Protection of heritage and cultural identities are keys to future development


Hosted by S&A Architecture, the 6th Heritage Preservation & Economic Development (HPED) called upon the nation to be aware of the irreparable loss of Vietnam's collective identity, which needs to be nurtured through bringing new life to spaces, along with the opportunities this brings for tourism to Vietnam's cities. The event included a comprehensive series of keynote speeches and panel discussions about sustainable development that focuses deeply on the interrelationship of municipal – private entities – community.


Picture of honored guests, keynote speakers, and panelists (from left to right): Andy Stiff, Prof. Marco Abbiati, Tom Bosschaert, H.E Antonio Alessandro, Prof. Francesco Siravo, Paul Tonkes, Mark Ratcliff, Chi Nguyen, Prof. Luigi Croce, H.E. Enrico Padula, Luigi Campanale and wife, Ly Nguyen, Alex Crane, Romeo Orlandi, Fabio De Cillis, Manuela Spiga.

 In his presentation, Luigi Campanale, CEO and Design Director of S&A Architecture, showcased the re-envisioned of  District 4 Waterfront through an academic proposal of the former Saigon Commercial Port - a research done by S&A Architecture and RMIT University Vietnam (read the full article here).

Vietnam is developing at such an incredibly fast pace. With the abundant amount of investment pouring into this country, it also creates burdens for the city (old building). However, “the future does not exist without the past, it is all the people living and buildings built in the past that contribute to the identity of one’s city, making it different and memorable” – according to Luigi during his interview with the press, stressing the importance to maintain the historical values of Ho Chi Minh City. His point of view on Vietnam’s endangered heritage received similar sentiments from the speakers and audiences attending the event. H.E. Antonio Alessandro – Ambassador of Italy to Vietnam and H.E. Enrico Padula – Consult Italy in HCMC both expressed the similarity between Italy and Vietnam for its abundant historical sites and rich legacies and the potential development of tourism based on preserving heritage. 

Luigi Campanale – CEO & Design Director of S&A Architecture 

While discussing heritage preservation, “adaptive reuse” practice was discussed throughout all panel discussions. As defined by Professor Siravo – Conservation Architect and Planner, the concept was the process of repurposing historic structures for a use different from the original one. This would bring “a new life” for underused or abandoned properties while maintaining their economic viability, and contributing to sustainable development by recycling used materials (usually 30% compared to new construction), saving infrastructure costs, and reducing carbon footprint and pollution. Several successful examples around the globe were named and dissected during the conference such as the Shigar Fort (Pakistan), Syed al-Attas Mansion (Malaysia), Darb al-Ahmar (Egypt), Collingwood (Australia), Tai Kwun (Hong Kong), Columbia Circle (China).


Despite the success of adaptive reuse implementation, this event also listed the difficulties in implementation as there is a lack of legislative framework. Additionally, the skill sets and training required are one of the most difficult challenges which urge the important role of academies and educational institutes to prepare for future generations who will soon lead the country. 

Professor Luigi Croce – President of the Venice Architecture Association, the event moderator, concluded the event by saying that although the concept of adaptive reuse was not new, it was long forgotten for many reasons. Whilst the majority perception still opts for the use of new materials due to their “convenience” and “technology advancement”, it is critical to provide education and enhance the relationship between government, private investors and the community. He hoped that through the initiative of HPED event and the support of both Italy's public and private organization, Vietnam would be the main player of ASEAN for the sustainable development that is based on heritage and cultural values.

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Vietnam Real Estate Symposium event

Up coming event on 23 June 2022 at Park Hyatt (Ho Chi Minh)

Mr.Luigi Campanale will have a talk about the topic of "Industrial Real Estate having its moment in the sun: Rooftop Solar" in the annual Real Estate Symposium event, organized by  AusCham and Knight Frank.