Japanese Architect Helps Develop Student Designers in International Street Furniture Contest for VivoCity


Winning Design to be Produced and Installed in new Singapore Landmark Designed by Toyo Ito

3 April 2006, Singapore - World-renowned architect Toyo Ito has helped a group of students from around the region to develop as designers, through an international student design contest organised by VivoCity.

VivoCity is a new Singapore landmark designed by Toyo Ito. When opened in October 2006, it will be Singapore's largest and most exciting retail and lifestyle destination offering a complete range of leisure options, including shopping, eating and entertainment. VivoCity is owned and developed by Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, a leading real estate company in Singapore.

The VivoCity Student Design Contest is a worldwide competition that aims to nurture the artistic talent of students and promote design excellence. Students from all over the world were invited to submit designs for innovative street furniture to be installed at VivoCity that the public can interact with. The designs also had to express "Fluidity", which is the creative theme of VivoCity's architecture.

From the 356 entries received, Toyo Ito and the other judges on the panel selected four finalists. These four students then attended a three-day mentorship in Japan with Toyo Ito in January 2006. During this trip, Toyo Ito gave the students advice and guidance to help them improve their designs. He also showed them architectural and design works in Roponggi Hills, and shared insights to his own works - acclaimed architectural projects such as Mikimoto Ginza 2, Tod's Omotesando Building and Sendai Mediatheque.

Using what they had seen and learnt with Toyo Ito's help during the trip to Japan, the four students made improvements and submitted their designs for the final judging on 27 March 2006.

Rony Chan from Hong Kong Polytechnic University received the gold prize with 'Raindrop', a translucent raindrop-shaped hanging sculpture that invites visitors to look through it, climb through it or sit and spin in it. Her winning design will be produced and displayed at VivoCity. In addition, Rony will receive S,000 for herself, and another S,000 for her school.

Jan Sappert from the Design und Median Hannover in Germany won the silver prize, and receives S,000 plus S,000 for his school. Kenneth Koh from the National University of Singapore was awarded the bronze prize, and receives ,000 plus ,000 for his school. Jeffrey Wongso from Singapore's Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts was awarded the Merit prize.

Commenting on the contest, Mr Ito said, "I am happy that this contest has helped the students learn about design, and take one step towards becoming international artistic talents. In particular, the winner will get to experience the process of turning her design into reality."

Fellow contest judge, Edmund Cheng, Chairman of Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd and DesignSingapore Council agrees. He says, "The mentorship trip gave these students an opportunity to develop as designers, through interaction with Toyo Ito and with one another, and through exposing them to the culture and designs of a different land."

"VivoCity is not just about shopping. Here, art is an integral part of the total lifestyle experience, one that touches people, and adds character and soul to their environment," adds Mr Cheng, "Singapore is committed to becoming a regional and international hub of design excellence. Adorned with works from the student and professional art and design fraternities to complement its organic, fluid design, VivoCity itself will become Singapore's most striking demonstration of that commitment to design excellence."

Apart from Mr Ito and Mr Cheng, the judging panel comprised several prominent figures in design and architecture, including Mrs Koh-Lim Wen Gin, Chief Planner and Deputy CEO, Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority; Mr Fumio Nanjo, Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2006; Dr Milton Tan, Director of DesignSingapore Council, and Mr Syddal Wee, General Manager of SPACE Furniture. 

About VivoCityWith over 1 million square feet of lettable floor space attracting a diverse mix of over 350 retailers, large event space, including a 1000-seat amphitheatre and a 300m harbour front boardwalk, VivoCity is set to become Singapore's largest and most diverse retail and lifestyle destination when it opens to the public in the fourth quarter of 2006. Designed by world-renowned architect, Toyo Ito, VivoCity will be the centre-piece of Singapore's newest lifestyle hub at the HarbourFront, which also includes Sentosa, Mt Faber, the Singapore Cruise Centre and the St James Power Station.

About Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd 
Mapletree, the developer of VivoCity, is a leading real estate company with an asset base of approximately S.9 billion, comprising office, retail/lifestyle logistics/industrial, and high-tech industrial properties. It is committed to shaping new ways to deliver value to its stakeholders from multiple real estate investments and services. With its significant expertise, diverse skill sets and intimate knowledge of the property industry in Singapore and Asia, Mapletree is well-positioned to be an ideal strategic real estate partner in providing innovative real estate solutions and investment products.

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