World Architecture Festival Announces 2017 Awards Shortlist for its 10th Edition

Jul 27, 2017

Floating student accommodation in Copenhagen, a futuristic pharmacy in Japan and an automotive museum in Los Angeles are among the projects that have been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards 2017 – the world’s biggest architectural awards programme.  The World Architecture Festival celebrates its tenth edition in Berlin in November this year, with the 2017 awards programme receiving more entries than ever before – 924, increasing by 18 per cent from the 2016 awards. The awards shortlist revealed today is a truly international collection, extending to include architectural practices from 51 different nations and projects based across 68 countries. 

1 (Picture credit: Garden of the Mind, Berlin, Germany by P Landscape)

 All types and sizes of architectural projects are represented on the 434-strong shortlist, ranging from small family homes to schools, stations, museums, large infrastructure and landscape projects. Architects from the UK are most widely represented on the shortlist, closely followed by colleagues in the USA, Australia and Turkey, with entries from Asia up by a third year-on-year. With a significant rise in residential submissions this year, organisers have introduced a new Villa category which includes entries from Brazil, New Zealand and India. The architectural practices behind each project will battle it out in live judging sessions to be held at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, 15-17 November. Each will be hoping to win their category and go on to compete for the ultimate accolades of World Building of the Year, Future Project of the Year and Landscape of the Year. Major world architects shortlisted include Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, Neri & Hu, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, AL_A, Nikken Sekkei, Rafael Vinoly Architects, Grimshaw, and Heatherwick Studio. Many smaller practices will also take part to pitch against the big names. 


(Picture credit: Zhuhai Opera House, Zhuhai, China by CR Institute of Architectural & Urban Design)

 Paul Finch, WAF Programme Director, said: ‘This year’s shortlist has a hugely diverse geographic range. The use of water has been striking and there is evidence of real interest in climate modifications using novel techniques. Colourful architecture makes a strong showing and many of the smaller projects we have shortlisted will punch above their weight. We look forward to welcoming shortlisted architects to our tenth edition in Berlin this November.’ Presentations of shortlisted designs will be made to more than 100 international judges.


(Picture credit: Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, United States of America by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates)

The 2017 completed buildings ‘Super Jury’ which will decide the best of 18 category winners, will be headed by Robert Ivy, chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects and former editor of Architectural Record; Nathalie de Vries, Director & Co-founder of Dutch practice MVRDV; Ian Ritchie, founder of London-based Ian Ritchie Architects; Christoph Ingenhoven, founder of German practice Ingenhoven Architects; and Wong Mun Summ, founder director of Singapore practice WOHA. 


 (Picture credit: Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal by AL_A)

In addition to the awards, WAF includes a conference programme based around the theme of ‘Performance’. And to mark its tenth edition, special awards will be given to projects which address the WAFX Manifesto by identifying solutions to key architectural challenges over the next decade, including climate change, an ageing population and new technologies. WAF and its co-located event, INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, will welcome more than 2,000 of the world’s leading architects and designers to Berlin for three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events from 15-17 November. This year’s edition will again be housed in Franz Ahrens’ 1920s former bus depot, Arena Berlin.

(Picture credit: Fitzroy Crossing Renal Hostel, Fitzroy Crossing, Australia by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects)

World Architecture Festival is the largest, annual, international, live architectural event. It includes the biggest architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries. The 2017 World Architecture Festival (WAF) comprises 5 key elements: The WAF Awards, a thematic conference programme, an exhibition of award entries, sponsor and exhibitor stands, a series of networking/social events, as well as WAF fringe activities. 


(Picture credit: Shelter on the Edge, Aleppo, Syria by Design and More International)

 INSIDE World Festival of Interiors runs alongside WAF, with its own awards and conference programme. Delegates have access to both events. WAF and INSIDE are organized by EMAP, publishers of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal. This year, WAF will identify buildings and future projects, entered into its awards programme, which also addresses the Manifesto issues. Special awards will be made to exemplary projects, which will be exhibited as part of a tenth-anniversary exhibition featuring key winners from the past decade.


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