean to receive the award. Alejandro Aravena is an architect born in 1967 in Santiago, Chile. After graduated from Universidad Católica de Chile in 1992, he established Alejandro Aravena Architects in 1994. He was a visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design from 2000–2005 and is the Elemental-Copec Professor at his alma mater. He had also written some books on architecture. Other than that, he was a member of the Pritzker Prize Jury from 2009 to 2015, and is an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 2006 he became the executive director of ELEMENTAL S.A, a company working on infrastructure, transportation, public space and housing projects. In July 2015 Aravena was named Director of the Architecture Section of the Venice Biennale, with the responsibility for curating the 15th International Architecture Exhibition to be held in Venice in 2016.

Some of the many awards he had received in the past for his creativity, contribution and commitment in architectural field are León de Plata XI Bienal in Venice, Erich Schelling Architecture Medal in 2006,  Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2008, Silver Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008, Index Award winner in 2011, and of course this Pritzker Prize in 2016.

Aravena has a large portfolio of private, public and educational projects in Chile, the USA, Mexico, China and Switzerland. But perhaps more notably, through his firm ELEMENTAL, he has managed to build 2,500 units of social housing, engaging in the public housing policies of governments where he works and taking an opportunistic approach to market forces to generate a powerful impact on lower-income communities.

“Alejandro Aravena epitomizes the revival of a more socially engaged architect, especially in his long-term commitment to tackling the global housing crisis and fighting for a better urban environment for all,” explained the Jury in their citation. “He has a deep understanding of both architecture and civil society, as is reflected in his writing, his activism and his designs. The role of the architect is now being challenged to serve greater social and humanitarian needs, and Alejandro Aravena has clearly, generously and fully responded to this challenge.” He is also praised to have ‘”risen to the demands of practicing architecture as an artful endeavor, as well as meeting today’s social and economic challenges.”

Some of his famous past works include:

Siamese Towers, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile

Monterrey Housing. Monterrey, Mexico


St Edward’s University Dorms. Austin, Texas, USA

Medical School, Universidad Católica de Chile. Santiago, Chile

Novartis Office Building. Shanghai, China


Congratulation, Alejandro Aravena! Before this, not many would know this name. Now, since he is 2016’s recipient of Pritzker Prize, defeating other hot favourites like Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Santiago Calatrava, etc this year, people in architecture field like us would have his name in our minds from now on. He made a mark in the world’s architecture scene, and so his name is worth a part in our memory especially after he won this prestigious Pritzker Prize for 2016.

(Images and information in this post are from You can read more about this wonderful architect and his works in that link to Archdaily website).

Jackie Chan is now 60 years old. Blog’s post in honour of this superstar.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2014 by vincentloy

Jackie Chan celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday! Couldn’t believe he is now 60. It would be weird if you didn’t know who he is. He needs no further introduction but I’ll just summarize a bit of his background on this post which is dedicated in honour of this wonderful person. Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong superstar, taking the roles of an actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, philanthropist, singer and stunt performer. He has received honourable stars both on Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars and Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Jackie Chan

His popularity on both East and West of the world is undeniable. He is famously known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons and innovative stunts in most of his trademark films. He is also highly famous for bravely performing all the dangerous stunts required in a film by himself. I really respect his passion and sincerity into producing truly ‘honest’ films. No doubles. I had been watching many of his films (mostly action-comedy, martial-arts based and crime thriller) from my childhood years onwards. I enjoyed most of his films.


And do you know that he had been in acting career from 1960s and had now appeared in over 150 films, a record-breaking figure. Some of his films that are still my favourites after so many years are ‘Project A’ movie franchise, ‘Armor of God’ movie franchise, ‘Police Story’ movie franchise (particularly the one he shot the film in Malaysia with Michelle Yeoh and also another one named ‘New Police Story’ with Daniel Wu as the villain), ‘The Myth’, ‘Rob-b-hood’, ‘CZ12’. Also not to forget some of his great Hollywood films like ‘Rush Hour’ movie franchise, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, ‘ The Spy Next Door’, ‘The Karate Kid’, etc. He is also a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having performed many theme songs for the films he was involved in.

