Singapore's Kampung Admiralty retirement complex has been declared the World Building of the Year at the 2018 World Architecture Festival (WAF). The building was crowned during a three-day event in Amsterdam where awards were presented in numerous categories including Landscape of the Year and Small Project of the Year.

Designed by Singapore-based firm WOHA, Kampung Admiralty aims to meet the needs of elderly people in a safe and green environment. It is located on a 0.9 hectare (2.2 acre) site that was previously underutilized space between residential towers. Conceived as a vertical village, the project is likened to a club sandwich by WAF's judges due to its layered design.

The lower area is centered around a large plaza, with lots of space for activities and exercises. A medical center is placed in the middle, and the uppermost area of the complex hosts a community park with extensive green terraces and apartments for elderly people.

Elsewhere is underground parking, a shopping mall, restaurants, childcare services, parks, and more. The aim is to offer as many facilities as possible within the complex.

WOHA sought to reduce the building's energy use with a focus on passive ventilation, natural light, and shading. Singapore is a relatively rainy place and rainwater is collected for irrigation for the green roofs, green walls and other plants.

"The judges admired the project for the way in which it dealt with the universal condition of longevity and health treatments, social housing provision, and commercial space, which enabled substantial public realm benefits," says Paul Finch, Program Director of the World Architecture Festival. "This hybrid building also incorporates a huge amount of greenery (more than 100 percent of its footprint) in a series of layered levels which have generated welcome biodiversity.

"This is a project that does something necessary in an intelligent fashion from the way it connects to transport to its natural ventilation strategy, all benefitting from a decision to layer a series of buildings rather than separating them into separate tall blocks. The jury felt this was a project with potential lessons for cities and countries around the world."

Landscape of the Year

During the same event, Landscape of the Year was awarded to Batlle i Roig Arquitectura for its Pedestrian Path along the Gypsum Mines in Barcelona, Spain. The firm created a new system of pedestrian and bicycle routes on the perimeter of the city that offer fantastic landscape vistas.

Small Project of the Year

Small Project of the Year went to Camilo Moraes for the Piedras Bayas Beachcamp on the coastline of Chile's arid Atacama Desert. The tourist lodgings consist of a series of simple huts connected to novel tent-like domes made using local materials that take their place well in the unspoiled landscape.

The Use of Colour Prize

The Use of Colour Prize was awarded to dePaor for Galway, Ireland's Palais Cinema. Its relatively plain concrete facade is enlivened by painted glass windows which are illuminated and glow at night.

Glass Future Prize

Studio Gang won the Glass Future Prize for its Tour Montparnasse design. Originally penned for an international competition, the concept envisions a striking update for the French capital's famous skyscraper.

Best Use of Certified Timber Prize

Australian firm Tzannes was declared winner of the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize for the International House Sydney project. The judges lauded the attractive design of the residential college and the use of sustainably-sourced timber.

Future Project of the Year

The future project of the year was awarded to the Medellin River Parks / Botanical Park Masterplan, in Medellin, Colombia. Designed by Sebastian Monsalve and Juan David Hoyos, it aims to regenerate Medellin's extensive river corridor.

See more of the 2018 WAF Award winners in the gallery.

Sources: WAF, Ramboll

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