Primavera Architects win Special Energy Award in Global Design Competition

Nov 4, 2011

by Mike Banos

The architects of Northern Mindanao’s first-ever eco-friendly building has been cited for a Special Award in a global architectural competition.


The Primavera Residences.

ITA PROJECT, led by award-winning architect Romolo Valentino Nati, in collaboration with GOMMA DESIGN, another Italian office of architecture, was recognized with a “Special Energy Award” in the 2011 Design Against the Elements (DAtE) global architectural design competition at the announcement of winners January 14 at the San Miguel Corp. headquarters in Ortigas.

Nati is Chairman and CEO of (ITPI) Italpinas “Euro Asian Design and Eco Development corporation” a full–eco-service development company based in Makati which designed Primavera Residences in Pueblo de Oro Township. The project is recognized as the first eco-friendly development in Northern Mindanao.

Joey Leviste, Romolo Nati, Rudy Meñes and Jos Schlangen at a media conference of the Primavera Residences.

Organizers of the competition said DAtE aims build the first green, livable, affordable, and disaster-resistant village in the Philippines that will serve as the blueprint for other communities threatened by climate change. Some 119 entries from 30 countries joined the competition.

“Our proposal aims to prove that architecture and urban planning can design sustainable cities only if they start from different and more responsible values,” Nati, CEO of ITA Project said. “A conscientious development is the main challenge of our generation, the only way to achieve a sustainable world.”

ITA Project’s winning entry was inspired by the Voronoi geometry of corals which the team used to transform the complex geometry of the corals in a manageable architectural geometry.

“Coral is the formal and behavioral inspiration for our design, a self-organizing living system which is highly capable of reacting and smoothly adapting to changes and external influences,” Nati said. “Corals take advantage of the natural conditions where they are located. Their shapes are designed to satisfy their internal needs and external conditions. They optimize energy and maximize sun projections, developing devices to protect themselves from danger, growing in colonies built by many identical “individuals”. Their natural design is a fantastic role model and an example of an unreachable level of elegance. Hence our approach to this project was intellectually and formally influenced by these undersea natural structures which are, in addition, very familiar to the geography of the Philippines.”

ITA Project is an international design firm committed to help creating a better environment to improve the quality of life. It has been awarded and recognized in many international design competitions. It is engaged in a diverse array of projects, including large commercial and leisure centers, offices, condominium complexes, residential developments and private residences in many countries. ITA Project is based in Italy (Rome), Estonia (Tallinn) and Philippines (Metro Manila).

“The team approaches the future with dynamic vision, anticipating needs of the modern world and their consequent effect on evolving architecture and design,” Nati said. “This includes eco-friendly, sustainable building, as well as spaces and environments that are flexible and adaptable depending on functions and needs, and cutting edge design for the architecture of nowadays.” ITA Project’s strength is to link the professional practice together with the state-of-the-art theory and research.

Nati is also Vice Chair of CEC Constallation Energy Corporation (a Filipino renewable energy company). He studied architecture at La Sapienza University in Rome where he graduated “summa cum laude” in 1999. As a student, he received various awards including two honorable mentions for car design, one from Mitsubishi Company and the other from BMW.

After graduation, Nati worked for architecture and engineering firms in Italy and in the United States. He collaborated with a faculty member of the Department of Design and Architecture at the University in Rome, worked for five years as a senior architect for Altini Associates and three years for CIC office of engineering in Cesena. He’s also chairman of “RASNA construction Srl” (real estate management company, Italy) which specializes in restoring historical buildings in Italy.

The winner in the professional category was Danish architect Johanna Ferrer Guldager who designed a village that can withstand earthquakes and floods and can collect and recycle rainwater for the community’s use.

Other winners in the professional category are second placer Samuel John Williams (United Kingdom); special awards on Energy Saving Design, Romulo Nati (Italy); and Special awards on Green Technology Design, Vasans Packirisamy (India).

In the student category, the top four winners are: first place, Dao Thanh Hai (Vietnam); second place, Martin Schorn (Austria); Special awards on Energy Saving Design Karen Gill (US) and Special awards on Green Technology Design Stefan Vankov (Germany).

Winning and non-winning entries will be compiled into an encyclopedia of architectural solutions that can be implemented for sustainable, environment-friendly civil works.

The competition which was supported by National Geographic, was co-sponsored by the United Architects of the Philippines, MyShelter Foundation, Philippine White Helmets and the Climate Change Commission.

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