This year's World Architecture Festival is currently taking place at the Moshe Safdie-designed Marina Bay Sands hotel and conference center in Singapore. We're here to give you the results of the first day of the competition, which includes breathtaking designs across the categories of housing, office, higher education, display, religion, schools, and shopping. Winners will go on to compete for the World Building of the Year prize, which will be announced on Friday; and for those who haven't already seen last year's winner, be sure to check out Wilkinson Eyre Architects' Gardens by the Bay project in Singapore.
There are two winners in the housing category, the first of which was The Left-Over-Space House in Australia by Cox Rayner Architects, Casey and Rebekah Vallanc. It’s a three-meter-wide caretaker’s cottage that has been recycled and extended into a private dwelling that can accommodate a small family of parents and two children. The other is 28th Street Apartments, USA by Koning Eizenberg Architecture, a former YMCA building in Los Angeles that was restored and extended with an additional 25 residential units built inside a thin five-storey stucco-clad building beside the original structure.
For the office category, the Statoil Regional and International Offices built by a-lab in Norway took the prize. It consists of five aluminium-clad structures stacked on top of each other that make use of modular construction and cost-effectiveness in a very Scandinavian way just outside Oslo.
The University of Exeter: Forum Project by Wilkinson Eyre Architects in the UK walked away with the higher education category to their name. An undulating canopy complete with a detailed timber gridshell roof ties together various buildings across the university’s campus, creating an uplifting space for students.
A whirpool-shaped aquarium called The Blue Planet scooped the display category. Built in Copenhagen by 3XN, the aquarium is covered in shimmering aluminum shingles that mimic the scales of a fish, also overcoming significant engineering and technical challenges presented by the site.
Emre Arolat Architects put their mark on the Sancaklar Mosque in Turkey, which proved enough for them to win the religion category at this year’s World Architecture Festival. Built in a suburb of Istanbul, the mosque sits in a quiet park cut off from the surrounding area by high walls. A ridged roof made of stone and other simplistic design touches gives the building an atmospheric feel that pairs well with the religious nature of the structure.
Another European firm won the schools category with their design for the Fontys Sports College in the Netherlands. Mecanoo Architecten designed the building with a black brick exterior that features perforations in the shape of athletes.
Swedish studio Wingårdh‘s Malmö emporium in Sweden stole the show in the shopping category with a gaping golden chasm over its entrance, which despite how it sounds, doesn’t impose on its surroundings.
Expect to hear more news from the World Architecture Festival in Singapore as it unfolds. But for now, make sure to admire the designs that have captured the judge’s attention so far this year in our gallery.