Over 2,000 designers, architects, and press converged on Moshe Safdie’s breathtaking Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore for the world’s largest, and most spectacular annual festival and live awards competition fully dedicated to celebrating architectural excellence and sharing designs from all across the globe.
Now in its seventh year, the three day festival saw several hundred different firms from over 50 countries competing in 27 different categories, ranging from smaller projects to experimental new ideas. In addition to the award ceremonies, the festival featured numerous lectures and conferences hosted by some of the top industry leaders in the world.
The award for Building of the Year was presented to the Vietnamese firm, a21studio for their submission known only as “The Chapel”.
A21studios wasn’t the only big winner of the festival. This year’s award ceremonies saw a dramatic upsurge in entries from Asian firms, which had a significant impact on the outcome of the awards. In fact, submissions from Malaysia, Vietnam, and China increased by a whopping 140%. Of course these Asian firms didn’t run impeded as they still had to compete against mainstay and perennial powerhouse firms such as Zaha Hadid Architects, Aedas, and Foster & Partners, who were well represented at the festival for their works as well.
Vo Trong Nghia Architects, another Vietnamese firm made their mark on the competition by winning three awards, including, those for Future Projects Education and Hotel and Leisure.
Vo Trong Nghia’s entry, FPT Technology building looks as if it belongs in a science-fiction movie rather than on a Vietnamese University campus.
Other Big Winners
A-lab, the design firm out of Norway hit a homerun with their submission, titled The Carve, which won in the Housing category. The Carve, is an apartment complex located in Oslo, Norway, and gained its name because it looks as if the apartments are literally carved into the building.
The National Arboretum Canberra, in Australia, designed by Taylor Cullity Lethlean, won the award for the Best Landscape. The National Arboretum Canberra manages to redefine the meaning of what a public garden should look like in the 21st Century. The grounds are comprised of 100 forests of endangered tree species from around the world on a 250 hectare former fire ravaged site. Nothing else in the world comes close.
For a full list of winners, visit HERE. The bar is now set. It will be exciting to see what architectural designs are submitted next year, because this year’s crop with undoubtedly be difficult to top.