WAF 2019 Shortlist – Architects grapple with one of the of the world’s most pressing challenges: Climate Change. World Architecture Festival, the world’s biggest architectural awards programme, has revealed the much awaited shortlist competing for the World Building of the Year title.
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Following the establishment of Architects Declare a collective of some of the most renowned practices who have come together to announce a state of climate emergency, this year’s World Architecture Festival shortlisted entries include designs that demonstrate how buildings can play a major role in a more sustainable future.
The selection ranges from small buildings such as Modus Studio’s tree house in Arkansas, US, to large scale projects like stadiums and landscape architecture. Amongst the shortlist is the Crystal town-hall by Henning Larsen which was inspired by the iron minerals of a historical mine which threats to swallow the city center of Kiruna, Sweden. The building marks the first stage in the relocation of the entire city – [Read more].
Shortlisted also the eco-airport in Singapore designed by Safdie architects centred around an indoor public garden, which features a 40-metre indoor waterfall falling through the centre of a doughnut-shaped glass roof, alongside 3,000 trees and 100,000 shrubs from around the globe. Other large scale projects competing for the World Building of the Year title are the National Kaohsiung centre for the arts by Mecanoo in Taiwan, the drastically cantilevered UNASUR general secretary HQ in Equador by Diego Guayasamin Arquitectos.
The jury has selected also several skyscrapers including Rafael Vinoly Architects’ 277 Fifth Ave residential tower in New York and Studio Gang’s Solstice on the Park project in Chicago. The studio led by Jeanne Gang tackles environmental concerns at a volumetric level through its– a 26-storey residential tower optimised for environmental performance through angled window panels which are slanted inwards at 72 degrees—the precise angle at which the sun hits the city’s skyline at the height of the summer solstice.
In the culture category, Ian Ritchie’s Royal Academy of Music in London which is inspired by the curved shapes of string instruments and the Helsinki Central Library Oodi by ALA Architects which heralds a new era of library design where traditional functions meet modern technology, to create an almost zero-energy building with panoramic views – [Read more]. From the Finnish capital also the Amos Rex subterranean museum designed by JKMM architects.
Major world architects shortlisted include Zaha Hadid Architects with the Morpheus Hotel in Macau, Heatherwick Studio with The Vessel in New York [Read more] and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners with the Macallan Distillery which is characterised by a roof made from sustainably-sourced timber. Many smaller practices will also take part to pitch against the big names.
China is the country with more shortlisted projects including the Zaozhuang stadium by United Design Group, the Art Center of Jingdezhen Ceramic Cultural Tourism Town by Shanghai Urban Architectural Design and the W&R Group’s Shimao Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Center.
This year’s 534-strong shortlist, ranges from private residential, to education, infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality, cultural/civic, interior and landscape projects across 70 countries. WAF programme director Paul Finch commented: “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”.
WAF will reconvene in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 4-6 December this year. The architects and designers behind each shortlisted project will compete for category prizes. The winners will then fight for the prestigious World Building of the Year award as well as for Future Project of the Year, Interior of the Year and Landscape of the Year titles.
All photos: courtesy of World Architecture Festival.