The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced its annual shortlist of the best new architecture from around the world. Featuring a whopping 534 buildings hailing from 70 countries, it's a truly global event that includes projects from some of the best firms in the business.

The WAF is the biggest architecture competition we cover in terms of scope, with the sizable shortlist having been selected from over 1,000 projects this year.

"We have been inspired by the levels of innovation in this year's entries, that show the incredible range of ways in which architects are responding to the global climate and biodiversity emergencies we face," says WAF program director Paul Finch. "WAF has attracted more than 1,000 entries, for the second year in a row, from 70 countries, and we look forward to more than 500 live presentations at the Festival in Amsterdam, showcasing these exemplar projects from around the world."

The World Building of the Year and other category winners will be announced in December, but until then, here are some standouts.

Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport, by Safdie Architects, boasts the world's tallest indoor waterfall.

Featuring an indoor forest and parks, the glass and steel building is topped by a donut-shaped roof that spans over 200 m (650 ft) and has a hole in the middle. Rainwater is channeled into it and the resulting waterfall is used for building services and irrigation, as well as cooling the interior. A pump is installed to create the same effect with stored rainwater when it's not raining.

The Zaha Hadid-designed Morpheus Hotel in Macau, China, is another striking building. Its design is inspired by traditional Jade carving techniques and it's built atop the abandoned foundations of a rectangular condo on the site.

Structurally, the hotel takes the form of two towers connected at multiple points. Its exterior is covered in an exoskeleton comprising 2,500 steelwork connections and 1,200 junctions, all clad in aluminum, which allows for an interior that's free of columns.

Vessel, designed by Heatherwick Studio, is a very ambitious viewing point that reportedly cost US$150 million. The copper-colored steel structure is part of a larger New York City development called Hudson Yards that itself has a budget of some $20 billion.

The structure has 54 interconnecting flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings, offering choice views of both NYC and the Hudson River. Its construction involved the steel structure being fabricated by specialists in Italy, then shipped across the ocean in parts before being transferred to the site by barge and erected with cranes.

Head to the gallery to see a selection of highlights from the WAF 2019 shortlist, including projects by Mecanoo, 3XN, and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

Source: WAF

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