The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced that this year’s WAF awards programme will feature a ‘Wood Excellence Prize’ for the first time. Sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), any type of project can be entered; the only criterion is that wood is an integral part of the project. Entry into the prize is free and if shortlisted, the designers or architects responsible will be invited to present their project to the prize judges live at the festival. The winner will be announced at the WAF awards ceremony on Friday, October 3, 2014. Architect, designer and a champion of wood in architecture, Matteo Thun, will chair the jury for the Wood Excellence Prize.
Commenting on the award, Matteo Thun said: “Wood, as a renewable resource material, is indispensable in architecture and design. Our daily challenge is to achieve projects and products that are sustainable, of timeless beauty, pure and simple, but at the same time technically and environmentally innovative. The new Wood Excellence Prize will reinforce this intention and I am very pleased to be involved in this very prestigious event.”
The WAF awards sit at the heart of the festival, and will see practices from around the world compete across 28 individual award categories for global recognition. Competing across three category groups of completed buildings, landscape projects and future projects, previous WAF award entrants have ranged from renowned global architectural firms to small local practices. Architects of every shortlisted project are invited to attend the festival to give a live presentation to a panel of judges, asserting their case for why their project should win. The winners of each category are put forward to compete for the coveted World Building of the Year award, presided over by the festival’s ‘super-jury’, with the presentation of the award being the culmination of WAF 2014.
According to Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania: “AHEC runs one of the most widely recognized wood promotion campaigns in the world and it makes perfect sense for us to be collaborating with the World Architecture Festival in creating a new award for design excellence in this most versatile and sustainable of materials. Today, great strides are being made in wood technology, but it is the creativity and inspiration of the international design community that will ensure wood realizes its full potential.”
The World Architecture Festival is the largest annual festival and live awards programme for the global architecture community, and is set to take place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore between October 1 – 3, 2014. WAF has three central pillars of activity: a wide-ranging conference programme, featuring keynote lectures, dozens of expert-led talks and seminars from thought-leading architects and designers from across the globe; the world’s largest annual awards programme in which practices from around the world compete across 28 award categories for global recognition; and three festival halls where all award entries are displayed in a unique awards gallery and where sponsors and suppliers can interact with delegates, make new contacts and showcase their services and products.
Architects of every shortlisted project are invited to attend the festival to give a live presentation to a panel of judges, asserting their case for why their project should win. The winners of each category are put forward to compete for the coveted World Building of the Year award, presided over by the festival’s ‘super-jury’, with the presentation of the award being the culmination of WAF 2014. This year’s super-jury members are Richard Rogers (chair), Rocco Yim, Julie Eizenberg, Enric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich. WAF also includes a conference on the theme of ‘architects and the city’ this year. Keynote speakers include Richard Rogers, Rocco Yim and Thomas Wright, executive director of New York Planning Association. WAF is collocated with INSIDE World Festival of Interiors.