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

Display – Completed Buildings Winner: Arkitema Architects and Professor Christoffer Harlang – Hammershus Visitor Centre, Allinge, Denmark

How do you design a modern visitor’s center that honors the largest castle ruin in Northern Europe without detracting from it? Arkitema Architects and Professor Christoffer Harlang answered that question with the Hammershus Visitor Center in Allinge, Denmark, a beautiful low-lying complex built into the rocks opposite the ruins so visitors can gaze at them from an ideal vantage point (and the comfort of a cafe.) Discreet and elegant, the center almost melts into the landscape outside, while the interiors made of raw concrete and oak infuse it with unexpected warmth.

New and Old Completed Buildings Winner: Heatherwick Studio – Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa

Heatherwick Studio stuns with the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa, a converted grain silo that transforms its identifying historic characteristics into an abstracted concrete sculpture. Representing Africa’s first international museum dedicated solely to contemporary African art, the MOCAA building makes use of an old grading tower and block of 42 tightly-packed silos, carving a large central space right into the tubes for a cellular effect. Spread out over nine floors, the new museum offers 6,000 square meters of exhibition space in 80 galleries as well as a rooftop sculpture garden, bookshop, restaurant, bar, reading rooms and start of the art storage and conservation areas.

Infrastructure Future Project Winner: Monk Mackenzie + Novare – Thiruvalluvar, Kanyakumari, India

Pilgrims in India will have a striking new way to access the Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekanada Temple, set on islands off the southernmost tip of the country. Designed by Monk Mackenzie in collaboration with Novare, the 500-meter-long pedestrian bridge was lauded by judges as “a simple and elegant response to a complex problem.”

School Completed Buildings Winner: Tezuka Architects – Muku Nursery School – Fuji City, Japan

Japanese firm Tezuka Architects is known for producing extraordinary schools (in addition to many other types of projects), but Muku Nursery School shines as its most visually striking. When viewed from above, the buildings present as a series of bubbles rising from the landscape alongside play pools and other outdoor features. The architects describe the layout as “completely free from geometrical restrictions,” noting that it “provokes the endless circular movement of children.”

Shopping Completed Buildings Winner: NIKKEN SEKKEI – Shanghai Greenland Center / Greenland Being Funny – Shanghai, China

This is one of those projects that looks so unreal as a rendering, it’s hard to imagine it actually being built. But the Shanghai Greenland Center by Nikken Sekkei is complete, serving as an urban farm and landscape park “where city meets natural life.” Set right above one of the most trafficked metro stations in the city, the complex new park and shopping center features a roof split into different scales at various heights, creating a series of terraces and slopes. From the outside, the complex is like a bright green gem for passersby to gaze upon, concealing all of the commercial activity within.

Leisure Led Development Future Project Winner: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group – Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, Le Brassus, Switzerland


Leave it to the Bjarke Ingels Group to go – well – BIG, as always, with a fun hotel in Switzerland featuring a ski slope built right into its zig-zagging roof. The Audemars Piguet Hotel des Horlogers houses 50 rooms, two restaurants, a bar, a spa and a conference center within five inclined volumes. Guests can ski right down the hotel’s rooftops for direct access to the adjacent slopes as well as the Audemars Piguet watch manufacturer’s museum, also set to be designed by BIG.