Prizes awarded to future projects focused on today’s major global opportunities and challenges
Clockwise: Dubai Healthcare City by Kalbod Studio; Diatom City by Desitecture; Research Institute Corp. Ltd; Rethinking Oil Rigs – Offshore Data Centres by ARUP and
ChongZhou Bamboo Weaving Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition Hall by China Southwest Architectural Design
Thirty-four exemplary future projects which address major architectural issues facing society and the planet have been announced as winners of this year’s World Architecture Festival WAFX Awards, across eight key categories. The 2023 WAFX shortlist celebrates international proposals which embrace design vision and innovation to address major world opportunities and challengers, ranging from pushing the use pf smart technology and building reuse, to addressing the issue of an aging popoulation and tackling the climate emergency.
The WAFX Award winners are all selected from entries to the Future Projects category in the WAF Awards Programme, for their ambition and scope in response to today’s most pressing global issues. This is ahead of the live event which this year will take place in Singapore, at Marina Bay Sands, from 29 November – 1 December.
Alexandria Health Centre by Warren and Mahoney © Warren and Mahoney
This year’s WAFX categories are: Ageing and Health, Building Technology, Carbon Climate and Energy, Cultural Identity, Ethics and Values, Re-Use, Smart Cities, and Water. The 2023 category winners range from an island centred around medical services in Dubai and an off-grid mixed-use tower in the United States, to rethinking oil rigs as sustainable, offshore data centres in the United Kingdom and an exhibition hall celebrating local bamboo craft in China.
Paul Finch, Director of the World Architecture Festival, comments:
‘Thinking about better futures is part and parcel of the World Architecture Festival program. We are delighted with the quantity and quality of projects which are looking at the biggest problems facing the world, and which are addressing them in a truly constructive way’.
WAF represents the world’s biggest live judged architectural awards programme, where all finalists present their projects to a panel of judges at the international festival. The 34 WAFX winning projects will present on the Festival Hall Stage at WAF, and the overall WAFX winner will be announced live during the festival, alongside other accolades including World Building of the Year, Landscape of the Year, Future Project of the Year and Interior of the Year.
Clockwise: The Homes of Homes by ABaD Architects, Cross Architecture; The Ellinikon Park by SASAKI © SASAKI;
The Probiotic Tower by Design and more international © Karim Mousa – Founder and art director of Mozses; Shenzen Airport East Integrated Transport Hub by Grimshaw © Grimshaw
The WAFX 2023 Category Prize Winners are:
Dubai Healthcare City by Kalbod Studio; a multi-functional floating healthcare complex in Dubai, fusing cutting-edge technology and sustainable design.
Alexandria Health Centre by Warren and Mahoney; a new mental health facility being developed in Alexandria, Sydney, with a focus on holistic wellbeing, open communication and the de-stigmatization of mental illness.
Poona Hospital and Research Centre by Mandviwala Qutub and Associates; a proposed Health City Complex in Maharashtra, India, providing ‘integrated healthcare’ – with alternative therapies sitting alongside the main hospital, and residential complexes for doctors and paramedics.
PHRC – Poona Hospital and Research Centre by Mandviwala Qutub and Associates © MQA
Fisher and Paykel Global Headquarters by RTA Studio; set to be the largest mass timber building in New Zealand, a global benchmark in the post-pandemic hybrid workplace model encompassing net-zero office innovation.
The Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation by Grafton Architects with Modus Studio; a timber research centre for the University of Arkansas’ architecture school, building on the local emerging innovative timber economy,which will offer lessons to students and the public about the future of mass timber buildings.
Preservation and Regeneration of a “Tulou” in Nanjing County by UrbanFabric; the innovative regeneration of a “Tulou”, or earthen building, in Nanjing County, China, which looks to preserve local cultural heritage.
The BRIJ by CRAB Studio; an arts and cultural centre for the Serendipity Arts Foundation in New Delhi, India, including a wide range of passive, traditional and innovative technologies to reduce carbon and embodied energy, while addressing a lack of large-scale cultural spaces.
Absorbent Sand Storm Skyscraper by Kalbod Studio
ChongZhou Bamboo Weaving Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition Hall by China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute; a project in China’s Sichuan Province which utilizes locally abundant bamboo and wood as the main structural and decorative materials, offering a platform to showcase local craftsmanship, and low-carbon, sustainable construction.
Biogenic Construction by CINARK – Center for Industrial Architecture, The Royal Danish Academy; a project which aims to push the fundamental understanding of the potentials of biogenic materials in architecture and construction, in particular mapping clay’s use in thatched building constructions in Denmark and Northern Europe.
Absorbent Sand Storm Skyscraper by Kalbod Studio; 25 glass structure towers on Dubai’s main storm routes designed to absorb soil particles using artificial magnetic fields accompanied by windpipes, to deal with problems caused by sandstorms occurring in large desert cities.
Affordable biobased houses by UArchitects / Misak Terzibasiyan; a project in Bosschenhoofd, Netherlands, featuring biobased prefabricated houses which run off a smart off-grid system, reaching outside where traditional utility companies operate.
The Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation by Grafton Architects with Modus Studio © Picture Plane
Carbon Climate and Energy
Taikoo Green Ribbon by Arup; a net zero workplace concept for Hong Kong which features a living biophilic envelope, and a biodiversity corridor, or ‘ribbon’, that harnesses rainwater, filtering solar gain, air, noise, and pollution.
