With over 20 categories and a whopping 704 entries that well and truly span the globe, three Kiwi designs have managed to squeeze their way onto the shortlist of the 2011 World Architecture Festival Awards (WAFA), which celebrate architecture excellence. First up from the Kiwis is the Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre, which seems to be an perennial awards favourite. Having this year picked up the NZIA’s New Zealand Architecture Medal, the Architecture Workshop-designed centre has been shorlisted in the WAFA ‘Completed Buildings - Display’ and ‘Completed Buildings - Holiday’ categories.
Elsewhere, House for a Family of Five by RTA Studio has been shortlisted in the ‘Completed Buildings - House’ category. Competition in this category seems particularly tough, with 29 other shortlisted entries muscling it out from all corners of the world including Brazil, Kuwait, Finland, Singapore and Australia.
The final Kiwi nomination came in the ‘Structural Design’ category and was dished out to Irving Smith Jack Architects Ltd for the New Zealand's Landmark Timber Structural Demonstration Building: NMIT Arts and Media Building.
The nominations mean there’s a Kiwi entry in each section of the awards — completed buildings, future projects and structural design.
All shortlisted entries will also compete for the penultimate World Building of the Year prize, with the awards set to take place in November. An impressive 59 countries feature in this year’s awards.
Commenting on this year’s shortlist, WAF programme director Paul Finch said: “The WAF Awards celebrate architectural excellence the world over and allow architects to showcase their talent and their unique responses to the ever-changing economic climate. There is now an increasing need for innovative approaches to architecture, inspiring architects and designers to think in new ways about buildings. It’s encouraging that the quality of this year’s entries is the highest we’ve ever seen and we look forward to seeing which projects both the judges select as the winners.”
Sunset Chapel by Bunker Arquitectura, Mexico
Qatar Showcase by Arup Associates
NO99 Straw Theatre (yes, made from straw), by Aalto AB OÜ, Estonia
Tree Hotel by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, Sweden