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World Architecture Festival (WAF) announces its shortlist for 2019

World Architecture Festival reinforces a sustainable future as it announces 534 entries, majorly from China, Australia, UK, US and India, for the awards to be held in Amsterdam.

by Meghna Mehta Jul 06, 2019

The World Architecture Festival on Thursday (July 04, 2019) announced its shortlist for the 2019 awards that included designs that demonstrate how architecture and design can play a key role in a more sustainable future for the benefit of all.

This came after ‘Architects Declare’ – a collective that was recently established by some of the most renowned practices - announced a state of climate emergency that must be addressed by the architecture fraternity.

The architects will be seen addressing the world’s most urgent and immediate challenges in their submitted entries, as the twelfth edition of the awards received over 1,000 entries, out of which 534 were shortlisted from across 70 countries.

  • Mecanoo architecten, National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts, Mecanoo architecten Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • JKMM Architects, Amos Rex | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Amos Rex, JKMM Architects Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • Populous, Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium, Populous Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF

WAF programme director Paul Finch, in a statement released to the media, said, “We have been inspired by the levels of innovation in this year’s entries, that show the incredible range of ways in which architects are responding to the global climate and biodiversity emergencies we face.”

“We look forward to more than 500 live presentations at the Festival in Amsterdam, showcasing these exemplar projects from around the world,” he added.

Most number of projects were submitted by practices in China, with a 68 per cent rise in entries from last year, a 38 per cent rise from Russia, and a 33 per cent increase in entries from Indian practices. From Europe, multiple entries were seen representing the United Kingdom, with Italy seeing a 57 per cent rise as well.

  • Shibanee & Kamal Architects, Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Leadership | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Leadership, Shibanee & Kamal Architects Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • Shanghai United Design Group Co.,Ltd. , Zaozhuang Stadium | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Zaozhuang Stadium, Shanghai United Design Group Co., Ltd. Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • W&R Group, Exhibition Centre of Shimao Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Centre | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Exhibition Centre of Shimao Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Centre, W&R Group Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF

The shortlisted projects include an eco-airport in Singapore, designed by Safdie architects, centered around a 15,000 sqm state-of-the-art indoor public garden, which features a 40 m indoor waterfall falling through the centre of a doughnut-shaped glass roof. Dortheavej Residence by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group is both affordable and sustainable modular housing project in Copenhagen, bringing to notice the potential this nascent mode of construction has to offer to the housing crisis.

One of the last year’s winners, Studio Gang, tackles environmental concerns at a volumetric level through its ‘Solstice on the Park’ project, a 26-storey residential tower in the USA, optimised for environmental performance through angled window panels which are slanted at the precise angle of 72 degrees, at which the sun hits the Chicago skyline at the height of the summer solstice. In the culture category, Helsinki Central Library Oodi by AL_A Architects , whose founder Amanda Levete is a founding member of Architects Declare, creates a new library design where traditional functions meet modern technology, to create an almost zero-energy building with panoramic views.

  • Safdie Architects, Jewel Changi Airport | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Jewel Changi Airport, Safdie Architects Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • Studio Gang, Solstice on the Park | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Solstice on the Park, Studio Gang Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • ALA Architects, Helsinki Central Library Oodi | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Helsinki Central Library Oodi, ALA Architects Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF

Some innovative entries were seen in the ‘Future Project: Experimental’ and ‘Future Project: Infrastructure’ categories, including the proposal for a waterfront park in New York City, transforming oil tanks into community gardens, by STUDIO V Architecture, and the proposal for man-made, mid-bay barrier islands to act as a surge protection system for the Port of Houston, by Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers.

The shortlisted projects for WAF 2019 include some of the world’s major architecture firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects, Heatherwick Studio (see here for Studio's projects Vessel and Coal Drops Yard),  Bjarke Ingels Group, Rafael Vinoly Architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Grimshaw and White Arkitekter. The projects range from private residential, to education, infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality, cultural/civic, interior and landscape projects from 70 countries.

  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • Zaha Hadid Architects, Morpheus Hotel | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Morpheus Hotel, Zaha Hadid Architects Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • Heatherwick Studio, Vessel | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Vessel, Heatherwick Studio Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF

WAF will reconvene in Amsterdam, from December 4-6, 2019, for second year in a row. Presentations of the shortlisted designs will be made to more than 100 international judges in front of festival delegates. Shortlisted entrants will compete for category prizes on the first two days while on the final day, category winners will present again their designs to ‘super-juries’ of experienced and respected judges, who will decide on the World Building of the Year, Future Project and Completed Building of the Year Awards.

The ‘Super Jury’, which will decide the World Building of the Year, includes Aaron Betsky, President of Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; Anuradha Mathur, Professor at the Landscape Architecture Department School of Design, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia; and Maria Warner Wong, Design Director of WOW Architects & Warner Wong Design.

An exciting and invigorating experience for the architecture and design communities will be created in Amsterdam where more than 2,000 of the world’s leading architects and designers will be welcomed for WAF and INSIDE, its co-located event for interior design, over a span of three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events.

  • Studio PCH Inc, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, Studio PCH Inc Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • Guayasamin Arquitectos UNA SUR, General Secretary Headquarters | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - General Secretary Headquarters, Diego Guayasamin Arquitectos UNA SUR Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF
  • 3XN Olympic House, the International Olympic Committee’s HQ | World Architecture Festival shortlist| STIR
    Shortlisted entry - The International Olympic Committee’s HQ, 3XN Olympic House Image Credit: Courtesy of WAF

For registration details and delegate passes, click here

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About Author

Meghna Mehta

Meghna Mehta

An architect by education and a journalist by passion, Mehta pursued a crossroad between her two interests. Having completed an M.Arch from CEPT University in Ahmedabad, she has worked in the field of architectural journalism for over 5 years. Besides content generation for STIR, she continues to teach in architectural schools in Mumbai.

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