One of the world’s largest architectural events took place at Arena Berlin in November and saw dozens of both completed and future projects take home awards in various categories including Culture, Health and transport. The annual World Architecture Festival exhibits over 300 projects over the three day event and is where the architecture community meet to celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired by the ideas around them, and the event welcomes over 2200 architects, clients and press attendees each year. The LuxPad explores the projects which received the five most prestigious awards at this year’s festival…
The World Building of the Year 2016 which is the top prize of the festival went to The National Museum Szczecin – Dailogue Centre Przelomy, Poland. Designed by Robert Konieczny/KWK Promes, the project is the ninth building to be win the prestigious award and includes an undulating public square opening into a museum space below ground. Speaking of the top award winner, the judging panel led by Sir David Chipperfield have explained their decision:
‘This project enriches the city and the life of the city. It addresses a site with three histories, pre-World War II, wartime destruction, and post-war development, which left a significant gap in the middle of the city. This is a piece of topography as well as a museum. To go underground is to explore the memory and archaeology of the city, while above ground the public face of the building, including its undulating roof, can be interpreted and used in a variety of ways.’
The Future Project of the Year Award celebrates the most outstanding projects which have yet to be completed. South Melbourne Primary School by Hayball was awarded the illustrious title at this year’s festival and is a new model of a vertical school which will accommodate 525 students when it’s finished. The judges on the WAF’s Future Project super jury commended the way in which the building design connects indoor and outdoor teaching areas and differentiated learning environments. An integral aspect of the development of the inner-city Fisherman’s Bend area of the city, the project overcame the challenges of building a vertical school by focusing on a central staircase as a point of interaction and gathering space.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Architecture was awarded the Small Project of the Year Award for its ZCB Bamboo Pavilion which has been inspired by Cantonese bamboo scaffolding craftsmanship. Four storeys high and spanning 37 metres, the pavilion has a 200 seating capacity and has been constructed using large bamboo poles which were shaped onsite then hand-tied with metal wire. It was described as a ‘brilliant example of cutting edge simulation and modelling combined with delightful traditional craft and skill’ by the judges.
Not solely focused on building projects, the World Architecture Festival also triumphs landscaping wonders and this year’s Landscape of the Year Award went to Kopupaka Reserve in Auckland, New Zealand by Isthmus. A hybrid park concept, Kopupaka is a storm water reserve combined with an urban park, playground and skate park. Made possible by dovetailing the masterplanning of the streets with the green infrastructure of the 22 hectare reserve, the project was praised by the judges as ‘a successful translation of Maori traditions that succeeded in being both poetic and imaginative in its creation of a landscape that captures the soul and nature of the area’.
Coinciding with the World Architecture Festival is the INSIDE Festival of Interiors which triumphs the international interiors industry and offers its own unique awards selection. Black Cant System by An Design was awarded the top prize at this year’s INSIDE Festival of Interiors being named the World Interior of the Year. Created for fashion brand Heike, the project is located in the urban outskirts of Shanghai, China and is a concept clothing store with an all grey, yet bold interior which the judges described as challenging the conventional ideas about a fashion retail store.