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Vietnam Project Wins World Building of the Year at WAF

The results of this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) are out. See which projects have taken home the top honours.



BY Janice Seow

7 October, 2014


Top image: World Building of the Year – The Chapel, Vietnam by a21studio

That the top prize at the 7th World Architecture Festival (WAF) has gone to a project in Vietnam is indicative of the promising architecture coming out of the emerging Southeast Asian economy.

The Chapel, designed by a21studio, was named ‘World Building of the Year” at the WAF awards, which was held just last week at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands.

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World Building of the Year – The Chapel, Vietnam by a21studio

The project is a community space in a new urban ward on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Taking into consideration that the surrounding area lacks communal centres, The Chapel is designed to be a place where people can participate in activities such as conferences, weddings and exhibitions.

Commending the winning project on behalf of the festival’s super-jury, WAF’s Programme Director Paul Finch says, “The judges felt this was a project that embraced history and modernity, and created a dialogue in the process. It has created maximum effect with minimum materials and has produced an unexpected change of pace in its urban context. The opportunity has been taken to recycle and rethink materials and site, and a series of design issues have been addressed which have produced a small project that makes a big statement. Colour and light have been deployed to put people at ease and the architect has found poetry in the mundane.”

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Future Project of the Year – Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada by 5468796 Architecture + number TEN architectural group

Previous winners of the “World Building of the Year” award include Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Grafton Architects (2008); Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects (2009); MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts), Rome, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (2010); Media TIC, Spain, designed by Cloud 9 Architects (2011); Gardens By The Bay, Singapore, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, Grant Associates, Atelier One and Atelier Ten (2012); and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki by Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp (2013).

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Landscape Project of the Year – National Arboretum Canberra, Australia by Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

Other top honours this year were given to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada (Future Project of the Year), and National Arboretum Canberra, Australia (Landscape Project of the Year). Singapore also bagged a significant win with the Singapore Sports Hub grabbing the title of “Sports Building of the Year”.

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Sports Building of the Year – Singapore Sports Hub by Arup, DP Architects and Aecom

For the full list of winners at WAF 2014, visit worldarchitecturefestival.com


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