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Selamat Hari Raya Aildilfitri!…looking forward to my upcoming Raya 2018 holiday back in KL.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2018 by vincentloy

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslims, particularly to my Malay friends and blog readers here! A month of fasting finally came to an end and may you have a wonderful and festive Raya celebration with your family, relatives and friends! If you are returning to hometown, have a safe trip and don’t be stress out by the traffic congestion (it is inevitable). For those who are not celebrating, happy holiday as well! This is a slightly longer weekend, thanks to the Hari Raya holiday that falls on Friday this year. Hence, I wouldn’t miss this opportunity to return home to spend a bit longer time in KL.

I’m already expecting a huge crowd tomorrow at the two border checkpoints between Malaysia and Singapore after working hours. A lot of Malaysians working in Singapore (like me, and especially the Malays) will go back to Malaysia for this celebration or simply enjoying the holiday. Usually it would take an hour or two to get through the checkpoints, but for tomorrow, I’m expecting about 3 hours. That is craziness that will only happen a few times in a year (only during festive period). A bus ride from Singapore to KL will usually take 6 hours, but for tomorrow, I’m thinking 8 hours or even more. My bus ride will start at 9pm and I think it will be almost morning when I reached KL.

The crowd at the checkpoints is my first concern. The second one is the traffic congestion along the route. Authorities in both Singapore and Malaysia should really look into making the exiting and entering procedures more efficient and less time consuming. My suggestion is to combine the two checkpoints into one, making it much easier and convenient for everyone. For bus passengers like us, we do not need to get down the bus twice if this approach is implemented and the buses do not need to queue again and again. People would ask me, why not just take a flight? Well, affordability is still my priority.

There isn’t much Raya mood going on here in Singapore, mainly because Malays comprises only a very small portion of the population here. It’s considered just a minor celebration here as opposed to being one of the main festive seasons in Malaysia. I recalled the time when I was working in a small office where all the other employees are Malays. They would turn up the radio with all the repeating festive Raya songs, share the Raya snacks and biscuits, and organize break fasting session and I would join in the fun. When my former colleagues were taking additional leave on the Raya week, I am the only one left working in the office. That was some cool experience though.

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to wish to all the Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri again! Have a great one! I’m looking forward to this weekend too in KL!

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

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Oasia Hotel Downtown won ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ at 16th CTBUH Awards.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2018 by vincentloy

Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore has been selected by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) end of last month as the winner of ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ in its 16th Annual CTBUH Awards. Oasia Hotel Downtown was chosen from among the four regional Best Tall Building winners.

American Copper Buildings won for Best Tall Building Americas, Oasia Hotel Downtown is named the Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia; Best Tall Building Europe went to The Silo; and Zeitz MOCAA for Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa.

The visually-striking Oasia Hotel Downtown stands out amongst the gray and blue high-rises of Singapore with its plant-covered façade of red and green, which connects to the green of the cityscape. Landscaping is used extensively as an architectural surface treatment, and forms a major part of the development’s material palette, with a total of 54 species of plants climbing along the aluminum mesh façade screen. With a substantial commitment to outdoor communal space through the incorporation of “skyspaces” along its height, the tower provides respite and relief to its occupants, neighbors, and city. “This project won not only because it incorporates 60 stories of green walls along the exterior,” said CTBUH Executive Director and Awards Juror Antony Wood, “but because of its significant commitment to communal space. The tower has given over 40 percent of its volume to open air communal terraces in the sky.”

I have the opportunity to view this building a couple of times as it is located right at the downtown of Singapore. Although it is not as tall as some of its neighbouring buildings, but it stood out from its distinctive red-coloured aluminium mesh facade coupled with greens all over the four sides of the building. The appearance breaks away from typical glass tower block or monstrous solid mass while the detailed design thought to the communal spaces is a plus point.

American Copper Buildings is a dual-tower residential skyscraper in New York City, USA. It is a venturesome and highly visible architectural statement clad in copper that addresses the area’s dual need for affordable housing and climate resiliency. The two towers are designed such that they appear to “dance” with each other. They are also connected by a bridge approximately 300 feet from the ground, which will be three levels in height.

