World Architecture Festival 2016 – A ‘Happiness Centre’ in Bhutan, a university expansion with a jagged facade in aluminium and glass in Sweden and a concrete jungle house in the Brazilian rainforest are among the projects that have been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards 2016 – the world’s biggest architectural awards programme.
From the whole University of Fine Arts complex in Tenerife to a miniature library in the Philippines… All types and sizes of architectural projects are represented on the 343-strong shortlist, with entries ranging from private homes, shops and schools to large commercial developments and ambitious landscape projects.
Major international practices shortlisted this year include Foster + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects and Rogers Stirk Harbour from UK, Neri & Hu Design and Research Office from China, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group from Denmark/US, and Sanjay Puri Architects, India, and more.
The architectural practices behind each project will battle it out in live judging sessions to be held at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, 16-18 November. All will be hoping to be crowned winners of one of 32 categories and go on to compete for the ultimate accolades of ‘World Building of the Year’ and ‘Future Project of the Year’.
Paul Finch, Programme Director of the World Architecture Festival, commented on this year’s shortlist: “This is a very exciting year for us, with a record entry and a very high overall standard. Our move to Berlin, after four successful years in Singapore, has not deterred Asian and Australasian practices from entering the awards, and we have seen big increases from Europe and North America. We look forward to meeting the shortlisted architects in Berlin in November”.
WAF organisers saw a significant uplift in entries submitted from across Europe in 2016 as the festival relocates to Berlin. The largest rise in year-on-year entries came from the UK and Germany but also Turkey and Australia.
In addition to the awards, WAF includes a conference programme based around the Festival’s 2016 theme ‘Housing for Everyone’, which will debate the growing understanding of how demographics and global urbanisation are forcing change in the way we think about housing.
With imperatives to create shelter at one end of the spectrum, and sufficiency for occupation and investment at the other, the programme will examine the significant contribution that architects can make.
Photos: courtesy of World Architecture Festival.