We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Green award of our “Sydney Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - Kevin Pham and Alex Hoang from Australia!

Kevin Pham and Alex Hoang from Australia

Kevin Pham is BIM Lead at GHDWoodhead in Sydney, Australia. GHDWoodhead was established in 2014, when the team from the Australian architecture practice Woodhead joined GHD’s already substantial international architecture team. GHDWoodhead has now been ranked in the top three architecture practices in Australasia and #55 globally in the World Architecture 100 2018 survey.

Kevin completed a Master’s degree in sustainable design at National University of Singapore and worked as Senior Architectural Associate in Surbana Jurong  in Singapore before working as BIM Lead in GHDWoodhead in Australia. During his 8 year career in the building industry, he has improved his understanding of sustainable design. Thanks to his knowledge of BIM, Kevin works on a variety of multidisciplinary projects, collaborating with architects, engineers and other design professionals.

After completing Master’s degree in Architecture at The University of Melbourne Australia, Alex Hoang has been working as Architectural Graduate for BVN Architects in Sydney, Australia which was established in 1997. BVN is one of the largest architectural practices in Australia with studios located in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and New York City. BVN has 200 architects in Sydney office.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

Kevin: In GHD, I get involved in medium- and large-scale commercial, residential, education projects in Sydney, including a 66 storey residential tower in Sydney CBD. I am playing a key role in an integrated design process with multiple disciplines to build up a complex BIM model that could be utilised by all team members regardless of location. My passion for technology and sustainability enables me to cultivate design approaches involving critical thinking, holistic perception, technical imagination and concern for the environment.

Alex: In BVN, I get involved in Architectural competitions, education, hotel and residential projects in Sydney and Melbourne from medium to large scale.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

For us, architecture is not only about designing a space, but also about addressing social issues. Architecture needs to be driven by social causes and create designs that not only shape spaces, but also transform the lives of people. Therefore, architects have an important role and social responsibility to make a positive impact on people’s wellbeing, the wider society, and the environment.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We are interested in creating designs that are driven by social causes, context-related, environmentally sustainable and have positive influences on people’s lives.

The Sydney Affordable Housing Design Competition appealed to us since Sydney’s on-going housing crisis and mortgage stress have been the city’s most pressing issues and pushed house affordability out of the reach of young people and low-income family. Solving housing affordability requires the collaborative effort of many stakeholders from policy makers, developers, architects and consultants. However, from an architect’s perspective, we believe housing affordability can be achieved with good planning, “smart” architecture that saves energy and water, innovative construction method that can lower cost, and urban farming for food production. The design entry aims to contribute ideas that could bring desirable living within reach of the majority of the population and lift the burden of housing affordability for young people and low-income families.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

If you are an architect longing to make positive changes to our built environment, participating in design competitions is one way to make your voice heard. Competitions give you freedom to push the boundaries of design without too many constraints. Competitions also give you exposure to professional networks and potential collaborations.

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