World Architecture Festival returns for its 10th edition

1 February 2017

The ‘Oscars of Architecture’ will return to Arena Berlin, Germany from 15-17 November 2017 as organisers launch manifesto identifying key challenges which architects will need to address over the next ten years

(L) World Building of the Year 2016: National Museum in Szczecin - Dialogue Centre Przełomy, Szczecin, Poland by Robert Konieczny- KWK Promes. (R) Robert Konieczny collecting his World Building of the Year trophy at WAF 2016.

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced it will return for its tenth edition at the Arena Berlin in Germany from 15-17 November 2017, and entries for the WAF Awards are now open. To celebrate reaching this milestone, World Architecture Festival organisers today launched the WAF Manifesto - identifying key challenges which architects will need to address over the next ten years.

These challenges span diverse topic areas, including climate, energy and carbon; water; ageing and health; re-use; smart city technology; building technology; cultural identity; ethics and values; power and justice; and virtual worlds.

The intention is to generate research funding which will contribute towards work in universities and architectural practices investigating aspects of these subjects. The resultant research will be exhibited at WAF.

Commenting on the Manifesto, WAF Programme Director Paul Finch said: “In a period of profound change across the world, architects will play an important part in creating building, cities, public places and landscapes that respond to the challenges we have identified. There are immense amounts of research being undertaken across the profession which we hope we can draw attention to, and which we intend to support through publication, exhibition and funding initiatives.

“These are big-picture initiatives which concern architects both individually and collectively, and we want WAF to play a part in promoting initiatives which are aimed at making life better.”

Entries for the venerated WAF Awards programme are now open. The WAF awards sit at the heart of the festival, the only global awards programme where architects present their projects live in Berlin to a panel of international judges and delegates. Entries are being welcomed in 30 categories across completed buildings, future projects and landscape.

Past winners include Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, Snøhetta, Isay Weinfeld and Foster + Partners as well as ones to watch Vo Trong Nghia, Farshad Mehdizadeh and Gustavo Penna.

This year, WAF will identify buildings and future projects, entered for its awards programme, which also address the Manifesto issues. Special awards will be made to exemplary projects, which will be exhibited as part of a tenth anniversary exhibition featuring key winners from the past decade.

Award entries are open until 18 May, and potential entrants can take advantage of an early bird rate until 27 April. Practices submitting three or more projects will be able to enjoy a 15% discount on entry fees.

Following a triumphant return to Europe in 2016 after four successful years in Singapore, this year’s edition will again be housed in Franz Ahrens’ historic former bus depot. 2016 was the best attended edition yet, with more than 2,300 of the world’s leading architects and designers attending WAF and its co-located sister event INSIDE World Festival of Interiors for three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events.


For more details on how to enter the WAF Awards please visit #WAF2017


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Gloria Roberts -