School of the Arts
© Patrick Bingham-Hall
The architecture of WOHA, founded by Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell in 1994, is notable for its constant evolution and innovation. A profound awareness of local context and tradition is intertwined with an ongoing exploration of contemporary architectural form-making and ideas, thus creating a unique fusion of practicality and invention. WOHA conceptualizes all aspects of the architectural process, and environmental principles have always been fundamental to the work of the practice, which is guided by a commitment to responsive place-making and to the creation of an invigorating and sustainable architecture.
WOHA have developed a unique approach to tropical architecture and urbanism, weaving landscape and community space through porous structures. WOHA launched a new book at the 2016 Venice Biennale, called Garden City Mega City, which shares strategies for the exploding mega cities of the tropical belt. In the book, WOHA show how integrated landscape, architecture and urbanism can improve quality of life within high density environments. In the book WOHA propose 5 new ratios for evaluating the success of projects - Green Plot Ratio, Community Plot Ratio, Ecosystem Contribution Score, Civic Generosity Index, and Self Sufficiency Index - to ensure projects achieve social and environmental sustainability.
WOHA’s built projects – throughout Southeast Asia, China, and Australia – range from apartment towers to luxury resorts, mass-transit stations, condominiums, hotels, educational institutions, and public buildings. WOHA have won an unprecedented amount of architectural awards for a Southeast Asian practice: from an Aga Khan Award in 2007 for 1 Moulmein Rise apartment building, to the RIBA Lubetkin award for The Met Bangkok in 2011, to their World Architecture Festival award winners in such diverse categories as education - School of the Arts, holiday - the Alila Villas Uluwatu resort, and transport - the Bras Basah MRT station. Their Platinum Green Mark-rated PARKROYAL on Pickering hotel, since opening in 2013, has become one of Singapore’s most iconic buildings, receiving the 2015 Urban Habitat Award from the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the 2014 Design for Asia Award Grand Award and the 2013 World Architecture News Hotel of the Year Award.
The practice currently has projects under construction in Singapore, India, Australia and Indonesia. WOHA exhibited at an invited, solo show at The Skyscraper Museum in New York in March - September 2016. A travelling exhibition devoted exclusively to their works opened at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Germany, in December 2011, and four substantial monographs – WOHA: The Architecture of WOHA, WOHA: Selected Projects Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and WOHA: Breathing Architecture – have already been published.