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Architecture & Design, Art & Public Space, Competitions, Exhibitions & Events

World Architecture Festival – World Buildings of The Year 2017

The World Architecture Festival has announced its buildings of the year for 2017.


Post-earthquake reconstruction / demonstration project of Guangming Village designed by The Chinese University of Hong Kong. World Building of the Year 2017

The winner of World Building of the Year 2017 is the Post-earthquake reconstruction / demonstration project of Guangming Village designed by The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Following the Ludian earthquake in 2014, most of the local buildings in Guangming were destroyed.  This project reinvented the traditional building technology, providing villagers with a safe, economical, comfortable, and sustainable reconstruction strategy that they could afford, own, and pass on to their children.  A prototype house was built for an aged couple to validate the technology and building performance of the new system. The project used traditional material and construction methods with the addition of new technology – combining ancient wisdom with modern know-how. This could be re-applied to anywhere in the world affected by seismic problems and low levels of wealth.

The jury also gave a Director’s Special Award to Superlofts Houthaven in Amsterdam by Dutch practice Marc Koehler Architects. A new co-housing concept that aims to create a global network of local building co-operatives, judges said the concept is “a game changer – a replicable and transferable model which could extend in terms of scale.”

The Future Project of the Year 2017, which celebrates the best of the world’s architecture yet to be completed, is the Sydney Fish Markets project by Allen Jack+Cottier and NH Architects.


Sydney Fish Markets by Allen Jack+Cottier and NH Architects. Winner of Future Project of the Year 2017

Landscape of the Year 2017 was awarded to Peasants and their Land: The Recovered Archaeological Landscape of Chengtoushan, Lixian County, China by Turenscape. The judges felt that this project reflected a hopeful and creative mixture of archaeological history, rice production and tourism.  The landscape project is based around a live 6,500 year old archaeological site which has been protected by the local government of this rural province.  The judges were impressed with the “productive engagement between visitors and farmers who are able to maintain their traditional livelihoods”.


The Small Project of the Year was awarded to Eriksson Furunes + Leandro V. Locsin Partners + Jago Boase for Streetlight Tagpuro whereby a community engagement process involved the relocation of NGO Streetlight’s office, orphanage and study centre in the wake of super-typhoon Haiyan.

The Best Use of Colour Prize, supported by Eastman, was awarded to Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects for the Fitzroy Crossing Renal Hostel in AustraliaThe building provides a long-term accommodation facility for Aboriginal people from outlying communities receiving renal dialysis. The aim of the centre is to humanely support the needs of the residents, who may be self-sufficient and independent, or may have a carer living with them. The architecture facilitates a safe environment to wander and gather with occupants, family, friends and the community. Light is filtered through the coloured screens that run along the side of the structure. Judges praised the practice for “a design that uses holistically integrated colour relative to the landscape and the local community. As the project’s main function is healing, the use of colour creates an emotional context that is deeply supportive and nurturing.”


Fitzroy Crossing Renal Hostel in Fitzroy, Australia by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects. Winner of The Best Use of Colour Prize 2017

The Architectural Photographer of the Year Award was won by Terrence Zhang for his for his image of the Swimming Pool at the New Campus of Tianjin University in China, designed by architects Atelier Li Xinggang. Zhang’s photograph captures shafts of sunlight entering above the swimming pool and playing on the water, framed by the curved ceiling arches of the structure’s roof.


The Swimming Pool by Terrence Zhang. Winner of the Architectural Photographer of the Year Award 2017

The £10,000 prize for the Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Award 2017, for architects under the age of 45, went to Paris-based practice Avenier Cornejo Architects for their 17th Arrondissement social housing. The Rue Bonet project comprises 38 apartments in a urban plot of 430 sq.metres.

The Iran Special Prize, awarded for the best completed building by an Iranian practice from the last three years, was won by New Wave Architecture for the Pars Hospital in Tehran, completed in 2016, which topped a shortlist of eight Iranian projects,


New Wave Architecture for the Pars Hospital in Rasht, Gilan Province. Winner of the Iran Special Prize 2017

The World Architecture Festival started in in Barcelona in 2008. Now in its tenth year, the World Building of the Year winner was selected by a jury comprising Christoph Ingenhoven (Ingenhoven Architects), Ian Ritchie (Ian Ritchie Architects), James Timberlake (Kieran Timberlake), Ellen van Loon (OMA) and Mun Summ Wong (WOHA WOHA). The Future Project jury, comprised Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham Architecture), Isay Weinfeld (IW. Arquitectura) and Monica von Schmalensee (White Arkitekter).

Images of The Post-earthquake reconstruction/demonstration project of Guangming Village, and all WAF’s award winners  https://goo.gl/QCYnm4


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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