World Architecture Festival reveals 2019 awards shortlist

The World Architecture Festival has announced the shortlist of projects set to compete in its 2019 awards programme, with this year’s slate demonstrating how buildings can play a major role in a more environmentally-concerned future.

Amongst the shortlist is Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport, designed by Safdie Architects and centred around a 15,000m² indoor public garden which features a 40-metre indoor waterfall falling through the centre of a doughnut-shaped glass roof. Elsewhere, Dortheavej Residence by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group flies the flag for both affordable and sustainable modular housing in Copenhagen, and one of last year’s winners, Studio Gang, tackles environmental concerns at a volumetric level through its Solstice on the Park project – a 26-storey residential tower in Chicago optimised for environmental performance through angled window panels slanted inwards at 72 degrees, the precise angle at which the sun hits the Chicago skyline at the height of the summer solstice.

In the culture category, Helsinki Central Library Oodi by AL_A Architects looks to a new era of library design where traditional functions meet modern technology to create an almost zero-energy building with panoramic views.

Meanwhile, the Future Project: Experimental and Future Project: Infrastructure categories presented structures including proposals for a waterfront park in NYC by Studio V Architecture, transforming oil tanks into community gardens, and a series of man-made, mid-bay barrier islands to act as a surge protection system for the Port of Houston by Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers.

Major practices and individuals shortlisted include Zaha Hadid Architects, Heatherwick Studio, Bjarke Ingels Group, Rafael Vinoly Architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Grimshaw and White Arkitekter AB. A number of smaller studios will also take part, with this year’s 534-strong shortlist ranging from private residential, to education, infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality, cultural/civic, interior and landscape projects across 70 countries.

WAF will reconvene in Amsterdam from 4-6 December this year, marking 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 of the shortlisted designs made to more than 100 international judges in front of festival delegates. Category winners will then compete against each other on the final day of the festival for the ultimate accolades of World Building of the Year, Future Project of the Year, Interior of the Year and Landscape of the Year.

WAF programme director Paul Finch comments: “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 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.

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 Amsterdam for three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events.

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