Subterranean Polish museum declared World Building of the Year

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Rather than obstruct the nearby Karłowicz Szczecin Philharmonic Hall, the National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy was constructed mostly underground(Credit: World Architecture Festival)

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Poland's National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy has been declared the 2016 World Building of the Year at the annual World Architecture Festival (WAF). Designed by Robert Konieczny/KWK Promes, the subterranean museum features an undulating public space atop it. The WAF also declared the winners of several other categories during its three-day event in Berlin.

The National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy was constructed very near the Mieczysław Karłowicz Szczecin Philharmonic Hall, itself an important building and the recipient of several awards. Rather than obstruct the view toward the Philharmonic Hall in any way, KWK Promes built the museum partly underground, with a large public space atop that's popular with local skaters.

"This project enriches the city and the life of the city," said the judges, chaired by Sir David Chipperfield. "It addresses a site with three histories, pre-World War II, wartime destruction, and post-war development, which left a significant gap in the middle of the city.

"This is a piece of topography as well as a museum. To go underground is to explore the memory and archaeology of the city, while above ground the public face of the building, including its undulating roof, and be interpreted and used in a variety of ways."

Future Project of the Year

The WAF's Future Project of the Year award is given to the best architecture that's not yet completed. This year it went to South Melbourne Primary School by Hayball.

Accommodating 525 students, the new school – dubbed a "vertical school" on account of its five-story height – features an interesting modernist design. It was commended by the WAF judges for the way it connects indoor and outdoor teaching areas and its differentiated learning environments.

Small Project of the Year

The Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Architecture has won the Small Project of the Year for its ZCB Bamboo Pavilion. Constructed in Kowloon Bay last year, the bamboo structure has a useable area of roughly 350 sq m (3,767 sq ft) and seats 200.

It was constructed using 473 large bamboo poles, which were bent onsite and hand-tied together with metal wire using a Cantonese bamboo scaffolding craftsmanship technique.

Landscape of the Year

Kopupaka Reserve in Auckland, New Zealand by Isthmus, was awarded the Landscape of the Year. Designed as hybrid location which sees a storm water reserve combined with an urban park, playground and skate park, the project was praised as a successful translation of Maori traditions

Source: WAF

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