The 2017 World Architecture Festival (WAF) shortlist has been announced. This year's finalists include some fantastic buildings and plenty of variety, from familiar names like BIG and Zaha Hadid to firms that that prove you don't need to be a household name to produce work of a very high caliber.

Now in its 10th year, the WAF is the most global of the mainstream architecture competitions and recent winners have hailed from such varied locations as Australia, Singapore, and Poland. This year's shortlist includes firms from 51 different nations and a total of 434 projects from 68 countries. British firms make up most of the entries, followed by those from the USA, Australia, and Turkey.

Without further ado then, here's our pick of the cream of the crop, but head to the gallery to see a selection of highlights from the competition. We'll be back later in the year with the overall winner.

Urban Rigger - BIG

BIG is a firm best known for large-scale luxury projects like NYC's Courtscraper, but when it turns its hand to more modest proposals, the results are just as impressive. The Urban Rigger is a sustainable floating student housing prototype for students in Copenhagen that BIG hopes to roll-out elsewhere.

Comprising nine recycled shipping containers atop a floating base, the Urban Rigger features 680 sq m (7,319 sq ft) of floorspace and includes housing, garden space and other shared areas.

It's topped by a roof terrace and a large solar array, while fancy insulation and heat exchange systems aim to ensure a better heat performance and efficiency than other shipping container-based homes.

Salerno Maritime Terminal – Zaha Hadid Architects

Its famous founder may have passed away, but there's no sign of Zaha Hadid Architects slowing down. The Salerno Maritime Terminal was the first project designed by Hadid to be completed following her death.

Originally designed for an architectural competition in 2000, the oyster-like concrete building is part of an ongoing redevelopment program in the area and comprises three major sections: administration offices, an international terminal, and a terminal for local and regional ferries.

Inside, the building is very impressive and large, with exposed use of angles bringing to mind Hadid's other famous Italian work, the MAXXI.

Binh House - Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Vietnam's Vo Trong Nghia Architects designed the Binh House, in Ho Chi Minh City, to keep three generations of the same family naturally cool using passive design.

Binh House's 233 sq m (2,507 sq ft) of floorspace is spread over three levels, and its layout is designed to give each member of the family privacy, while still providing a visual connection through carefully-considered sight lines. The interior layout puts service areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs, and the like, in the west of the home, so the living room, dining room and bedrooms are kept further away from the sun, and thus cooler.

Binh House's greenery also shades the home and its layout encourages natural ventilation. The generous outside areas include a fruit tree garden, terraced vegetable garden, and a garden terrace next to the home's library, in addition to an internal garden in the living room, plus yet another garden in a small courtyard area.

Source: WAF

View gallery - 20 images