Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2015 Winners announced Day one
November 15th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
London, United Kingdom – A house made from scrap material, the proposed redevelopment of a Russian city ravaged by war and a vertical village in Singapore named winners in global architecture awards.
World Architecture Festival, the world’s largest international architectural event, has announced the first of two sets of category winners for 2015. Among Wednesday’s victorious practices are EAA Emre Arolat, Ole Scheeren/OMA and Populous.
Ranging from a house in Vietnam created from discarded materials to a reimagining of London’s Olympic stadium, each of winning projects will now compete on Friday, the final day of the festival, to be crowned World Building of the Year.
The completed buildings that were named as the best in show from today’s contenders were The Interlace, a ‘vertical village’ in Singapore by OMA and Buro Ole Scheeren which won the Housing category. Judges selected the project for its ‘radical and alternative approach’ to contemporary living in a tropical environment.
Saigon House, by a21 studio was awarded the House category for its ‘playful and communal’ approach to living. Built using bricks, roof and floor tiles, doors and windows, and furniture found in local scrap markets, last year’s World Building of the Year winner will return to defend their title thanks to this sustainable approach to construction.
Another project which demonstrated a commitment to using locally sourced materials and resources, the Cam Thanh Community House won the Completed Building: Civic and Community prize for ‘a beautifully simple building designed for the community, by the community’.
The most impressive Mixed-Use development of the year went to SJB Architect for its Casba project in Australia, which was judged to successfully blend public realm with retail and residential purposes.
The Brazilian Expo Pavilion by Studio Arthur Casas and Marko Brajovic was crowned best Display project. The box-like temporary structure expresses the identity of Brazil in an unconventional way, drawing on the ideas of play and discovery.
In the field of completed offices, Nakayama Architects’ project HIGO were awarded top marks for a ‘magical, habitable, almost invisible structure’ that was deemed a spectacular feat, particularly as it is located in an earthquake zone.
In the Higher Education & Research category, Toho Gakuen School of Music, Japan, by Nikken Sekkei, was victorious. The building was designed so that each space ensures optimal acoustic performance for a particular instrument.
The Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu in China by Oval Partnership was judged first class in the Shopping shortlist for its ‘sympathetic urban plan in terms of scale, social integration and walkability’.
EAA Emre Arolat Architects was the big winner of WAF’s first day, with two category wins and one highly commended project. The practice’s visionary approach won plaudits from judges, winning the Future Projects: Culture category for its Museum of Painting and Sculpture and the Future Projects: Infrastructure category for its Cukurova Airport, both located in the practice’s native Turkey.
The best future Masterplan was Kaliningrad Development Concept in Russia by Studio 44 Architects. The project promises to be a human revival of a city brutalised by its history. Judges praised the strategy of using buried basements, the only surviving elements of the area’s urban fabric, to make direct connections between the city’s past and present.
The London Olympic Stadium Transformation by Populous was awarded Future Leisure-Led Development of 2015, with its multipurpose stadium which was ‘sustainable, efficient and respectful of London’s Olympic heritage’, according to judges.
Topping the Future Projects Health category,the HDR Rice Daubney project Al Maha Centre for Children and Young Adults will provide a non-institutional and non-intimidating setting, which is intended to combine clinical excellence with a reassuring domestic ambience.
The Future Projects Office category was claimed by Reservoir by Sanjay Puri Architects, for a design which adopts the traditional Indian stepped well form to create a water collection pit come office amidst the desert land of Rajasthan.
Of the Future Projects House category, the ISSA Grotto/Hill House by PROARH was victorious. The minimalist, straw roof topped structure seamlessly integrates with the sloping Croatian landscape, with its existence only given away by the sight of a swimming pool which can be glimpsed from above.
Each of today’s winning practices will go head to head with a second set of category winners, to be announced tomorrow, in the hope of achieving the accolade of World Building of the Year 2015.
WAF 2015 takes place at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, until Friday 6 November.