Beit Beirut, a museum and cultural center in Lebanon, Meygoun residential complex in Iran, Vali-e-asr Mosque in Iran by Fluid Motion Architects and Halic Shipyard in Turkey by Tabanlioglu Architects are among the projects built in the Middle East region, shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2018 – the world’s biggest architectural awards program.
Architects and designers from the Middle East will join the world’s architectural elite later this year as practices across the globe prepare to attend World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2018. WAF will reconvene for its eleventh edition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 28-30 November this year. This is the first time the event has been hosted in the Dutch capital, following previous editions in Barcelona, Singapore and Berlin.
Judges noted strong entries from the Middle East in various categories as well as the ‘Culture’ category. Stand out projects include Sedhiou Cultural Center in Senegal by UAE-based practice Amkna Design Studio and Qatar National Library by award-winning Dutch practice Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), which features an angular concrete exterior and tiers of marble bookcases set within a single open-plan space. Leading architectural thinkers and industry personalities such as Sir Peter Cook RA, Architect, founder of Archigram and CRAB Studio, Reinier de Graaf, author and partner at OMA and Jennifer Dixon, Head of Architecture in Europe, Middle East and Africa at AECOM, will speak at WAF in Amsterdam during three days of conference programs, awards, exhibitions and fringe events.
This year’s shortlist builds on the strong regional performance from last year. Previous winning projects from Middle Eastern practices include the Sharjah Observatory in the UAE by 3deluxe Transdisciplinary Design within the ‘Experimental Future Projects’ category. The ‘Leisure Led Development, Future Projects’ category was also won by Tabanliojlu Architects for their Bodrum Loft project in Turkey.
The 2018 awards program received more than 1,000 entries for the first time with numbers up 20 per cent compared to 2017. Architects and designers across 81 countries were represented on the shortlist.
Paul Finch, Programme Director of World Architecture Festival, commented: “It is encouraging to see so many entries from the Middle East, and doubly encouraging because so many of them relate to ideas and approaches for the future of the commercial mixed-use field.”
All types and sizes of architectural projects are represented on the 2018 shortlist for WAF, ranging from private residential, to education, infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality, cultural/civic, interior and landscape projects. Major world architects shortlisted include Zaha Hadid Architects, OMA, Foster & Partners, BIG, China Architecture Design Group, Leigh & Orange, Aedas, Grimshaw, Woods Bagot, Skidmore Owings & Meril, Heatherwick Studio and FJMT. Many smaller practices will also take part and pitch against the big names.
The architects and designers behind each shortlisted project will compete for category prizes at WAF from 28-30 November where they will present live to international juries in front of festival delegates. Category winners will then compete against each other on the final day of the festival for the ultimate accolades of ‘World Building of the Year’, ‘Future Project of the Year’, ‘Interior of the Year’ and ‘Landscape of the Year’.