Saigoneer

BackSociety » Development » Hanoi: CAPITAL City Book Wins Bui Xuan Phai Award

Hanoi: CAPITAL City Book Wins Bui Xuan Phai Award

Earlier this year, German lecturer Michael Waibel released Hà Nội: Capital City, a beautiful, large-format photo book, in conjuction with Audi Vietnam and the Goethe Institute.


Related Articles:

Hà Nội: CAPITAL City - The Capital City From Above

Hà Nội: CAPITAL City - Soul Of The Capital City

Hà Nội: CAPITAL City - Change Over Time - Part 2


Featuring hundreds of photographs which highlight the development, people and beauty of Hanoi, Capital City draws upon the work of professional photographer Astrid Schulz as well as drone images from Vietnamese-French architect Philippe Le and about 30 other professional and amateur photographers.

In each chapter, Waibel focuses on a different aspect of the ever-changing capital, from architecture and housing to the people of the capital city, urban transport to Hanoi's change over time, the soul of the capital city and some incredible shots of Hanoi from above.

Photo from Hà Nội: CAPITAL City - Change Over Time - Part 1

Now, as it turns out, all the hard work has paid off. Hà Nội: Capital City recently became a recipient of the Bui Xuan Phai award, an accolade presented by the Vietnam News Agency's Newspaper of Sports & Culture in cooperation with the descendants of nationally renowned Vietnamese painter Bui Xuan Phai.

“I consider it as a great sign of openness and appreciation for international collaboration on the side of the jury that this award has been given to foreigners who have dedicated their work to the research of Hanoi,” Waibel tells Saigoneer via email.

Photo from Hà Nội: CAPITAL City - Urban Transport.

The University of Hamburg lecturer, who first visited Hanoi in 1996, has spent years researching the Vietnamese capital and, through less academic, more commercial projects like this one, has found a way to pay homage to the city.

“When I started my academic career, I was maybe a bit naïve to think that academic work should contribute to making the world a better place,” writes Waibel. “I soon became disillusioned about this. Now I am leaving pure academic grounds and increasingly get the feeling that I can achieve much more towards sustainable urban development than before.”

Photo from Hà Nội: CAPITAL City - People In The Capital City.

At first, Waibel was taken aback by the positive response his news received from Vietnamese colleagues and friends. He is also among a very short list of foreign recipients of the award and the first German ever to earn the accolade.

Moving forward, Waibel plans to work on an updated second edition of the book, which he hopes will be more affordable for the average reader, as well as continuing to promote both Hà Nội: Capital City and Hồ Chí Minh: MEGA City, the southern counterpart to his northern photo publication. 

Photo from Hà Nội: CAPITAL City - Urban Transport.

“For the past almost 20 years, I did the usual work of a researcher and lecturer, publishing academic papers about urban development and sustainability issues within a rather small circle of the scientific community,” explains the Hamburg-based researcher. “For example, you were happy if 50 people cited one of your papers. By means of the publication of more popular works, such as the photo book, I am suddenly able to reach out to many more people and to share my opinion on how to deal with the colonial villas in a state of decay in Hanoi, for example.”

Another publication is also in the works, this time focusing on Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue. Waibel began shooting images over the summer and is currently seeking sponsors for the third book, which he intends to title Đà Nẵng: GREEN City.

Hà Nội: Capital City is available for sale in Artbook shops throughout Saigon as well as in most major bookshops in Hanoi.

Related Articles

in Development

$2bn Thu Thiem Eco Smart City Set to Break Ground This Year

A week after the city unveiled Thu Thiem Empire City, a project that will include Vietnam’s tallest building, a group of Asian developers have announced that they will break ground on its neighbor, th...

in Development

'Cable Car' Tourism Developer FLC Group Wants to Build a Mega-Resort in Quang Ngai

Experts and locals have voiced concerns over the impact a proposed mega-resort on the coast in Quang Ngai Province may have on the environment and the local community.

in Development

15 Projects That Will Change Saigon Forever: Part 1

The area between Bến Thành Market and the Saigon Opera House is undeniably the epicenter of changes to the city’s urban fabric with the construction of pedestrian promenades, subway stations, a n...

in Development

15 Projects That Will Change Saigon Forever: Part 2

The area between Bến Thành Market and the Saigon Opera House is undeniably the epicenter of changes to the city’s urban fabric with the construction of pedestrian promenades, subway stations, a new ad...

in Development

15 Projects That Will Change Saigon Forever: Part 3

The area between Bến Thành Market and the Saigon Opera House is undeniably the epicenter of changes to the city’s urban fabric with the construction of pedestrian promenades, subway stations, a new ad...

in Development

2.5 House: A Modest Dream Home in a Tan Binh Alley

Given the expenditure often required to build out a well-designed home, most of those featured on Saigoneer are anything but modest. That’s why we were particularly stoked to come across this small bu...

Partner Content