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2011 World Architecture Festival Awards

November 8, 2011

Cloud 9′s Media-TIC in Barcelona is named World Building of the Year at the 2011 WAF Awards.

The Media-TIC building in Barcelona, designed by Spanish architects Cloud 9, has taken home the top accolade at this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards. The project was crowned ‘World Building of the Year’ at the awards, held in Barcelona from 2-4 November, and is the first time a local project has taken out the award.

Media-TIC is a commercial project built in the 22@Barcelona district, a former industrial area of the city that is being renewed. Providing a workplace for the information and communication technologies industry (TIC in Spanish), the building was described by the WAF jury as “a magnet for people with a whole range of ideas”.

Media-TIC features a solar responsive ETFE skin that filters direct sunlight, as well as a photovoltaic roof and District Cooling clean energy. Accepting the award, Cloud 9 architect Enric Ruiz-Geli said he hoped the building would act as “a seed for an environmental revolution” in the battle against climate change.

WAF program director Paul Finch said Cloud 9′s entry was selected from 16 finalists for the title, ultimately winning the award for the scale and difficulty of its ambition, and because it was a symbol of an emerging movement in the city of Barcelona. Read our review of Media-TIC, from AR#115, here.

Other major winners included Frank Gehry’s Beekman Tower in New York, the 76-storey residential tower with a rippled concrete façade that appears to move in the breeze, which was awarded WAF Structural Project of the Year. The Hanimaadaoo International Airport in the Madives, designed by Integrated Design Associates Limited of Hong Kong, was named WAF Future Project of the Year.

Two Australian projects were also recognised on the world stage, winning the top prize in their respective categories. Cox Architecture/Cox Rayner Architects’ Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane was the recipient of the World Transport Building of the Year Award, taking home the award for two consecutive years – having won the same award in 2010 for the Helix Bridge in Singapore. Meanwhile, Domenic Alvaro’s Small House in Sydney – located on a small 7mx6m site in Surry Hills – was named World House of the Year, winning the category over 18 other shortlisted projects.

The winners of the 2011 WAF Awards were announced over the course of the three-day festival in Barcelona, a global celebration of architecture now in its fourth year. The WAF Awards is the largest international architecture awards program, this year attracting more than 700 entries from firms in 59 different countries. The 2011 ‘super jury’ for the WAF Awards included Michael Sorkin, Principal of Michael Sorkin Studio in New York; Jo Noero, principal of Noero Wolff Architects in Cape Town; Professor Kongjian Yu, Principal of Turenscale, Beijing; and Tim Macfarlane, Design Partner at Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners from the UK.

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