The award was presented to honour his contribution to Vietnam’s urban planning with focus on sustainable architecture.
In December last year, at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Nghĩa was also given the award by His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn, President of the Prince Claus Fund.
Ambassador of the Netherlands Nienke Trooster said at the ceremony on March 30 she was very impressed by Nghĩa’s works.
“He promotes his country’s culture and heritage by combining local materials and traditional skills with 21st century design. And he has taken an interest in supporting the poor, remote communities by designing durable but inexpensive housing."
“Nghĩa is now well-known for his environmentally friendly architecture, and ability to balance culture and nature. For me personally, and for our government, it is really important that we strike a balance and respect ‘people, planet and profit’ in our governance, our architecture and our businesses"
Born in 1976 in central Quảng Bình Province, Võ Trọng Nghĩa is putting Vietnamese sustainable architecture on the map by combining local materials and traditional skills with 21st century design. With a focus on green spaces, his designs range from large urban structures to durable but inexpensive housing for remote communities. His approach to urban design help shape the future of Vietnam architecture and transforming the country’s urban landscape. At the core of his practice, Nghĩa hopes to use the physical environment to reconnect humans with nature.
She added that laureates of the Prince Claus Award were more than just individual artists.
“They use their personality, skills and ground-breaking ideas to inspire others and make things happen that have an impact on their surroundings.” she said.
In 2014, Al Jazeera produced an episode about Nghĩa and his innovative green architecture for the series titled “Rebel Architecture.” He has received numerous international prizes and honours. In 2012, he was selected for Architect of the year in Vietnam. Besides running his architectural practice, Nghĩa continues to be involved in architecture at the grass roots level by teaching at the Nagoya Institute of Technology since 2011.
Since its inception in 1996, the Prince Claus Awards have honoured outstanding achievements in the fields of culture and development. The awards are presented annually to visionary and pioneering individuals, groups and organisations whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their societies.
Famous Vietnamese laureates of the Prince Claus Awards include painter Trần Lương in 2014 and fine arts photographer Lê Quang Đỉnh in 2010, who is a member of this year’s Prince Claus Awards Committee.