The Silo in Copenhagen, Denmark is a 17-storey former grain silo that is now turned into a residential apartment. Exterior of the existing silo is reclad, while its interior has been preserved as raw and untouched as possible. An angular faceted exterior facade made of galvanized steel has been installed to serve as a limate shield. This has allowed the building’s characteristic slender tall shape to be maintained.

Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa underwent a similar approach with The Silo in Copenhagen. Zeitz MOCAA is formerly a grain silo building too and is now trasnformed into a contemporary art museum. Using a variety of concrete-cutting techniques, the interior of the building was carved out to create a number of galleries and a large central atrium. The remaining concrete shafts were capped with strengthened glass in order to allow natural light to enter and create a “cathedral-like” interior. I am in awe of the result of this concrete-cutting design approach. The space created looks awesome and I personally find that this is more deserving to win Best Tall Building Worldwide.

In addition to the regional and overall Best Tall Building winners, a number of other award recipients were recognized at the conference, including the World Trade Center Master Plan for the Urban Habitat Award; MULTI for the Innovation Award; The EY Centre for the Construction Award; New York Times Tower for the 10 Year Award (2007 Completions); and Shanghai World Financial Center for the 10 Year Award (2008 Completions). In all, the 10 awards winners were chosen from a group of 48 Finalist projects representing 28 countries.

Reference:

http://tallinnovation2018.com/winners/

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

B.V. Doshi wins Pritzker Architecture Prize 2018

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2018 by vincentloy

You may not have heard his name. I didn’t know who he is before today. B.V. Doshi (Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi) is the winner of this year’s Pritzker Prize, the highest honour presented annually to a living architect and is often referred as the Nobel Prize of architecture. Although he is not as popular as those star architects, but he now joined the elite group of past Pritzker winners such as Richard Meier, Oscar Niemeyer, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Peter Zumthor, Toyo Ito, etc. He is the first Indian architect to win the prize.

Excerpt below is from an article in Archdaily (https://www.archdaily.com/890126/balkrishna-doshi-named-2018-pritzker-prize-laureatez):

Doshi has been a practitioner of architecture for over 70 years. Previously, he had studied and worked with both Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. Doshi’s poetic architecture draws upon Eastern influences to create a body of work that “has touched lives of every socio-economic class across a broad spectrum of genres since the 1950s,” cites the jury. 

Born in Pune, India in 1927, Doshi began his studies in architecture in the year of his country’s independence, 1947. After a period in London, he moved to France to work under Le Corbusier, and from there he returned to India in order to oversee work on Le Corbusier’s plans for Chandigarh, and on Le Corbusier’s projects in Ahmedabad such as the Mill Owner’s Association Building (1954) and Shodhan House (1956). Doshi also later worked with Louis Kahn on the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, beginning in 1962.

Since founding his practice Vastushilpa (now known as Vastushilpa Consultants) in 1956, Doshi has combined the lessons learned from these two modern masters with a local sensibility. His distinctly Indian form of critical regionalism synthesizes the sculptural concrete and brick forms of his mentors with recognizably Indian architectural layouts and urban morphologies. One of the clearest manifestations of this style is perhaps his own studio, known as Sangath, where striking concrete barrel vaults are combined with gardens, sunken communal spaces, and water features to mitigate the heat. In 1978, Doshi founded the Vastushilpa Foundation for Studies and Research in Environmental Design to develop planning and design approaches suited to the Indian cultural context; today, the foundation serves as a crucial link between the academy and the architectural profession.

In over 100 projects completed during his career, Doshi has also worked on a number of low-cost housing developments. After completing his first in the 1950s, he stated that “It seems I should take an oath and remember it for my lifetime: to provide the lowest class with the proper dwelling.” The apotheosis of this oath was perhaps the Aranya Low Cost Housing development in Indore. Completed in 1989, this network of houses, courtyards and internal pathways provides housing for over 80,000 people ranging from low- to middle-income families, and won Doshi the 1993-1995 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

Some of B.V. Doshi’s past projects are Sangath – B.V. Doshi’s Office at Ahmedabad (first picture), LIC Housing at Ahmedabad (second picture), Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (third picture), Amdavad ni Gufa (underground art gallery) at Ahmedabad (fourth picture), Aranya Low Cost Housing at Indore (fifth picture), Kamala House at Ahmedabad (sixth picture), etc.

