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.