13-07-2021

The architecture of the future: winners of the 2021 WAFX Prize

BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Sou Fujimoto, Sunlay,

World Architecture Festival,

The twelve winners of the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards for unbuilt architectural projects, the WAFX 2021 Prize, have been announced. The candidates are projects from all over the world addressing today’s global challenges, from controlling pandemics to the climate crisis, from food supplies to social equality, diversity and cultural identity and so on, divided by category: office, residential, education and health, culture, leisure and experimentation.



The architecture of the future: winners of the 2021 WAFX Prize

During a free live-streamed event held on July 12 through 14, 2021 the twelve winners of the WAFX 2021 Prize, the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards for the architecture of the future, will present their projects and answer questions from a number of selected guests.
The winners are unbuilt projects from all over the world addressing today’s global challenges: from controlling pandemics to the climate crisis, from food supplies to issues of social equality, diversity and cultural identity, and so on. An overall winner will be selected from among the twelve finalists, announced and presented with the award at the World Architecture Festival 2021, which will be held in person once again on December 1 through 3, 2021, for the first time in Lisbon, Portugal.

World Architecture Festival director Paul Finch emphasised that the winners of the WAFX 2021 Prize demonstrate that design and architecture are key tools for addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by the contemporary world, presenting innovative ideas and approaches. The tough times we have experienced and continue to experience in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic are also reflected in this selection of prestigious projects. The winners include a project developed by the School of Architecture & Design of China University of Mining and Technology entitled: “The Deformable Modularized COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention Hospital, Shanghai”, a modular hospital that can be installed quickly to respond to demand for new beds and treatment centres in the event of a pandemic. The system’s modularity allows it to grow and be presented with different combinations and sizes, but at the same time, once the emergency is over, the system can easily be dismantled, transported, preserved, rebuilt and adapted for new uses.
Scrolling through the list of the twelve winners, we may note how a closer relationship with nature and respect for biodiversity are basic features of projects such as a residential block containing a Museum of Architecture designed by Sou Fujimoto Architects and inspired by the traditional huts of Bahay Kubo in Laguna, in the Philippines. Or the "Taikang Community Gui Garden" by Sunlay , in the Chinese region of Guangxi, reinterpreting the landscape of the picturesque local villages to create a centre for a community of seniors incorporating independent residences, medical services, and an activity and support centre.
Solutions for cutting pollution in urban areas and therefore a major focus on the factors contributing to climate change are the key themes of projects such as "Paradise, London" by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, which transforms an abandoned area in south London into zero emissions office spaces made entirely of glulam, or "Toyota Woven City", a big prototype of a smart city developed by BIG and Toyota at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan.

(Agnese Bifulco)

List of Winners - WAFX 2021
01 Ageing winner: ‘Taikang Community Gui Garden’ by Sunlay
02 Climate, Energy & Carbon winner: ‘Paradise, London’ by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
03 Construction Technology winner: ‘Museum for Architecture + Residences’ by Sou Fujimoto Architects
04 Cultural Identity winner: ‘Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi’ by Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi
05 Digital Technology winner: ‘Shenzhen Qianhai Telecommunication Centre’ by Schneider+Schumacher International GmbH
06 Ethics & Values winner: ‘#WeThePlanet Campus’ by 3deluxe
07 Food winner: ‘Cagbalete Sand Clusters’ by Carlo Calma Consultancy Inc.
08 Health winner: ‘The Deformable Modularized COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention Hospital, Shanghai’ by School of Architecture & Design, China University of Mining and Technology
09 Re-use winner: ‘Silo City’ by STUDIO V Architecture
10 Smart Cities winner: ‘Toyota Woven City’ by B.I.G. Architecture D.P.C.
11 Social Equity winner: ‘A Resilient Duplex for Fort Severn First Nation’ by Two Row Architect and KPMB Architects
12 Water winner: ‘Horizon Manila’ by William Ti, Jr.


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