A week following the departure of its director Maria Nicanor, Rice University’s Rice Design Alliance (RDA) has announced the Vietnamese firm Tropical Space as the recipient of this year’s Spotlight Award recognizing exceptional architectural talent still in the early stages of their careers.
The 11-year-old practice operates out of Ho Chi Minh City and focuses on the rare tropical application of brick as a building material in order to “create values of architectural aesthetics and inspiring stories about local sustainability.” It is the brainchild of Nguyen Hai Long and Tran Thi Ngu Ngon, and its work in practice areas from urban design to interiors has garnered multiple awards from various architectural publications and the Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA).
“Tropical Space is an intelligent, environmentally-conscious, and locally-rooted practice based in Vietnam. Projects such as Long An House, Organicare Showroom, and Terra Cotta Studio reveal innovations in typologies and material culture that upset accepted notions of what it means to design and work in dense contexts and humid environments,” said selection committee member Deepa Ramaswamy, Assistant Professor of History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Houston. “Tropical Space’s use of material, light, and scale quietly and carefully sets a precedence that cannot be ignored.”
The duo will receive a cash prize in addition to delivering the annual spotlight lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on February 23rd. Tickets are extremely limited and can be reserved in advance online. A livestream of the lecture can also be found by following the link to RDA’s YouTube channel here.
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