Highlights from the 2015 World Architecture Festival Awards

Awards for best housing project and best overall project went to the Interlace complex in Singapore, by OMA of Rotterdam and Buro Ole Scheeren of Hong Kong.
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Vietnam's Cam Thanh Community House, by local firm 1+1>2 International Architecture, earned the top spot in the civic and community buildings category for its use of low-impact materials.
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HIGO, by Nakayama Architects of Sapporo, Japan, took the award for best office building, thanks to long, horizontal windows that make the structure feel like an extension of the landscape.
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Winning the category for best religious architecture is the Qatar Facility of Islamic Studies in Doha – a spaceship-scaled structure with sweeping tiled walls, designed by Mangera Yvars Architects of London, UK.
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Studio Arthur Casas and Atelier Marko Brajovic claimed top honours in the display category for the Brazilian pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 – a kinetic and open structure with a leisurely atmosphere.
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The Fulton Center, a transit hub and retail complex on Broadway in lower Manhattan, by local firm Grimshaw Architects, was named best transportation building.
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The award for best hotel and leisure project went to Dusseldorf's Ingenhoven Architects for Lanserhof Tegernsee in Waakirchen, Germany. The medical spa has a simple exterior that creates a sense of total serenity.
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Studio 44 Architects won the top prize in the schools category for this ballet academy in its hometown of of St. Petersburg, which features an atrium that offers long sightlines throughout the interior.
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Vancouver House – a condominium tower with a rectangular top and a triangular base – earned Copenhagen's BIG the award for best unbuilt residential project. It also took top honours among all unbuilt projects.
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Winner for best unbuilt cultural building, Emre Arolat Architects’s Museum of Painting and Sculpture – under construction in the firm's home city of Istanbul – features projecting balconies to help the building interface with its surroundings.
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Sanjay Puri Architects’ Reservoir complex, a tiered grouping of stone buildings surrounding a small lake, and proposed for Rajasthan, India, claimed the award for best unbuilt office.
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The award for best future commercial mixed-use project went to the Gardens by the Waterway Neighbourhood Centre and Polyclinic at Punggol, in Singapore – an airy complex of plant-filled buildings by local firm Multiply Architects.
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Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp of Sydney lost the competition to masterplan their city's Quay Quarter, but won the WAF's award for best competition entry in the unbuilt projects category.
Awards for best housing project and best overall project went to the Interlace complex in Singapore, by OMA of Rotterdam and Buro Ole Scheeren of Hong Kong.
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The 2015 World Architecture Festival has announced the winners of its annual awards – here are some of the prestigious program’s highlights.

In Singapore last week, the World Architecture Festival announced its winners for 2015, including the two overall winners in the built and future categories.

While both categories presented stiff competition, in the end it was two well-known firms that claimed the top prizes: BIG of Copenhagen for their Vancouver House condo tower, currently under construction in British Columbia; and OMA of Rotterdam for the Interlace residential complex in Singapore, designed in collaboration with Hong Kong’s Buro Ole Scheeren.

The Interlace comprises 31 massive blocks – each of them six storeys high and 70 metres long – stacked into a winding, wall-like formation that dramatically increases the complex’s surface area to offer more exterior views, corner apartments and rooftop green spaces. The scheme also breaks up the usual typology of isolated towers, instead weaving an intricate series of indoor and outdoor communal spaces around eight courtyards.

Many of the other winners in the categories for built projects are modest in scale, such as  Nakayama Architects’ small but elegant HIGO office building has long horizontal windows that resonate with the surrounding landscape. Others are humble in materials, including the bamboo-framed Cam Thanh Community House, a low-impact, open-air structure designed by Vietnamese firm 1+1>2 International Architecture. One notable exception to the trend is the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha, by Mangera Yvars Architects of London – a massive structure displaying such flamboyant features as fin-like towers, sweeping curves, and a soaring, all-white interior lit by hundreds of scattered points of light.

While BIG’s sinuous Vancouver House (previously covered here) led the pack of future structures, the competition here was equally intense. One notable unbuilt winners is Multiply Architects’ “Gardens by the Waterway,” a neighbourhood centre and clinic housed in an airy and verdant mixed-use complex, proposed for the firm’s home city of Singapore. Equally stunning is the still-under-construction Museum of Painting and Sculpture in Istanbul by local firm Emre Arolat Architecture, whose industrial-chic box is surrounded by eclectic balconies that project into the city, and help the modernist structure to interface with its historical surroundings.

To see the full list of winners, visit the World Architecture Festival’s website.

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