JOHN BULCOCK – The RIBA Architect specialized in low-energy and sustainable architecture

“The essence of architecture is not about aesthetics; it is about space and how we, as individuals react and relate to space.” With a strong architectural credo and a prolific architectural work, the british architect John Bulcock designs more that just a mere architectural proposal but a story, a place where nature and the built environment are actually indistinguishable from each other. He is best known for the “Factory in the Forest” project, an architectural project for the Paramit Corporation in  Malaysia.

The design purpose behind Paramit’s “Factory in the Forest” was the creation of a man-made forest which would blur the boundary between building and nature.

More than three decades to shape an architectural philosophy. John Bulcock has 30 years experience working as an Architect, Environmental Planner and Landscape Designer on a wide variety of sustainable ‘green’ Projects in Europe, Turkey & Asia. His experience encompasses Architecture as well as Master Planning and since 1994 he has been commissioned to carry out a wide variety of projects in Malaysia, India, China, Korea and Southeast Asia including Residential, Commercial & Institutional buildings and Sustainable Master Planning of Resorts and Townships. Low energy and sustainable design is the central philosophy in his approach to architecture and he has received numerous awards for his work.

The painter’s canvas is the architect’s site. “The Space that the building form creates, not the form itself is the essence of architecture, and is how the architect communicates to himself and therefore to others.” Even though the painter makes uses of materials and paints, the message of his art does not relate in the materials or the paints but the soul he had put into the making of the art form, according to John Bulcock. The architect does not stand far from this philosophy, himself a space manipulator, and architecture –his tool- as a space definer. “The same principle applies to architecture where the space that the building form creates, not the form itself, is the essence of architecture and is how the architect communicates to himself, and therefore to others.”

Even more, the essence of real architecture, in his opinion, is not about esthetics or visual relationships but spatial experience, as the only one with the potential to stimulate the senses and invite to creative, vivid thinking and well-being. The building itself must speak to the visitor, as he states that “Like all of the fine arts the essence of architecture is communication”.

The “Factory in the forest” project- a landmark of sustainable architecture. His philosophy of sustainability and low energy design is both noticed in residential and public architecture. The Cantilever House is designed as a ‘passive’ house to save energy by encouraging minimal or no air-conditioner use and flooding of the interior with diffused natural light while its open concept maximizes contact with nature and rainforest views.

In the design proposal for the industrial facility for Paramit in Malaysia the “Factory in the forest” aims to connect the factory with a man-made forest; hence, blurring the boundary between building and nature. Daylight, greenery and vistas were key considerations from the start. The louvered canopy roof connects indoor with outdoor, delineating semi-covered landscaped spaces that are lush and green, factors which are greatly noticed in the efficiency of the employees working there. Thus, the project is devoid of the monotonous and soulless industrial architecture characteristic of conventional factory design. Instead, John Bulcock revolutionized factory typology by creating architecture that is both astonishing and stimulating for Paramit and its workforce. The result resembles a resort or a research center more than a factory, in sheer contrast with the rest of the factories in Penang Science Park.

For the “Factory in  the forest” project he received the 2018 RIBA International List Prize.

RIBA Architect John Bulcock, Managing Director at Design Unit Sdn Bhd, will hold conference at SHARE BUDAPEST 2018 International Architecture and Engineering Forum on the 25th of October at Budapest Music Center.

SHARE BUDAPEST 2018 International Architecture and Engineering Forum will take place on 25th October and brings together principal and senior architects from leading practices to discuss and gain inspiration from each other.

The lectures are concentrated on the present and future, innovation in architecture and engineering, on explorations of new materials and technologies for designing a smart and sustainable built environment.

Other important speakers that will be present at SHARE BUDAPEST on the 25th of October 2018 at Budapest Music Center include:

Renato RIZZI (Professor at Instituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Italy), Cedric RAMIERE (Associate Architect at CoCo ARCHITECTURE), Ervin TACI ( Co-owner DEA STUDIO), Tarek HEGAZY (Principal and Creative Director at Living Design, Sweden), Dean LAH (Owner and Principal at Enota, Slovenia), Heechan PARK (Co-founder of Urban Agency, Denmark), Angel ZAHARIEV ( Manager A&A Architects), Mark SUTTON VANE ( Principal at SUTTON VANE ASSOCIATES), Paul BULKELEY (Design Director Snug Architects, UK), Sirapa SUPAHALIN.