A staggering array of architecture and design practices from 46 countries are competing to win a coveted 2015 World Festival of Architecture Award following the announcement of the shortlist today.
The eighth annual World Architecture Festival shortlist consists of 338 projects across 31 categories, ranging from small family homes to large commercial developments and landscape projects.
A substantial rise in entry numbers mirrors the global economic upturn in development and construction. The country boasting the largest number of shortlisted projects is Australia, followed by the UK and then Turkey – all of which have seen significant social and economic resurgence in the last few years.
Major world architects shortlisted include Foster & Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, OMA/Ole Scheeren, Rogers Stirk Harbour, Rafael Vinoly Architects, BIG, Grimshaw, Heatherwick Studio and Carlos Ott.
As usual a host of small practices unknown outside their own countries will pitch against the big names, presenting the shortlisted work to a 50-strong global awards jury. From small projects making a local contribution, such as a school in Burkina Faso designed for the architectural charity Article 25, through to large scale Olympic stadia transformations by US sports giant Populous, all manner of architectural interventions are celebrated.
Regardless of their practice size and reputation, all shortlisted entrants will this year gain double exposure, having their projects exhibited across two continents. The shortlist can first be seen this week at the new satellite WAF London 24-27 June, before arriving at the annual World Architecture Festival 2015 in Singapore this November. All shortlisted practices will be vying to win not only their individual categories, but the ultimate accolade of ‘World Building of the Year 2015’.
Singapore will present an opportunity for shortlisted architects to network and discuss the big conversations affecting the industry, as well also providing a chance for professional critiques from this years WAF ‘super jurors’: Royal Gold Medallist Sir Peter Cook (UK), Sou Fujimoto (Japan), Benedetta Tagliabue (Spain), Charles Jencks (UK/US), Kerry Hill (Singapore) and Manuelle Gautrand (France).
Running concurrently with WAF, INSIDE comprises of the most original and exciting interiors from the last 12 months. Nominations have poured in from 16 countries spanning four continents across the nine diverse categories that make up the awards. Among those competing are two dentistries, a music arena, two cinemas and a global TV studio.
Shortlisted designers include Benoy, Hassell and Woods Bagot. Chinese practice One Plus Partnership cap off a successful year with three nominations and make up some of the 12 projects that have been shortlisted from China and Hong Kong. Host nation Singapore have eight projects nominated, Australia seven and the UK have five. Again all nominees will compete in the form of live presentations and debates to a distinguished jury during the festival in November.
WAF programme director Paul Finch commented: “We are delighted with the diversity and exemplar quality of submissions this year. Our international juries are in for a tough time deliberating on the category winners. We look forward to another inspirational event in Singapore this November.”