The world’s biggest architectural summit, the World Architecture Festival (WAF), took place inBarcelona for the second year running, with new opportunities for the industry to showcase itswork as part of the word’s biggest architectural Awards program.WAF provides an opportunity to exchange ideas on a global scale witnessing the challenges anddemands on architecture throughout the world. This unique forum offers optimism in the currentchallenging climate, ensuring architects are made aware of and can enjoy, as well as be inspiredby innovative serious work of all scales, in a variety of regions and countries of diverse cultural,physical and economic environments. • FESTIVAL GALLERY - contemplate the breadth of international architectural excellence in the Gallery where all entries, divided into their relevant categories, are exhibited together – there were over 630 entries from 81 countries. They were whittled down to a shortlist of 272 projects, who present their work; live, to audiences of fellow architects and a panel of judges, and the winners, in each category, are chosen • KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS - get inspired by the world’s greatest, which last year included Lord Norman Foster, talking about the issues facing architects today. • THEMATIC EXHIBITION - this year’s theme was ‘Less Does More’ and feeds into the seminar program and will show how cleverly utilized resources can create opportunities for living, working, learning and playing that would not otherwise exist. • AWARDS CEREMONY - the festival finishes with a glittering awards ceremony, celebrating the winners of each category, the student competition and the ultimate awards in their section. • BARCELONA – the festival offers tours around the city that fuses stunning modern architecture with some of world’s most classical buildings and structures?. • ARCHITECTS - over 2000 of them! Meet, share, collaborate, make friends and stay in touch.
Peter Rich, this years winner of the World Building Award, for Mapungubwe InterpretationCentre in S. Africa. He has called for architects to serve a broader section of society.Paul Finch, the WAF program director, said: “In what is becoming the acid test of globalarchitecture, the wide geographical range and the outstanding quality of this year’s shortlisteddesigns provide a true indicator of the current condition and diversity of world architecture.With even more sections to judge this year, the Awards will be fiercely contested in Barcelona,as the shortlisted architects take to the stage to give public presentations. This will make for aninspirational event.”And,“The World Architecture Festival is establishing itself as a significant date in the globalarchitectural calendar. It is the biggest event of its kind in the world, which looks beyondborders to celebrate architecture and design. The inspiration of new ideas will be the order ofthe day with the Festival offering a true indication of the quality and diversity of architecturaldesign worldwide The WAF Awards can help practices to increase their recognition andunusually allow architects to showcase work on the same international platform, whether theyare inspirational start-up practices or established international leaders¨ Paul Finch
This years Festival’s thematic exhibition was, ‘Less Does More’ which examined thechallenges facing architects in the new world economy. The exhibition focused on how creativedesign, imagination and innovative thinking can reduce the amount of time, energy, materialand finance needed to create buildings and cities – producing more value for less cost.One very interesting project by Foster + Partners was;• Masdar - The world’s largest and most ambitious zero carbon, zero waste city in the Abu Dhabi desert. The project demonstrates how to make the desert habitable to modern standards of comfort and service without creating any negative impact on the environment by combining advanced technology with clever adaptations of traditional patterns of urbanism.Amoungst these Star Architects, was locally born & bred Jersey Engineer, genius mind andpioneer of Sustainability; Chris McCarthy, whose vision for a sustainable University in Angolais now under construction. His talk in the main seminar room inspired and humbled us all.• Agostinho Neto University, Luanda, Angola - The challenge to make a modern university campus with the limited material and skill resources which are locally available calls for a high degree of design input so that the demands on construction are reduced. But the real reward is the creation of an institution that will help to stabilise a country that has suffered civil strife for nearly 50 years – by educating its own nationals to a level where they can help to develop the country’s resources.Location, Angola gained independence from Portugal in1975The country has the 2nd largest proven oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa.Luanda is just south of the equator, is the capital city where 1/3 of Angola´s 15 million peoplelive.The new University campus is 13km south of the city centre.The end of a long civil war in 2002 meant resources could be diverted away from destructivemilitary purposes onto civil benefits.This new campus will help Angola to develop the social and economic infrastructure it needs toachieve social stability providing this country with a major new educational resource that allowsits population to develop the skills in administration and governance, medicine and agriculture,as well as specialist expertise in petroleum and mineral extraction so Angolans can take on thetasks which were previously performed by foreign companies, to be less dependant on theimportation of knowledge, to be self sufficient in terms of developing its own resources.A symbol of hope for the people of Angola.Chirs and his engineering firm Battle McCarthy worked with international champion architectsPerkins + Will; A collaborative project, communicating the value of engineering, bringingpeople together and working as a team, with local consultants and with a community whichwants to do well.
MasterplanThe principle is to use sophisticated technology and analysis at the design stage to make the bestpossible use of the local climate, physical conditions and construction techniques, driving downthe resources needed to build and operate the university.The Masterplan uses wind, vegetation and rainfall to make the most comfortable environmentpossible using only natural means.Optimal East to West orientation of the buildings to 19 degrees, responding to the spherity ofthe sun, with the winds blowing across the perpendicular, minimizing the amount of windshadowing; harnessing the cool breezes coming from the ocean, raising the building off theground to allow for cross ventilation. Stepped massing of the buildings and enclosing thecourtyards, for the importance of solar shading whilst utilization for energy with photovoltaics,The buildings maximize efficiency and comfort with locally available construct materials andskills, minimizing the need for mechanical servicing and cost of maintenance.A robust design, which is all buildable and user friendly. The building is a teaching tool for asustainable low-tech design, providing a model for sustainable urban expansion and fordeveloping the construction skills needed that provide modern facilities with local resources.These lessons will infiltrate into Angola, as it develops as a city.The first phase of the project is under construction, and potentially the University will expand toaccommodate more than 50,000 students.The dates for WAF next year are 3,4 & 5 of November 2010, in Barcelona.For more details about the event please visit: http://www.worldarchitecturefestival.comThe World Architecture Festival was a matchless occasion - one I hope will continue andprosper - the architectural community needs it.