Since we can't possibly travel to every new building that gets built worldwide, photography plays a crucial role in how we view, appraise, and understand the built world. With this in mind, architectural photography resource Arcaid Images has revealed its pick of the best new architecture photos from around the globe at this year's World Architecture Festival.

In an era of smartphones enabling many people to carry a digital camera in their pocket and snap photos of buildings, the Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Award was created to highlight the skill and worth of professional architectural photographers.

This year's first prize of US$3,000 was awarded to Matt Emmet for his photograph (pictured above) of Finsbury Park's Covered Reservoir, which was designed and built by East London Waterworks in 1868 in London.

The photo is the first historical winner since the awards began in 2012 and was likened to a Piranesi print. It was selected from a field of 20 shortlisted entries, which can all be seen in the gallery. Below are a few runners up that caught our eye.

Shanghai Tower – Nick Almasy

This photo of the Shanghai Tower was taken by Nick Almasy. Showing the twisting building disappearing into Shanghai's clouds, the shot highlights the intricacy of the Gensler-designed facade.

Hygge House Warming Hut – Paul Turang

This photo is of the Hygge House Warming Hut, in Winnipeg, Canada. Named after the difficult-to-define Danish and Norwegian custom centered around getting cosy, the Hygge House Warming Hut offers a welcome and warm refuge in the cold Canadian winter.

Dharavi, Mumbai – Torsten Andreas Hoffmann

Torsten Andreas Hoffmann captured this image of Dharavi, Mumbai, India. Featured prominently in the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle, and considered one of the world's largest slums, the area is estimated to house up to 1 million people.

Allianz Headquarters – Adrien Barakat

This overhead photo of the Allianz Headquarters, in Zurich, Switzerland, by Wiel Arets Architects, was taken by Adrien Barakat. The building features a glazed facade that resembles marble.

All 20 of the 2016 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Award shortlisted photos will feature in the Building Images exhibition at Sto Werkstaff, London, in February 2017 and the Architektur Galerie in Berlin, March, 2017.

Sources: Arcaid Awards, WAF

View gallery - 20 images