Asia Pacific Architecture Symposium 2020

Since its inception in 2016, the Asia Pacific Architecture Festival is a prime occasion to participate in the exhibitions, installations, symposiums, lectures and workshops that promote architecture and urbanism in the Asia Pacific region.

The Architecture symposium is one of the festival’s key events and an excellent opportunity to hear from speakers across the Asia Pacific region; their experiences, challenges and their innovative ideas to overcome the problems that our cities are facing due to climate change, poor planning and overpopulation.

The 2020 Festival, held on March 13, revolved around the theme of Water, with presenters, hailing from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, China, Singapore, New Zealand, India and Australia, Symposium presenters considering our dynamic relationship with water from an essential resource to environmental challenge.

Projects presented varied from places with water scarcity trying to preserve water through innovative design, to cities sinking to an alarming rate due to poor planning practices and climate change, to saving natural resources and the waterfront from intensive industrialisation through activism.

Inspired by amphibious nature

Among the speakers who addressed the theme was Kotchakorn Voraakhom, CEO and founder of Bangkok-based design practice Landprocess.

She said, “Our way of living with water is reflected through architecture and landscape. Thais were once called amphibious. We lived both on land and water. But now our relationship with water has changed. Our modern city infrastructure no longer allows our amphibious nature to flourish.

Ms Voraakhom, presented one of the most inspiring and innovative projects of the symposium: the Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park in Bangkok.

This site was constantly and problematically flooding, which was resolved through creating an inclined landscape, incorporating much-needed green space, that allows space for flooding and retention pond overflow in one end of the site, while the university building occupies the site’s higher ground.

Landprocess Presentation; university campus in Bangkok; 2020 Architecture Symposium
Landprocess presentation: Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park

Some of this year speakers included: Gurjit Singh Matharoo from Matharoo Architects (India), Julie Stout (New Zealand), Philip Cox from Cox Architecture (Australia), and Xu Tiantian from DnA Design and Architecture (China).

A major outcome from the Chulalongkorn Park symposium presentation was understanding the broader social impetus for the park’s design.

The lack of green space in Bangkok, the early engagement of consultants across all disciplines, combined with a desire to promote a significantly improved social outcome from what was seen as a problematic area has resulted in an outcome that benefits the broader city.

From this concept, we can all be inspired to better understand the broader context of our works; the social and economic outcomes of our buildings within the broader built and natural environment.

Our Architect, Lizbeth Montesinos, attended the 2020 Architecture Symposium. Click through here to see what Liz is currently working on.