Radical skyscraper transformation named WAF World Building of the Year
The winner of the World Building of the Year has been announced during the final day of the annual World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Lisbon, Portugal. Quay Quarter Tower, by 3XN Architects, was hailed as the world's finest new building for its eye-catching design and clever repurposing of an existing tower on the site.
The Quay Quarter Tower is located on a prominent spot in Sydney, Australia, near the city's famous Opera House. The skyscraper is arranged as a series of five stacked offset blocks and reaches a maximum height of 206 m (675 ft). It's unusual form creates multiple atrium spaces inside and offers flexible office space with superb views and lots of natural light.
Structurally, the building is really more of a radical renovation than a new build and 3XN Architects reused the core and much of the columns and beams from a typical rectangular office tower that had stood on the site since 1976.
"The winner was commissioned to provide a building on a world-class site, and to retain a huge proportion of an existing 50-year-old commercial tower," said Paul Finch, Programme Director of the World Architecture Festival. "The result was an excellent example of adaptive re-use. It has an excellent carbon story, and it is an example of anticipatory workspace design produced pre-COVID which nevertheless has provided healthy and attractive space for post-pandemic users. The client was prepared to risk building out an idea on a speculative basis – it worked."
Landscape of the Year
The Landscape of the Year was awarded to Shancun Atelier, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University + Anshun Institute of Architectural Design for the project named Preservation and Rehabilitation of Rural Landscape of Gaodang: A Buyi Ethnic Minority Group Village in Southwest China. It's centered on a traditional village in a remote mountainous area and involved rebuilding and repairing existing structures and reestablishing drainage ditches and paddy fields, ensuring the village's viability for future generations.
The Future Project of the Year
The Future Project of the Year celebrates the best of the world's architecture yet to be completed. This year's winner is Iran's Dream Pathway / The connection between the sports recreation park to a cultural street, which was designed by CAATStudio. It envisions a new pedestrian and cyclist pathway in the western part of the Abbas Abad hills complex in Tehran. Once complete, it will feature the use of rammed earth material and create complex geometric forms.
The WAFX Award celebrates proposals that aim to tackle global challenges. This year's winner is BAD - Built by Associative Data + Guallart Architects for their project The Tower of Life, which is imagined for Senegal, Africa. The conceptual skyscraper would feature a facade made up of 3D-printed locally sourced clay and would incorporate lots of greenery and renewable energy sources.
Best Use of Certified Timber Prize
The Best Use of Certified Timber Prize, which promotes buildings made from sustainably sourced timber, went to Spain's Paseo Mallorca 15, by OHLAB. The judges praised the project's use of natural light and its energy efficiency. The project has been rated to the Passive House green building standard, meaning it requires very little energy to maintain a comfortable temperature inside, whatever the weather.