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Vision to create 'Vertical Village' wins DMU architecture student national prize

A vision for a new kind of community called Vertical Villages has won a national prize for its designer, a student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Architecture MArch student Khanh Nguyen aims to encourage people to come together by designing high-rise buildings a world away from the concrete homes many of us associate with blocks of flats.

And his design won first prize out of 1,000 entries submitted to the inaugural Emerge Awards 2018 Architecture category, set up to celebrate the creative talent in the UK.


Khanh said: “I am very happy to receive the Zealous Emerge Architecture Award, which will encourage me to go further on the way become an architect. Luckily, I just submitted my work 12 hours before the deadline, then to be chosen to be the winner from a thousand projects, which were sent around the UK, it is incredible.”

Khanh’s 60-storey vertical village can house 1,000 people, all living in spaces designed to be social such as parks every sixth floor, and 10 areas designated for allotments and wildlife spaces to encourage biodiversity.

He explained: “It is designed to help people to become a community and reduce isolation by building open spaces, wildlife planting and trees throughout the design.”

He thanked his tutor, Dr Yuri Hadi, for his support and his fellow MArch student Tom Cox who told Khanh about the competition and was awarded third prize himself in the Emerge Awards for his design of a ‘sky farm’.

Khanh and Tom represented design creativity at the British Government’s GREAT Festival in Hong Kong in March, as part of a showcase organised by the British Council to demonstrate the best of British higher education.

Tom’s sky farm showed how crops could be grown vertically, using nitrogen filtered from car or factory emissions to provide an organic plant food. Using vertical farming methods leads to higher yields and could provide jobs and homes as part of the development.

Khanh and Tom are part of a research group led by Dr Hadi, senior lecturer in Architecture, which looks at how verticality could solve the challenge of managing and planning urban areas.

Dr Hadi said: “The answer lies in discovering how we live, work and play, what we enjoy and what we need for wellbeing. The challenge in design is how we shape that environment that effectively or positively affects social life.”

The Emerge Awards attracted more than 2,200 entries across 12 categories: Architecture, Art, Craft, Creative Writing, Design, Digital Art, Fashion, Film, Gaming, Music, Performance and Photography. The winners were chosen by a panel of leading industry judges.


Posted on: Friday 25 May 2018

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