Everybody knows who he is. His celebrity status? Hmm…I think he is by far the most famous living Asian person, having had success on his homeland, Hong Kong and also abroad, over at Hollywood. He is now 60 years old and I really admire his strength and effort on continuing to act and produce films (especially those that require him to perform stunts). I have heard previously that ‘CZ12’ is going to be his last action films (I was a bit sad that time but I think it maybe a right choice looking at his age), but then he still went on with ‘The Police Story 2013′, his latest released work. Happy that he won’t retire anytime soon.

In honour of his 60th birthday, he held a special charity concert on last weekend at Beijing. Many famous artists like Jay Chou, Wang lee-hom, Nicholas Tse and Leo Ku attended the event held at Beijing Workers’ Stadium. I’m surprised that he is not holding the event of his big day back at Hong Kong. I think now he is focusing more on works at mainland China. Well, happy birthday to him! Will never forget his immense passion and contribution to world film-making. Truly a legend and an international superstar.

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

Pritzker Prize 2014 winner: Shigeru Ban.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2014 by vincentloy

Notable Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban has been named the recipient of Pritzker Prize for the year, the highest honour to a living architect presented out annually. He is the second Japanese architect in a row to receive the coveted prize, following on from last year’s winner, Toyo Ito. He is also the seventh Japanese architect, and overall the 37th recipient to have received this award. Congratulation to Shigeru Ban.


Now, here’s a bit of his background, and particularly his design approach that matters. The architect began his career in the office of Arata Isozaka, after being educated in America at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and then New York’s Cooper Union School of Architecture. He is best-known for projects such as the Cardboard Cathedral (first image below) in New Zealand, and the Centre Pompidou Metz in France, but is also highly respected for his pioneering use of cardboard in disaster relief projects around the world. He founded his own Tokyo practice in 1985 with little experience and went on to complete a number of residential projects in Japan such as Three Walls (1988), Curtain Wall House (1995) (second image below) and Naked House (2000).




His first designs for paper-tube structures were used to provide temporary homes for Vietnamese refugees after the Kobe earthquake in 1995. Since then the architect has travelled to sites of natural and man-made disasters around the world to develop low-cost, recyclable shelters for affected communities. He has also used shipping containers as ready-made elements for permanent and temporary structures.

“Shigeru Ban is a force of nature, which is entirely appropriate in the light of his voluntary work for the homeless and dispossessed in areas that have been devastated by natural disasters,” said jury chairman of the award’s selection, Peter Palumbo. “But he also ticks the several boxes for qualification to the Architectural Pantheon: a profound knowledge of his subject with a particular emphasis on cutting-edge materials and technology, total curiosity and commitment, endless innovation, an infallible eye, an acute sensibility, to name but a few.” Last year Ban completed a temporary cardboard cathedral for Christchurch (2013), after the city’s former Anglican cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake. He has also designed an art museum for Aspen, Colorado, that is set to complete this summer.

Shigeru Ban has my respect and admiration. He truly deserves the award. He is not only a successful architect, but also a great humanitarian. He utilizes the knowledge, skill and creativity he has in architecture to help people by building a better world to them through his innovative and ecological design.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web. Most information in this post are from this source:

In remembrance of the late Hong Kong superstar, Anita Mui (1963 – 2003)

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by vincentloy

Year 2003 was a tragic year for Hong Kong not only due to the SARS outbreak but also in entertainment industry when two of the very iconic stars, Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui died in that particular year. This year, on April 1st, a tribute and a memorial concert was made to mark the 10th anniversary of Leslie’s death. Now, on 30th December, the same would be organized in memory of Anita Mui Yim-fong (10 October 1963 – 30 December 2003), as she had left us exactly a decade ago.