In recent years, the jury behind selection of Pritzker Prize winners is more inclined towards selecting those who use architecture to contribute critically to the community and to the lower class society rather than opting for those with highly popular names attached with ‘loud’ and extravagant projects. It is a good move.

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

 

 

Nomination list for the 90th Academy Awards and my predictions.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2018 by vincentloy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has just released its nomination list for the upcoming 90th Academy Awards (The Oscars) to be held on March 4th, 2018. After months of speculations and predictions on which movies, actors or actresses getting nominated for this prestigious awards, the nomination list is finally revealed. There are some snubs as expected, but overall, the nomination list this year is mostly predictable.

Here below is the full nomination list alongside with my picks on preferred choice and predicted winner and my personal opinions for most of the categories:

NOMINATION LIST FOR THE 90TH ACADEMY AWARDS (aka THE OSCARS)

Best Picture

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: There are 9 movies getting the nomination for this top honor. I am surprised that ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ are able to sneak in. Notable omission includes ‘I, Tonya’, ‘The Big Sick’, ‘Mudbound’ and ‘The Florida Project’. The frontrunner in this race so far is ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. However, the movie didn’t get a directing nomination which could hurt its chance to win best picture. That also makes way for ‘The Shape of Water’ to climb to the top to snatch best picture as the dark horse. However, I think even without a best director nomination, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is still predicted to win.

Directing

  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
  • Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Predicted winner: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Personal opinion: It’s going to be Guillermo del Toro. He has outpaced Christopher Nolan by winning best director at Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice. Christopher Nolan is still a potential spoiler and is another wonderful film director. But this year, it has to be Guillermo del Toro. I’m shocked to see Paul Thomas Anderson getting nominated but not Martin McDonagh who has directed ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, the best picture frontrunner. Steven Spielberg is also missing here from his directing work in ‘The Post’.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  • Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Preferred choice: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)

Predicted winner: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Personal opinion: Academy can put ‘Gary Oldman’ name on the Oscar statuette already. There is nothing in the path to obstruct him on getting his first ever Academy Award. His performance is good in ‘Darkest Hour’ but I actually prefer Timothee Chalamet for his very real, raw and emotional performance in ‘Call Me By Your Name’. Anyway, he is too young for an Oscar (he is only 22 years old) and there’s a long bright path for him after this. So, it’s certainly time to give this to a deserving veteran actor, and that is Gary Oldman. I’m surprised to see James Franco got snubbed here from his role in ‘The Disaster Artist’ (he won Golden Globe for best actor in musical/comedy) and I’m tired of seeing Denzel Washington getting nominated (his way of delivering loud performances is boring to me).

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep, The Post

Preferred choice: Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)

Predicted winner: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Personal opinion: Frances McDormand is the clear favourite and frontrunner after winning most of the precursor awards by now. This will be her second Oscar. She is good in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ but I don’t really like her strong and slightly aggressive attitude. It’s a pity that Sally Hawkins is not getting that much love from her inspiring work as a mute cleaner in a laboratory who felt in love with an amphibian in the movie ‘The Shape of Water’. I’m saddened that the voters out there didn’t realize how hard it is to portray a mute character while being able to deliver all the emotions perfectly and Sally Hawkins did that. On the other hand, Meryl Streep is nominated yet again. When there is Oscars, there is Meryl Streep. It is her 21st nomination (the most for any actors/actresses) and she did deserves it from her role in ‘The Post’.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  • Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Predicted winner: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Personal opinion: I’m giving the slight edge to Allison Janney over Laurie Metcalf because the former has a more prominent appearance and a character with louder personality in ‘I, Tonya’. Allison Janney has also won the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and the SAG. Hence, Laurie Metcalf’s position as the frontrunner previously is immediately replaced by Allison Janney.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Predicted winner: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Personal opinion: Willem Dafoe is losing momentum and is also giving the frontrunner status to Sam Rockwell by now already as the latter has won Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is going strong here with 2 nominations.

