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UK and super-green projects among World Architecture Festival 2019 finalists

Projects by AHMM, Heatherwick Studio, Serie, Stanton Williams and Zaha Hadid Architects have been named among the 534 finalists for honours at this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF)

Now into its 12th edition, the world’s biggest architectural awards programme features schemes from 70 countries, including completed buildings in the UK as well as structures designed by British architects around the globe.

In the wake of Architects Declare, this year’s WAF shortlists also includes a large number of designs demonstrating how buildings can play a major role in a more sustainable future.

Among them is an ‘eco-airport’ in Singapore designed by Safdie Architects, centred around a 15,000m² indoor public garden with 3,000 trees and 100,000 shrubs; and BIG’s Dortheavej Residence, an affordable and sustainable modular housing scheme in Copenhagen.

18023 jewel changi airport 02 darrensoh

18023 jewel changi airport 02 darrensoh

Source: Darren Soh

Design for an eco-airport in Singapore by Safdie architects

Meanwhile, Studio Gang’s Solstice on the Park project, a 26-storey residential tower in Chicago claims to have been 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.

Other major world architects shortlisted include Rafael Viñoly Architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Grimshaw and White Arkitekter AB.

Emerging London practice Serie also features two projects on the shortlist – the National University of Singapore School of Design & Environment and the Oasis Terraces, also in Singapore.

Chinese practices submitted the most projects from any country, with a 68 per cent rise in entries from last year. A large increase was also seen in entrants from Russia (38 per cent rise) and India (33 per cent rise). In Europe, Italy’s entries rose by 57 per cent. 

This year’s WAF takes place in Amsterdam from 4-6 December – the second time the event has been hosted in the Dutch capital, following previous editions in Barcelona, Singapore and Berlin.

The architects and designers behind each shortlisted project will compete for category prizes, with presentations made to more than 100 international juries in front of festival delegates.

Category winners then compete against each other on the final day of the festival to win the World Building of the Year, Future Project of the Year, Interior of the Year and Landscape of the Year awards.

Project 17821 solstice press 01

Project 17821 solstice press 01

‘Solstice on the Park’ in Chicago by Studio Gang

WAF programme director Paul Finch 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. ‘WAF has attracted more than 1,000 entries for the second year in a row, from 70 countries, and we look forward to more than 500 live presentations at the festival in Amsterdam, showcasing these exemplar projects from around the world.’

The 2019 completed buildings ‘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.

The full shortlist for this year’s awards can be viewed here

Lead image: Helsinki Central Library Oodi by AL_A Architects
Photography by Tuomas Uusheimo

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