“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, famously once said.
Every year, the art and influence of architecture throughout our urban, rural and personal spaces is celebrated at the World Architecture Festival.
The results of this annual event reverberate throughout the world of architecture for the rest of the year, and help to inspire the young designers of tomorrow. Since its Barcelona debut in 2008, it has rapidly developed into one of the most prestigious dates in the architecture calendar.
From 16-18 November, architects, commentators and journalists alike will gather at the Berlin Arena to catch a glimpse of the emerging trends for the coming year.
A diverse international festival
This global celebration prides itself on its international scope and inclusion, and this year’s festivities in Berlin promise a diverse collection of designs from all over the world.
Nominees for awards in 2016 reach far and wide, from Brazil to Bhutan. And yet it’s not just geographical diversity on show, as the selected buildings also hugely vary in their style and application. Expect everything from luxury apartments to happiness centres and jungle properties.
An array of categories
The World Architecture Festival sees the distribution of awards for more than 30 different categories, with both plucky young start-ups and established industry giants both able to compete and take home a prize or two. Awards are handed out both to contemporary builds and projects for the future, recognising both realisation and imagination.
World Building of the Year
The main event at this year’s World Architecture Festival (as ever) will be the announcement of the World Building of the Year. With some 350 projects lucky enough to receive a nomination, it’s anybody’s guess who will be this year’s winner.
Notable entrants for 2016 include the late Zaha Hadid’s ambitious alpine project, which is dedicated to Reinhold Messner. The Dutch architectural firm MVRDV is another of the prominent nominees, for their glass house design for a Chanel store in central Amsterdam.
The list of previous winners at the World Architecture Festival is star-studded with a selection of the best known names in the industry, and equally comprises some of the most breathtaking past architectural projects of the 21st century.
Last year’s World Building of the Year winner was ‘The Interface’, a Singapore structure known more commonly as the ‘Vertical Village’. As is tradition, last year’s winner set the pace for design over the past twelve months, and no doubt this year’s winner will do the same.