‘Anita Mui’ is a familiar name to all Chinese. Before she turned into a highly successful singer and actress, she experienced much hardship in her childhood and had to entered show business at the age of 4 to support her family. She then joined the first New Talent Singing Championship in 1982 and won the first place, hence starting out her route to success and fame. In subsequent years, popular for her distinctive voice, she won huge number of awards including Best Female Singer award consecutively from 1985 to 1989 and Gold Song Gold Award in 1989 for the song ‘Sunset Melody’ which became one of her signature songs throughout her career. She had released over 30 albums and organized nearly 300 live concerts, and reached peak of her singing career to the point that she is recognized as the ‘Madonna of the East’ in the West, Cantopop diva and queen particularly in 1980s.

At the age of 28, she stepped down from the industry to make way for newcomers and she had mentored several of them, most notably, Andy Hui, Denise Ho, Edmond Leung, and the band ‘Grasshopper’. She returned from retirement in 1994, and in 1998 at the age of only 35, she was awarded RTHK Golden Needle Award, being one of the youngest recipients of the lifetime achievement award. Besides singing, she had also starred in over 40 films in 20 years of her acting career. She was known to portray all kind of roles from comedy to tragedy with immense effort and her hard work won her Best Actress at the Golden Horse Awards, Asia Pacific Film Festival and also in Hong Kong Film Awards for her role in film ‘Rouge’. This made her the first Hong Kong music queen to be equally rightful to be known as film queen. Her other notable films are A Better Tomorrow 3, The Top Bet, Justice My Foot, Fight Back To School 3, The Heroic Trio, Wu Yen, and July Rhapsody (her last film).

She was also actively involved in charitable works. She had established ‘Anita Mui True Heart Charity Foundation’, a nursing home in San Francisco, a fund-raising concert for SARS-affected families, etc. Her tremendous contribution to the entertainment industry and also in charity made her to become one of the most loved stars and her death in 30th December 2003 was a very heartbreaking news to all. She died from cervical cancer at the age of 40, and before she left, she organized a series of immensely touching farewell concerts to say goodbye to her fans on stage. Her funeral in January 2004 was attended by many celebrities and thousands of fans.


She was most famous particularly in 1980s, at the time when I do not even exist yet. However, even younger generations knew her well, a proof of her fame that never fades even to this day, a decade after her death. She remained as one of the most prolific icons from Hong Kong. On the other hand, tonight, there will be a memorial concert organized by her close friends, Jacky Cheung and Eric Tsang in honour of her legacy. Anita Mui (1963 – 2003) will be forever remembered.


UPDATE – I had just watched the two and a half hour live broadcast from Hong Kong of a tribute programme and a memorial concert (mentioned in previous paragraph) to the late Anita Mui. Very touching and a great effort. They made it a great emotional ‘surprise’ party to her as everyone do remember Anita till this day. I am glad to find huge number of very popular celebrities (Eric Tsang, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, Maggie Cheung, Sammi Cheng, Anita Yuen, Tony Leung, Carina Lau, Miriam Yeung, Andy Hui, Edmund Leong, Denise Ho, Sandy Lam, A-Mei, George Lam, Alex To, etc) going up on stage to sing or to deliver heartfelt speech. A very meaningful memorial concert to Anita Mui. I also like the short front programme before the concert when they show bits of Anita’s popular songs, her background, her time on winning awards, her scenes in some films, etc.

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

Pritzker Architecture Prize winner for the last three years

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by vincentloy

Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honour “a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” It is founded in 1979 and is often referred to as Nobel Prize in architecture, hence symbolizing the prestige and top honour of receiving this award. I’m now dreaming of whether in future I could have the chance to win this architecture’s highest honor. It’s something very hard to achieve, but I will try my best.

Notable former recipients of this award are Philip Johnson, Sir James Stirling, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Kenzo Tange, Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog and de Meuron, Glenn Murcutt, Jorn Utzon, Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel, Peter Zumthor, etc. I recalled the last time I wrote about this award was in 2010, when Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA) won it for that year. Now, it’s time to highlight the recipients of this award from 2011 to 2013.

2011’s winner of Pritzker Prize is Eduardo Souto de Moura from Portugal. The prize was awarded for his work including Estádio Municipal de Braga (image shown below), the Burgo Tower in Porto and the Paula Rego Museum in Cascais. His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics—power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and sense of intimacy—at the same time. His design reinforces a sense of history while expanding the range of contemporary expression through beauty and authenticity of materials and construction.


