Best of the Year: 10 Projects Honored at World Architecture Festival 2018

When you’re judging thousands of architectural projects from all around the world, even the process of narrowing down the shortlist to 535 has got to be hard. This year, the World Architectural Festival (WAF) had its biggest year yet with submissions from 81 countries, and in November, the shortlisted teams presented their designs to a jury of more than 100 international judges in Amsterdam. More than 35 winners took home prizes in categories like Small Project of the Year, Use of Color Prize, Use of Certified Timber Prize and Leisure-Led Development. Here are 10 standouts from those winners, including the World Building of the Year – see the rest at the WAF website.

World Building of the Year 2018, supported by GROHE: WOHA Architects – Kampung Admiralty, Singapore, Singapore

WOHA landed the top prize with Kampung Admiralty, a cascading complex of greenery bringing public facilities and services together in Singapore. Designed to maximize land use and meet the needs of the island nation’s aging population, the project layers a community plaza, medical center, community park and other healthcare, social and commercial functions along with apartments for seniors. Its lush, elevated green village enhances the quality of life of its residents and enables plenty of cross ventilation and daylight, all on a tight plot of less than a hectare (about 2.5 acres) with a hight limit of 45 meters (147 feet.)

Glass Future Prize, supported by Guardian Glass, WINNER: Studio Gang, Tour Montparnasse / Paris, France

Winner of the Glass Future Prize, Studio Gang’s vision for Tour Montparnasse Tower aims to redesign the French capital’s infamously “ugly” building to transform it into a new 21st century landmark. Not only are the twisting facets of the skyscraper visually dynamic, lending it a shimmering effect, they help shade the interiors and make the structure more resistant to wind. The transparent base of the tower helps blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, and it’s full of cascading gardens, open-air markets, shops and spaces for large events.

Landscape of the Year WINNER 2018: Batlle i Roig Arquitectura – Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines, Barcelona, Spain

A dynamic new path cuts through the hillside in Barcelona, leading from a lookout point that gazes out at the city of Igualada to an old complex of gypsum mines below. Designed by Battlle i Roig Arquitectura, the Lookout Path is part of the larger scheme of the Igualada Green Ring, which aims to create a green belt for pedestrians and bicycles around Barcalona’s perimeter. The zig-zagging track includes luminescent concrete paving for a blue-green glow after dark.

Culture – Completed Buildings Winner: Conrad Gargett – The Piano Mill, Stanthorpe, Australia

Australian practice Conrad Gargett won the Culture category with The Piano Mill, a new structure in Queensland that addresses the intersection of architecture’s role in the environment of cultural buildings. “This authentically Australian project celebrates the culture of early colonial settlement in our country, demonstrates an entwined collaboration of art, music and architecture, as well as pioneering music composition,” says architect Bruce Wolf, Conrad Gargett’s Company Chair. The building functions as an art installation, an oversized musical instrument and a “performance machine,” containing sixteen pianos tuned radar blades and sonic periscopes set on elevated balconies around a three-story void.