Adapted Screenplay

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game
  • Mudbound

Preferred choice: Call Me By Your Name

Predicted winner: Call Me By Your Name

Personal opinion: Surprised to see ‘Logan’ getting its nomination here. Anyway, this category is weak this year and that makes way for ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to win this for sure as it is the only movie nominated here that is also nominated for best picture. Enough said.

Original Screenplay

  • The Big Sick
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: Get Out

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: Out of these 5 nominees, both ‘Get Out’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ had script with brilliant fresh new idea respectively. I favor ‘Get Out’ more as it has a more engaging storyline. However, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ will win this and it’s a hint that this movie will win best picture too (to my disappointment). I couldn’t really get myself into this movie. I find it overrated.

Animated Feature Film

  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent

Preferred choice: Coco

Predicted winner: Coco

Personal opinion: Definitely ‘Coco’. The other nominees are just filling in the spots because they are far behind from ‘Coco’ in everything. ‘Coco’ is not only the best animated film in 2017, but also among the best of all the animated movies that I have watched. Besides that, this category is very weak this year.

Foreign Language Film

  • A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
  • The Insult (Lebanon)
  • Loveless (Russia)
  • Body and Soul (Hungary)
  • The Square (Sweden)

Documentary Feature

  • Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
  • Faces/Places
  • Icarus
  • Last Men in Aleppo
  • Strong Island

Cinematography

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Mudbound
  • The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: Blade Runner 2049

Personal opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Blade Runner 2049’ but I have heard a lot of good reviews particularly on its technical achievements. The dark horse in this category is certainly ‘The Shape of Water’.

Film Editing

  • Baby Driver
  • Dunkirk
  • I, Tonya
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: I, Tonya

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: I am amazed by the editing in ‘I, Tonya’ but I think people have forgotten that and kept remembering how great ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ has performed in the major precursor awards earlier. I have a feeling that voters wanted to give out more awards for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and this may be one of them.

Production Design

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water

Personal opinion: ‘The Shape of Water’ stunned me with its amazing production design. The sets are awesome and gave me the feels to get myself immersed into the story and the movie. I would be mad if this movie lost here.

Costume Design

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Darkest Hour
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Victoria & Abdul

Preferred choice: Beauty and the Beast

Predicted winner: Phantom Thread

Personal opinion: ‘Phantom Thread’ is in race for best picture and also in some other categories but it looks like it will not win anything. Costume design is the best shot for the film. The Academy will vote for it just for the sake of giving a consolation (a single win) to the movie.

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria & Abdul
  • Wonder

Preferred choice: Darkest Hour

Predicted winner: Darkest Hour

Personal opinion: ‘Darkest Hour’ will take this one simply because the transformation of Gary Oldman to portray as Winston Churchill in the movie is phenomenal. I couldn’t even recognize that it was Gary Oldman in there and I have to compliment the very realistic make-up work put on him (must be a lot of effort). Hairtstyling? I think that make-up achievement in that movie is already enough for it to win. Academy should have extended this category to the normal 5 nominees, rather than just 3.

Original Score

  • Dunkirk
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water

Personal opinion: The simple yet magical soundtrack for ‘The Shape of Water’ should and will win this. Alexandre Desplat has yet produced another amazing film score here.

Original Song

  • “Mighty River,” Mudbound
  • “Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name
  • “Remember Me,” Coco
  • “Stand Up for Something,” Marshall
  • “This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Preferred choice: ‘This Is Me’ (The Greatest Showman)

Predicted winner: ‘This Is Me’ (The Greatest Showman)

Personal opinion: Although ‘Remember Me’ is a very moving song, but ‘This Is Me’ is more powerful, meaningful and resonates more with the current society in the idea of respecting and treating minorities equally. Hence, I’m giving the edge to ‘This Is Me’. ‘Remember Me’ from ‘Coco’ is still a strong contender.

Sound Editing

  • Baby Driver
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Preferred choice: Baby Driver

Predicted winner: Baby Driver

Personal opinion: I am still confused by the difference between sound ‘editing’ and ‘mixing’. Anyway, I’m putting my bet on ‘Baby Driver’ as the movie did triumphed in sound categories and here is the only chance for it to come on top. I remembered the intentional synchronization of music with the actions by the cast in that movie. That was brilliant.

