A total of six construction projects in Qatar have been added to the shortlist for the world’s biggest architecture competition: the World Architecture Festival Awards 2011 (WAF Awards).Now in its fourth year, the competition attracted its highest number of entries so far with 704 entries from 59 different countries and, for the first time, architecture and design enthusiasts will get the opportunity to have their say on which project should be crowned as the World Building of the Year 2011.
Qatar’s contributions to the 281 projects shortlisted for the top award include: Qatar Showcase, a 500-seat zero-carbon football stadium built to showcase technologies to be used in the World Cup 2022; Al Shaqab Equestrian Arena, designed to represent a traditional desert tent with indoor and outdoor facilities; Stadi City, a self-contained mini-city, the stadium can also be used as a port for ocean liners; Musheireb Cultural Forum, taking inspiration from Qatari Courtyard House, the building and forum are based on monolithic black stone. An atrium forms the centre of the building which is surmounted by a skylight and an Islamic-patterned screen to diffuse light; Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Serviced Apartments, a high-specification scheme designed to define a new language of form, material and overall composition that speaks thoughtfully of change and the future in a fast-developing city; Musheireb – Heart of Doha, a mixed use development featuring residential, commercial and retail buildings centred around a major public square and aiming to re-centralise the city. Tall narrow streets, roof overhangs and decorative screens all shade the development helping to cool it.
WAF Award entries span the globe from as far south as Tasmania to the Arctic Circle in Norway with new countries such as Libya, Haiti and Cambodia appearing alongside the USA, UK, Australia, China, Japan, Spain, and Scandinavia, which all have significant presence on the shortlist.
Projects entered this year, against a backdrop of a challenging economic climate, highlight the continuing need for innovative buildings that use materials and construction techniques which are sympathetic to practical, aesthetic and economical factors.
Buildings designed by renowned architects such as Zaha Hadid and Foster & Partners feature among buildings by smaller and lesser known practices. Each practice will compete as equals when presenting their designs live to international judging panels and Festival delegates at World Architecture Festival in Barcelona from November 2-4, 2011.
A distinguished Super Jury, headed up in 2011 by Michael Sorkin, principal of Michael Sorkin Studio New York, will unite for the Festival finale and cast their vote to decide which project will be crowned World Building of the Year 2011.
New for WAF 2011 is the introduction of the OpenBuildings People’s Choice Award which is being supported by OpenBuildings.com. The OpenBuildings People’s Choice Award provides architecture and design enthusiasts with an opportunity to express their opinions and is the first major award where the public and not just industry insiders vote for the building they think deserves to win. The public can compare their choices to the opinions of some of the world’s most regarded architects to determine the winner of OpenBuildings People’s Choice Award.
The awards are divided into three main sections: Completed Buildings, Structural Design, and Future Projects (for designs in progress). Each section includes up to 16 categories. Every project entered into the WAF Awards will be showcased in the Festival gallery for delegates, architects, clients and critics to view.