A ‘recycled’ chapel in Vietnam designed by a21studio as been crowned the world’s best building at WAF 2014
The super-jury led by Richard Rogers praised the architects for creating ‘maximum effect with minimum materials’ in their designs for the small community space on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.
The judges at the annual showcase in Singapore were impressed by the way the Vietnam-based practice’s scheme in the new urban district, which was constructed from material’s from the owner’s previous projects, ‘embraced history and modernity’.
Commending the winning building on behalf of the festival’s super-jury, Paul Finch, WAF programme director, said: ‘The judges felt this was a project that embraced history and modernity, and created a dialogue in the process. It has created maximum effect with minimum materials and has produced an unexpected change of pace in its urban context.
‘The opportunity has been taken to recycle and rethink materials and site, and a series of design issues have been addressed which have produced a small project that makes a big statement. Colour and light have been deployed to put people at ease and the architect has found poetry in the mundane.’
The winning project was chosen from the 33 award-winning schemes announced throughout the past three days.
Previous winners of the World Building of the Year Award include Grafton Architects’ Luigi Bocconi University in Milan (2008), Zaha Hadid’s Stirling Prize-winning MAXXI in Rome (2010) and Gardens By The Bay by Wilkinson Eyre (2012).
Meanwhile the Future Project of the Year Award went to 5468796 Architecture + number TEN architectural group’s ‘intimate yet radical’ Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in Canada.
Other winners announced on the final day of the festival included DSDHA’s Alex Monroe Studio, CRAB Studio’s Departments of Law and Central Administration at Vienna University of Economics and Business, and
Practices from more than 50 countires entered the seventh global awards – with a huge increase of submissions coming from Asia.
World building of the year
Winner The Chapel by a21studio
Judges’ comments ‘A project that embraced history and modernity, and created a dialogue in the process. It has created maximum effect with minimum materials and has produced an unexpected change of pace in its urban context.’
Landscape project of the year
Winner National Arboretum by Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer
Judges’ comments ‘Out of the ashes, the grid form nature of the arboretum provides a contrast of the radial garden city nature of Canberra. What separates arboretum from the wetland garden is its uniqueness, its presentation of global landscape heritage and the legacy left for future generations.’
Small project of the year
Winner The Pinch by Olivier Ottevaere and John Lin, The University of Hong Kong
Judges’ comments ‘An elegant project that demonstrated research into a material, a building system, making an urban place that has answered a vital need for enclosure, congregation and culture in an earthquake-stricken zone.’
Future project of the year
Winner Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by 5468796 Architecture + number TEN architectural
Judges’ comments ’The Art Gallery of Victoria is a project that embodies the future – both in terms of creating an intimate yet radical response to its suburban Victorian setting as well as being a beacon of what is to come from its authors.’
Winner Departments of Law and Central Administration, Vienna University of Economics and Business by Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau
Judges’ comments ‘Demonstrates how learning institutions should be fun and inspiring. This project used colour with energy and total conviction throughout.
‘The application of colour is of importance in various fields, as it produces moods. A space can be perceived as being friendly, warm, inspiring and dynamic, depending on the colours applied. In the Cook Robotham project, the associative power of colours, the impressions and symbolism, is made on a conscious level. It reiterates our belief that colour is more than just decoration and protection inducing aesthetic responses; it also induces human responses.’
Wood Excellence Prize
Winner Alex Monroe Studio by DSDHA
Judges’ comments ‘Urban densification is a future necessity. Wood is the answer to problems it brings, thanks to construction speed and prefab efficiency. Architecturally the project fits within its urban surrounding, and becomes a piece of ‘urban furniture’.
‘In the Wood Excellence Prize there was an excellent spread of shortlisted projects all showing a good variety of wood application. The use of wood in the winning project has real significance because it embraces innovation and for what it has achieved in a difficult location.’