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Zaha wins WAF's World's Best Building award

Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI museum in Rome has been named as the World Building of the Year at the 2010 World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Barcelona

Having already won this year’s Stirling Prize, (AJ 30.09.10), Zaha Hadid Architects has triumphed again with its MAXXI; the National Museum of 21st Century art.

The award was presented during a special ceremony to mark the end of the ‘largest global celebration of architectur’e, with the winning design selected from a shortlist of 15 entries.

Accepting the award, Gianluca Racana of Zaha Hadid Architects, said: ‘It is very nice to feel that after so many years of very hard work it has been recognised. I was surprised that the jury was not critical at all - it was a very good sign.’

MAXXI atrium

Source: Iwan Baan

MAXXI atrium


The reinforced concrete building, with its ‘bold cantilevers and ambitious spans’ took 10 years to complete and comprises a cafeteria, bookshop, auditorium and galleries.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Paul Finch, content director of the World Architecture Festival, said that the judges described the building as ‘like an unwound Guggenheim, with ribbons of connective space. It is a building that will still be talked about in the history of architecture in 50 years time.’

The award is now in its third year with previous winners being Peter Rich for his Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa, 2009 and Grafton Architects’ new faculty building for the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, 2008.

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