The 2018 World Architecture Festival (WAF) enjoyed a 10% year-on-year increase in the number of international architects coming together from 28-30 November in Amsterdam to celebrate excellence in the profession.
More than 530 shortlisted projects in the annual WAF awards were presented live by architectural practices from around the world and judged during the event. Some of the super jury judges included Nathalie de Vries, Lesley Lokko and Li Xiadong.
Visitors also had the opportunity to attend an engaging talks programme, based around the theme of ‘Identity’ as well as taking advantage of the numerous networking opportunities.
In total, 2,200 industry professionals gathered in the Netherlands’ capital for the eleventh edition of the event. Dutch visitors represented 11% of visitors, closely followed by those from China making up 8% of the total, equating to more than 150 visitors.
The WAF awards saw a 17% increase in entries, with the number from China having grown by an impressive 80% compared with 2017’s figures. Taking the prestigious World Building of the Year 2018 award, supported by GROHE, was Kampung Admiralty in Singapore designed by WOHA. This substantial mixed-use scheme was praised by the judges for dealing with multiple social and societal issues, including ageing populations, wellness and healthcare.
Among the rest of the awards, the Landscape of the Year prize was presented to Batlle i Roig Arquitectura for their Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines project in Barcelona, Spain, while the Small Project of the Year award went to Camilo Moraes for Piedras Bayas Beachcamp in the Atacama Desert, Chile.
Commenting on the awards, Paul Finch, programme director, World Architecture Festival, says: “In the round this was our most successful Festival yet, and we look forward to returning to Amsterdam in December 2019.”
This year, women made up at least 40% of award judges, up by 7% from 2017 and overall, judges came from 41 different countries, a rise of nearly a quarter in terms of geographical diversity. There was also increased gender parity in terms of speakers in the talks programme, with women making up 40%, up from 33% in 2017. Some of this year’s female speakers included Jeanne Gang, Francine Houben and Caroline Bos.
Highlights from the talks programme included a keynote from American architect Jeanne Gang, a talk by Sir David Adjaye and, bringing the sessions to a close, an in-conversation with OMA founder Rem Koolhaas.
Running alongside WAF was its sister event INSIDE, which showcased 2018’s most ground-breaking interiors projects from leading practices and designers across four continents. The winner of this year’s World Interior of the Year was the Yumin Art Nouveau Collection, a glass exhibition in South Korea by Danish practice Jac studios.
The three-day event culminated on 30 November in a spectacular gala dinner and awards presentation at the Beurs van Berlage, a building with a fitting architectural pedigree, having been designed as a commodities exchange at the turn of the twentieth century by architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage and which now serves as an important cultural and meeting venue.
Following on from the success of 2018’s event, the next edition of the World Architecture Festival will once again take place in Amsterdam at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre and will be held from 4-6 December 2019.
Entries for World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 2019 will be open in February. For more details on how to enter and attend please visit www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/ @worldarchfestor www.insidefestival.com/ @insidefestival