Third year Architecture student Bridge Lee won both the Grand Prize and Best Presentation award in the national architecture design contest ArchiNEXT. He was one of the three students from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) College of Architecture who got into the top 10 of ArchiNEXT. The contest results were announced on June 11, 2020.

Lee’s winning design was titled “The Bridge” that presented plans for a site that would ideally be located in Bancal Bay, Iloilo, Western Visayas. Featuring modular designs that use locally available materials and building solutions that give the local community the ability to build it themselves, the proposed site has schools, restaurants, and an amphitheater on elevated walkways. Lee also advocates for and includes in the design mangrove forests along the coastline to protect the locals from storm surges and promote marine life reproduction.

As Lee described his presentation, it had five primary considerations, namely, sustainability of local resources, fisher folks’ continued livelihood, encouragement of the different roles of the community, and the creation of a space where people can gather holistically. In the ArchiNEXT press release, judges commented that “Lee’s entry made a remarkable purpose and he proposed sustainable materials for the site. His idea of helping the locals rebuild a community while learning and earning made an impact in deciding his fate in the competition.”

At seventh place was fellow Architecture student Timothy James Arambulo. Inspired by the beauty of Spanish influence expressed through structures in the Philippines, his design titled “Daungan” was a “cultural and architectural fusion that allows visitors in the site to appreciate the importance of the past in the present time.” His park’s planned amenities include sites that are inspired by galleons, sails, local culture, and even a balangay.

Another Thomasian, Lorenzo Angelo Mauricio, won ninth place for his design titled “Green Horizon: About the People, for the People.” Having chosen the site of Quezon City’s “Welcome Rotonda,” his design envisioned a livable community with walkable streets, green environment, and sufficient safe space for the public to move around.

An annual competition that is open to third and fourth year Architecture students in the Philippines, “ArchiNEXT: Hochieng Chiu Group (HCG) Young Designers’ Competition” challenges the ingenuity and proficiency of young students to design sound yet sustainable Architectural masterpieces. For the 2020 competition, it had the theme “UGNAYAN: A Community Multiplex Interactive Space.” It sought designs for an “accessible, eco-friendly, and well thought out interactive structure for an ideal community which is simultaneously a central, holistic public space that aims to nurture learning, recreation, and play.”

Serving as final judges were Ar. Menchi Manalo, Ar. Michael Tomeldan, Ar. Ana Mangalino Ling, Ar. Efren Aurelio, and Ar. William Ti, Jr. According to the ArchiNEXT website, the grand winner received a prize of PhP 100,000.