The Ellinikon Park by Sasaki; the transformation of Athens’ former International Airport into a resilient, climate-positive public landscape, and Europe’s largest coastal park, alleviating development pressure away from Athens’ historic core
The Probiotic Tower, Cairo by Design and More International; an experimental project to repurpose disused water towers to positively address climate change, using features including a large algae bioreactor tank and algae façade panels to absorb CO2.
Sinterbecken by Metaform © Jessie LangMetaformVIZErendering (renders)
Nora Mosque and Community Center by EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture; a multi-programmed complex for the city of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, with a composition of shell-like platforms, providing a mosque for 2500 people and spaces for social, educational, and recreational activities.
Jain Cultural Centre by Mandviwala Qutub and Associates; a contemporary building in Chhattisgarh, designed for India’s Jain community, which draws inspiration from the local architecture and traditional arts and crafts, and pays homage to Chhattisgarh’s natural and cultural history.
Montreal Holocaust Museum by KPMB Architects; a new building to help the museum reach out to all communities and promote respect for diversity and the sanctity of human life. Addressing one of our darkest histories, the building is designed to speak to resilience, hope, solidarity and courage.
Musée International du Vodun by Koffi & Diabaté Architecte; an ambitious project aimed at promoting, and revealing the cultural and historical heritage of Benin, with a focus on Vodun culture – a flagship project of the Beninese Government, and the first of its genre in West Africa.
Biogenic Construction by CINARK – Center for Industrial Architecture, The Royal Danish Academy © Anne Beim, Lykke Arnfred, Pelle munch-Petersen
We!Park by Shma Company Limited; a community-driven initiative that aims to create and promote green public spaces in urban areas of Bangkok, addressing the city’s lack of green space, and problems including air pollution, heat island effect, and lack of opportunities for social engagement and community building.
Pangasinan Barangay Centers by Buensalido Architects; a future civic project for the Fourth District, Pangasinan, in the Philippines, which incorporates solid panels painted with designs from local artists, to help localise each centre, for each barangay, or village.
Makery @ 2nd Street by SANALarc; micro-mixed use residential developments, specifically utilizing the standard dimensions of single-family residence corner lots (80′ x 80′), to help promote and support creative industries in rural area in the US.
The Home of Homes by ABāD Design Studio, Cross Studio; a new form of residential building in Tehran to promote the cultural shift necessary to embrace new modes of urban living, accelerate positive social change and promote healthy social interactions.
Montreal Holocaust Museum by KPMB Architects
Sinterbecken by Metaform; an infrastructure project designed to create a new public square in the middle of a former industrial site in the south of Luxembourg, preserving and upcycling former sinter ponds to celebrate the region’s industrial history while also serving the community’s future needs.
Rethinking Oil Rigs – Offshore Data Centres by Arup; an exploration of how we can rethink oil rigs as sustainable, offshore data centres of the future, in response to the decline of the oil economy and the prominence of data in contemporary society.
Ecodistrict laMercedes in Barcelona by Batlleiroig Arquitectura; the transformation of an old Mercedes-Benz factory in Barcelona, to a mixed-use sustainable neighbourhood, reusing buildings and infrastructures including the central warehouse to create a large public square at the heart of the new neighbourhood.
Kinmen County Central Library and Art Museum by JJP Architects and Planners; the transformation of a former military site in Kinmen, Taiwan, into a special arts and cultural district for the region, responding to its sensitive geological context on the edge of a valley.
Fisher and Paykel Global Headquarters by RTA Studio
Green City Kigali by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; a pioneering master-planning project that seeks to address global population growth in Africa, and serve as a green catalyst for economic development in Rwanda.
Punggol Digital District by WOHA Architects; Singapore’s new highly integrated enterprise district, designed to bring jobs, schools and social amenities closer to people’s homes, while integrating smart and future-ready city solutions and technologies.
Shenzhen Airport East Integrated Transport Hub by Grimshaw; a project that connects mainline high-speed, intercity and urban railways with international and domestic air travel, creating a new iconic gateway for China’s Greater Bay Area, and forming one of the most integrated transport interchanges in the world.
Musee International du Vodun by Koffi & Diabate Architectes © Koffi Diabate Architectes Images 4 and 5 – Les Crayons
Antioquia Municipal River Parks by Gobernacion De Antioquia – Juan Pablo Lopez – Sebastian Monsalve; a project for the planning, protection and valuation of water and the landscape in Antioquia, Columbia, that seeks to recover and transform the city’s waterfronts into greener spaces for community recreation and wellbeing.
Micro Colony by UArchitects / Misak Terzibasiyan; floating platforms, or island hubs, for bush farming, small holdings, schools and infrastructure, that can form small, scalable colonies, helping to fight poverty and climate change in Bangladesh, particular the intensification of flooding in the country.
Digging For Light by Kalbod Studio; a project including private homes, a school and a water reservoir for the village of Ernan, Iran, based around a series of underground historic water canals, whose domes rise from the surrounding desert.
HydroSKIN: Façade for Urban Rainwater Retention and Evaporative Cooling by University of Stuttgart; a revolutionary façade concept for rainwater harvesting and evaporative cooling, using a lightweight textile skin to absorb wind-driven rainwater, providing natural microclimate regulation with a minimal amount of embedded mass, energy, and CO2 emissions.
The BRIJ by CRAB Studio © CRAB Studio
WAF returns to Singapore for its 16th edition after the global community of architects and designers last met at Marina Bay Sands in 2015. This follows previous editions of the festival in Lisbon, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Berlin. In addition to the unique live-judged awards programme and crit presentations, this year’s event will include a live events programme and keynote talks from an international panel of speakers.