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18 September 2012
In Profile: Vasu Virajsilp
Vasu Virajsilp talks about his work, and what he’ll be looking for as a judge at this year’s World Architecture Festival. Wynn A. Bay reports.
Vasu Virajsilp, one of the two founders of leading Bangkok-based architectural practice VaSLab, will be in Singapore together with 75 other leading architects and critics as a judge for the World Architecture Festival (WAF).
His work is often characterised by the fluid and continuous movement between the exterior and interior space; architecture for Virajsilp moves beyond the ‘form-and-function’ approach to where art and architecture meet, where the language of design is timeless and monumental.
Honda Big Wing project. Photos by Spaceshift Studio
The architect is also no stranger to WAF; his Honda Big Wing project was a finalist in Barcelona in 2009. The project is Honda’s first big bike centre in Asia Pacific and consists of full showroom facilities, an exhibition hall and a riding track, and evolved from the desire to transform a moment of celebration into a poetic space.
Interior of Honda Big Wing
“The 1996 Honda CBR1100XX (A.K.A. Super Blackbird) and the brand’s attitude of winning became an inspiration for this project. The two overtaking sculptural concrete forms, inspired by motorcycles ‘hugging the curve’, translates into the winning moment of racing motorcycles on the track.”
Interior of Honda Big Wing
On this year’s WAF
Virajsilp will be judging in two categories – one for leisure-led development (future projects), and the other for shopping centres (completed buildings).
When it comes to selecting a winning candidate, the architect says the work should speak for itself and the images articulated in the presentation will be key.
Hotel LIT Bangkok. Photo by Spaceshift Studio
On measuring success
Even though Virajsilp indulges in the pureness of architecture, art and literature, he is also well aware of the realities of business. “In the end, it is all about how to keep the office running without turning the practice into a corporate tool. But it is also about how you measure success in life. For me, success is a measure of my passion. It is about waking up every morning and knowing what my passion is, and it is not money.”
Virajsilp has also coined the term ‘Aesthetic Blindness’ to describe the situation that we live in today. “People do not necessarily need to go to an art gallery to be artistic, certainly anybody can stop and appreciate the beauty of the sunset, but the problem is we are not doing that enough.”
Hotel Resort Casa de La Flora. Photo by Spaceshift Studio
Hotel Resort Casa de La Flora. Photo by Wilson Tungthunya
VaSLab Co., Ltd