Sound Mixing

  • Baby Driver
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Preferred choice: Dunkirk

Predicted winner: Dunkirk

Personal opinion: Suddenly, I remembered that ‘Dunkirk’ also excelled in sound categories. ‘Dunkirk’ has loud, intense and climax-building sound works.  I think it will be battle between ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘Dunkirk’ in these two categories. So, why not each one winning one to make things sound fair.

Visual Effects

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

Preferred choice: War for the Planet of the Apes

Predicted winner: War for the Planet of the Apes

Personal opinion: I’m surprised to see ‘Kong: Skull Island’ getting a nomination here but I have to say that the movie do have some pretty visuals. But it won’t win. I’m putting my bet on ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ as it is the last film in the reboot ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise (time to acknowledge it) and that the apes in it really look very real.

Animated Short Film

  • Dear Basketball
  • Garden Party
  • Lou
  • Negative Space
  • Revolting Rhymes

Live Action Short Film

  • DeKalb Elementary
  • The Eleven O’Clock
  • My Nephew Emmett
  • The Silent Child
  • Watu WoteAll of Us

Documentary Short Subject

  • Edith and Eddie
  • Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
  • Heroin(e)
  • Knife Skills
  • Traffic Stop

That’s it for the nomination list. ‘The Shape of Water’ leads with 13 nominations. It almost ties the record for being the film with most nominations which now stands at 14 (several other films in the past had reached that record before). It is still an astonishing feat for ‘The Shape of Water’ with that many number of nominations as expected earlier.  ‘Dunkirk’ has the second most nominations, and it is actually far behind with 8 nominations. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is closely behind with 7 nominations and is predicted to win in most of the categories it is nominated, particularly in the acting ones and also for best picture. ‘Phantom Thread’ is getting more love than I expected with 6 nominations. ‘Darkest Hour’ also has 6 nominations. ‘Lady Bird’ has 5 nominations, while ‘Get Out’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’ has 4 nominations respectively. ‘The Post’, the remaining contender for best picture has 2 nominations only (best actress and best picture) and it is obvious that this movie is not getting much love from the Academy. Overall, there is not much major surprises for this year’s nomination list.

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

World’s Ten Tallest Cities in 2018

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2018 by vincentloy

I have written a post on the top 10 tallest buildings that will be completed this year (2018) few days ago. Now, it’s time to proceed to another similar topic; world’s top 10 tallest cities in 2018. How do I decide which cities are taller? Taking reference from Ultrapolis Project website that sorted world’s tallest cities several years ago (and is now no longer doing so, hence the statistics on its website not being updated), I look to add up the height of top 20 tallest buildings in a particular city and divide them by 20 to get the average height of 20 tallest buildings in that city.

At first, I look to only add up the height of top 10 tallest buildings in a city only, and not 20. However, later I found that top 20 will make the data more credible and better visualize the ‘tallness’ of a city. Buildings mentioned here include the topped-out ones but exclude the telecommunication or observation towers as they are non-habitable structures. The list of top 20 tallest buildings of the cities across the world can be found from Emporis website, and it is a very reliable source of information besides than Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Before going down the list below, which cities do you think will be included in this list and which one of them is the tallest of them all?

WORLD’S TOP TEN TALLEST CITIES IN 2018

1.Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Points: 374.35

Tallest building in the city: Burj Khalifa (828 metres)

2. Shenzhen, China

Points: 338.60

Tallest building in the city: Ping An International Finance Center (599 metres)

3. New York City, United States of America

Points: 313.70

Tallest building in the city: One World Trade Center (541 metres)

4. Guangzhou, China

Points: 311.50

Tallest building in the city: CTF Finance Centre (530 metres)

5. Shanghai, China

Points: 311.25

Tallest building in the city: Shanghai Tower (632 metres)

6. Hong Kong, China

Points: 295.30

Tallest building in the city: International Commerce Centre (484 metres)

7. Tianjin, China

Points: 290.00

Tallest building in the city: Goldin Finance 117 (597 metres)

8. Chicago, United States of America

Points: 280.70

Tallest building in the city: Willis Tower (442 metres)

9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Points: 275.90

Tallest building in the city: The Exchange 106 (492 metres)

10. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Points: 267.30

Tallest building in the city: Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid (382 metres)

