World Architecture Festival announces shortlist for inaugural Wood Excellence Prize

A spa in Vietnam, a power station in France and an airport terminal in New Zealand are among the eight projects shortlisted by the World Architecture Festival (WAF) for its inaugural Wood Excellence Prize.

Sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the Wood Excellence Prize is the first of its kind to feature on the festival’s awards programme, the only criterion is that wood is an integral part of the project.

The shortlisted projects are:

  • The Tent a21studio Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam
  • Pittwater House Andrew Burges Architects Sydney, Australia
  • Earth Wind and Fire Atelier Arcau Vannes, France
  • School ‘t Hofke UArchitects Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Regional Terminal at Christchurch Airport BVN Donovan Hill Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Salvaged Ring a21studio Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam
  • Alex Monroe Studio DSDHA London, UK
  • The Pinch Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong Zhaotong, China

The architects responsible will now be invited to present their project to the prize judges live at the festival this October. The prize winner will be announced at the WAF awards ceremony on Friday 3 October.

Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival said:

“This was a great way to appreciate how a ‘traditional’ material can be used to transform exteriors and interiors in new and unexpected ways.”

David Venables, European Director, AHEC said:

“We were delighted to see so many entries for the Wood Excellence Prize; the response to this new initiative has been great and from a long list of over 40 we have chosen eight great timber projects to go forward for the final judging in Singapore led by renowned architect, Matteo Thun. The Festival is going to provide a new platform for showcasing wood in architecture around the world and we can’t wait to be part of it.”

The American Hardwood Export Council will be exhibiting at WAF and plans to highlight the results of ‘The Wish List’ – an ambitious design project featuring a stellar list of architects and designers, including Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, John Pawson, Alison Brooks and Amanda Levete. The project showcases how life cycle assessment tools can be used to create an environmental profile for product design. AHEC recently commissioned Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) research for 19 American hardwood species. Life Cycle Assessment is a scientific tool that helps industry to establish environmental frameworks that have real meaning and assess true sustainability.

The WAF awards sit at the heart of the festival, and will see practices from around the world compete across 28 individual award categories for global recognition. Competing across three category groups of completed buildings, landscape projects and future projects, previous WAF award entrants have ranged from renowned global architectural firms to small local practices. Architects of every shortlisted project are invited to attend the festival to give a live presentation to a panel of judges, asserting their case for why their project should win. The winners of each category are put forward to compete for the coveted World Building of the Year award, presided over by the festival’s ‘super-jury’, with the presentation of the award being the culmination of WAF 2014.