2012’s winner is Wang Shu from China. He is the first Chinese to win Pritzker Prize (second winner of Chinese descent after I.M. Pei).  His win is generally due to his “unique ability to evoke the past, without making direct references to history” and called his work “timeless, deeply rooted in its context and yet universal”. His architecture has been described as “opening new horizons while at the same time resonates with place and memory”, experimental, and as a rare example of critical regionalism in China. His notable works are Ningbo Museum (image shown below), Library of Wenzheng College, Xiangshan campus of the China Academy of Art and Old Town Conservation of Zhongshan Street, Hangzhou.


The most recent winner of this Pritzker Prize for year 2013 goes to Toyo Ito from Japan. Unlike the previous two award recipients, Toyo is more popular and known for creating conceptual architecture, in which he seeks to simultaneously express the physical and virtual worlds. He is a leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a “simulated” city, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”  Ito has defined architecture as “clothing” for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This theme revolves around the equilibrium between the private life and the metropolitan, “public” life of an individual. The current architecture of Toyo Ito is aggressively exploring the potentials of new forms. In doing so, he seeks to find new spatial conditions that manifest the philosophy of borderless beings. His notable works are Sendai Mediatheque (image shown below), Bruges Pavilion, VivoCity Singapore, Tod’s Omotesando Building, Kaohsiung’s World Games Stadium, Taoyuan International Airport,  Torre Realia BCN and Hotel Porta Fira at Barcelona.


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

In memory of Anita Mui

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2011 by vincentloy

Today I’m a bit curious on why classic songs sang by the late Anita Mui are being played in radio station, for quite a few times. Then, I was informed that today is her birthday, 10th October. If she had not passed away in 2003, she would be now 48 years of age. It appears that it is very easy to remember her birthday (the date can be read as double 10 for 10th October), as well as the date she passed away which is on 30th December 2003, two days before new year.

She passed away at a very young age of 40 due to cervical cancer. She started her singing career after winning the inaugural new talent singing competition in 1982 at Hong Kong. Her twenty-years of stardom career began, which included acting in films and contributing in community works. She is regarded as the cantopop diva in 1980s, with her fans’ presence throughout not only Hong Kong, but also whole Asia including my country, Malaysia. Even my late mother likes her songs too. Besides that, she also received other nicknames like ‘Madonna of Asia’ as her concert in London was also even a sold-out and being lauded by the West.

It is too pity that she died at such a young age. She contributed very much to the cantopop music scene based in Hong Kong, becoming the idol to many artists, and example to cantopop queens in 1990s (Faye Wong, Sammi Cheng, Kelly Chen). Her best friend, Leslie Cheung whom is also a prominent figure in cantopop music, also passed away in the same year, on 1st April 2003 (April Fool Day) due to suicide caused by depression. Hong Kong singing industry had terrible loss that year.

Eventhough Anita Mui’s popular years are way earlier than my generation, but I do like some of her songs. She portrayed her very own character, style and voice on her songs, which is very good and iconic; something that represents her as the cantopop diva. Her ‘Song of the Sunset’ is a big hit, and also not to forget ‘Fate’, her duet with the late Leslie Cheung. I got the opportunity to watch some clips of her performance on her farewell concert on end of 2003 before her death, and I have to really admire and respect her due to her hard conditions at that particular time, which are almost impossible for her to hold her farewell concerts, knowing herself would be dying soon. But she did it! She wanted to share her final moments with the fans by her songs, and she made it.

She is truly a legend in Hong Kong entertainment industry. Who doesn’t know Anita Mui? Eventhough the youngsters like us are not familiar with her songs, but we still recognize her. She had also acted in over 40 movies, which the one that is still fresh in my mind is the ‘Wu Yen’, starring with Sammi Cheng and Cecilia Cheung. I can still remember that my parents were shocked by the news of her death in 2003. Her wide-spread contribution to the entertainment industry would never be forgotten.