Hong Kong would have topped this list a decade or two ago. However, many other cities in China are now in skyscraper boom and some of them immediately overtake Hong Kong in the race to build taller skyscrapers. Hong Kong appears to have slow down a lot in recent years on that progress, and is now pushed down to 6th spot. China dominated the list again as expected with 5 of its cities in this top 10 list. I am also surprised that a much less known city, Tianjin made it to the list too. Although China is the top country in this trend of building supertalls, Dubai still took the crown for being the world’s tallest cities in 2018. A lot of points to push Dubai to the top definitely comes from Burj Khalifa, which stands at a whopping 828 metres high alone and is still the current world’s tallest building.

I’m delighted that my home city, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is within this top 10 list. Although KL is quite a small city, but we do have a number of tall skyscrapers. I have decided to include in the still under-construction The Exchange 106 Tower (492 metres tall) into the calculation because this building is definitely going to be completed this year and is nearly at the stage of topping out now.

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

Top 10 tallest buildings to be built in 2018

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2018 by vincentloy

2018 will be another great year in worldwide achievement on building skyscrapers. China is again leading the way in building supertall buildings. My capital city, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will also be included into this list for the first time after so many years due to the projected completion of 492 metres tall The Exchange 106 Tower mid of this year. So, what are the top 10 tallest buildings to be built in 2018? Here’s the answer:

  1. Goldin Finance 117 Tower, Tianjin, China (597 metres, 128 floors). The tower is now nearing the stage of topping out with the construction of the diamond-shaped crown to commence shortly. However, there are news that this project is put on hold due to budget constraint and may not be completed this year. If it is managed to be completed this year, it will be the world’s 5th tallest building. It is only 3 metres shy from 600 metres mark.

2. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Tianjin, China (530 metres, 97 floors). The tower has topped out and is set to be completed this year while fate is still unknown for the Goldin Finance 117 Tower mentioned above that is located in the same city; Tianjin. When completed, it will be among the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.

3. China Zun Tower, Beijing, China (528 metres, 108 floors). The tower has topped out. When completed, it will be among the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.

4. The Exchange 106 Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (492 metres, 106 floors). The tower is now nearing the stage of topping out with the construction of the glass crown to commence shortly. This will be the first building in the country to have over 100 floors and will be the country’s tallest when completed.

5. Lakhta Center, St Petersburg, Russia (462 metres, 86 floors). The tower has topped out and will be the tallest building in Russia when completed. First time seeing Russia join in the race to construct building of this height.

6. Changsha IFS Tower 1, Changsha, China (452 metres, 94 floors). The tower is nearly completed with all exterior cladding already installed.

7. Suzhou IFS, Suzhou, China (450 metres, 98 floors). The tower has topped out and its exterior cladding is almost completed.

8. Wuhan Center Tower, Wuhan, China (438 floors, 88 floors). This one also has topped out. Another higher skyscraper, Wuhan Greenland Center is also rising quickly in the same city and when completed in 2019, the 125-storey tower will have a height of 636 metres.

9. China Resources Headquarters, Shenzhen, China (393 metres, 67 floors). Topped out. Shenzhen has been seeing record-breaking number of skyscrapers completed in recent years.

10. Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1, Shenzhen, China (388 metres, 80 floors). Topped out. Another one in Shenzhen.

Out of the 10 building above, 8 are in China, 1 is in Malaysia and 1 is in Russia. We seldom see any supertall skyscraper completion in Russia and 2018 will be the year for that to happen. China dominated the race to build skyscrapers again from its cities like Tianjin and Shenzhen. United States, which is once known as the country of the origin of skyscrapers did not make it to the list. The first 8 in this list will have final height of over 400 metres respectively while the first 3 even exceeded 500 metres mark.

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

My personal selection of the best for 2017 Hollywood films.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2018 by vincentloy

An actor from Hollywood can win over 20 best actor honours from a single performance or a movie can take multiple best film titles. That is possible because there are a lot of different film organizations or festivals in the West which get to pick their best of the year. For example, each states in US has its own film critics group. I have been thinking that why not Malaysians get to have our own group of film critics that get to pick the best in Hollywood too. That would be interesting.

