SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILDING04 Oct 2016
Over 500 Asian architects gathered at The 17th Asian Congress of Architects in Hong Kong
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Hong Kong – Co-organised by the Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) and The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), and sponsored by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, The 17th Asian Congress of Architects (ACA17) was unveiled on 29 September 2016.

Held for the first time in Hong Kong, the Congress had “Growth and Diversity: The Green Age of Asia” as the theme this year. Connecting over 500 architectural practitioners and students from 19 Asian countries and regions, the ACA17 will dig into the diversity of and area for growth of green architecture, and share regional experience.

The ACA17 comprises a two-day Conference held from 29th September to 30th September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. To mark the occasion, our guest of honour, the Honourable C Y Leung, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), welcomed the participating architects from Asia to Hong Kong. He noted that the Government is committed to shaping a sustainable community, to ensuring that our future generations live, work and flourish in a city blessed with growth and diversity. He added that the Congress over the next two days will provide a platform for all participants to hear from internationally renowned architects on how to shape a greener environment, a better world, for all.

Ar. Vincent Ng, President of the HKIA, said that the Institute is honoured to hold the 17th edition of the Asian Congress of Architects (ACA), which is also the first time for Hong Kong to host such prestigious event. “As a city known for its dense skyscrapers, Hong Kong, with concerted efforts at the societal level, has made significant inroads in the development of green architecture. Hosting such an important regional event is particularly meaningful in that our peers in the region could participate in in-depth discussion of future development of green architecture and the discussion would inspire innovative ideas at the industry level as well as in society, thus laying the foundation for the future of green architecture,” he said.

Ar. Sathirut Nui Tandanand, President of the ARCASIA said that Asia, over the past decade, has experienced rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, which inevitably affects the natural environment. Since the first ACA was held in 1986, the Congress has been an effective platform for architects to connect and interact on a wide range of themes. The ideas generated in these discussions have played a significant role in balancing economic growth and a sustainable environment.

Mr. Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR Government, a guest speaker at the Conference of the ACA17, delivered a speech titled “Architecture@Post-COP21 Era.” He noted that, while the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) has laid down the direction and objectives for global co-operation to address climate change, facing the imminent climate change, architects at the front and centre of the challenge should think about how to construct a safer and more sustainable urban living style.

Mr. So Kam-leung, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR Government, and Mr. Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Development of the HKSAR Government, also attended the Conference’s opening ceremony as well as the ARCASIA Awards for Architecture (AAA) 2016 Presentation Dinner, respectively, to show their support to the ACA17.

Furthermore, four internationally renowned architects are invited as the keynote speakers at the Conference. Mr. Tomohiko Yamanashi, Senior Executive Officer, Deputy Head of Architectural Design Department and Head of Digital Design Initiative of Nikken Sekkei Limited, Japan, delivered the first keynote speech titled “Digital design towards a green building.” Ar. Bryant Lu, the Vice Chairman of Ronald Lu & Partners, delivered his keynote speech titled “Learning from Hong Kong: Why TODs spell the Future for Asia“.

The other two keynote speakers were Norwegian Architect, Mr. Robert Greenwood, Partner, Managing Director of Snøhetta who talked about “People Process Projects,” advocating an integrated trans-disciplinary practice involving collaboration of architects, landscape, interior, and design and Hong Kong Architect Ar. Winston Shu, Principal / Founder of Integrated Design Associates, who introduced “The Business & Human Factors in Being Green,” highlighting green architecture, in addition to being a sublime ideal, is an element that would help bring about business success and the role of architects in delivering this important message to advance the practice of green architecture.

In addition, seven panelists ran discussion sessions on the themes of “Design and Business” and “Design and Green”, sharing their views on the dialectical relationship among design, business and green elements and exploring how green architecture, when made commercially viable, could not only transcend traditional limitations but also help attain sustainable development. Five more panelists discussed in the thematic session “Design and Social Responsibility” to explore how architects attend to public wellbeing, living quality and environmental conditions to further improve livelihoods.

An award presentation ceremony of ARCASIA Awards for Architecture (AAA) 2016 and ARCASIA Students’ Architectural Design Competition 2016 was held at night. The ceremony showcased the excellent works of our Asian architects and to encourage our next generation to put forward innovative architectural ideas. On 30 September 2016, 250 participants of ARCHASIA Student Jamboree from 19 Asian countries and regions, including Hong Kong, gathered and exchanged ideas at the Friendship Night. These students have been participating in various activities of the five-day Student Jamboree in Hong Kong starting from 26th September. 

For more details of the ACA17, please visit the website: http://www.aca17hk.com/.