I myself watched considerably huge number of Hollywood films every year. For 2017, I have watched over 60 Hollywood films to date and I have also compiled a list of all the 2017 movies that I have watched end of last year in a blog post (link: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/2017-films-that-i-have-watched-and-list-of-10-highest-grossing-films-for-the-year/). I do not have a voice (not able to vote) on the result for the Golden Globes, SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA, Academy Awards or any other film awards but I can have my own annual list of the best for 2017 Hollywood films published here too.

The list of my personal best is shown right below (and it has 26 categories) and you will notice that I have a fair mix of major blockbusters and Oscar-type movies. The result is only from the movies that I had watched and is based on my personal analysis and statistics from the on-going awards season.

MY SELECTION OF THE BEST FOR 2017 HOLLYWOOD FILMS

Best Film: The Shape of Water

Runner-up: Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, Get Out, War for the Planet of the Apes, It, Happy Death Day, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Coco, Paddington 2.

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Runner-up: Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Steven Spielberg (The Post), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name)

Best Leading Actor: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Runner-up: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)

Best Leading Actress: Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)

Runner-up: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Meryl Streep (The Post)

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Runner-up: Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water), Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sebastian Stan (I, Tonya)

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Runner-up: Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water), Tatiana Maslany (Stronger), Julia Roberts (Wonder)

Best New Performer: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)

Runner-up: Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day), Tom Holland (Spider-man: Homecoming), Asa Butterfield (The Space Between Us)

Best Cast Ensemble: The Shape of Water

Runner-up: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lady Bird, I Tonya, Call Me By Your Name)

Best Original Screenplay: The Shape of Water

Runner-up: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Get Out, I Tonya, Lady Bird

Best Adapted Screenplay: Call Me By Your Name

Runner-up: The Disaster Artist, Stronger, Victoria and Abdul, Wonder

Best Production Design: The Shape of Water

Runner-up: Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, The Post, Beauty and the Beast

Best Cinematography: The Shape of Water

Runner-up: Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, The Post

Best Costume Design: Beauty and the Beast

Runner-up: The Greatest Showman, Victoria and Abdul, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread

Best Film Editing: I, Tonya

Runner-up: The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Get Out, Baby Driver

Best Make-Up and Hair-Styling: Darkest Hour

Runner-up: Wonder, Victoria and Abdul, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol II, I Tonya

Best Sound Mixing and Editing: Dunkirk

Runner-up: Baby Driver, The Shape of Water, Get Out, Wonder Woman

Best Visual Effect: War for the Planet of the Apes

Runner-up: Beauty and the Beast, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol II

Best Original Score: The Shape of Water

Runner-up: Dunkirk, The Post, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Victoria and Abdul

Best Original Song: This Is Me (The Greatest Showman)

Runner-up: Remember Me (Coco), The Mystery of Love (Call Me By Your Name), Visions of Gideon (Call Me By Your Name), Never Enough (The Greatest Showman)

Best Animated Film: Coco

Runner-up: Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, Despicable Me 3, The Emoji Movie

Best Horror / Supernatural Film: It

Runner-up: Jigsaw, Annabelle: Creation, Eloise, Rings

Best Science-Fiction / Fantasy Film: War for the Planet of the Apes

Runner-up: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Life, Kong: Skull Island, The Space Between Us

Best Action / Thriller Film: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Runner-up: The Fate of the Furious, Split, Alien: Covenant, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Youth / Superhero Film: Wonder Woman

Runner-up: Justice League, Spider-man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Power Rangers

Best Musical / Comedy Film: The Greatest Showman

Runner-up: Happy Death Day, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Beauty and the Beast, Paddington 2

Best Foreign Language Film: Bad Genius (Thailand)

Runner-up: Kung Fu Yoga (China, India), Cook Up A Storm (Hong Kong, China), The Adventurers (Hong Kong, China), Bleeding Steel (China)

‘The Shape of Water’ is the biggest winner with 8 wins. I enjoyed this film and I am amazed by almost everything in it from its masterful direction, brilliant acting performances and technical presentations. ‘Call Me By Your Name’, ‘Darkest Hour’, ‘The Greatest Showman’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ has two wins respectively. If you are a movie lover, what do you think of my list here?

(This post is updated on 7th March 2018)