Since it first launched in Barcelona nearly a decade ago, the World Architecture Festival
(WAF) has showcased some of the most ambitious and impressive new buildings on Earth, and the event's World Building Of The Year award, has become one of the most prestigious accolades in the industry.
The 10th edition of the festival -- which relocated to Berlin in 2016 -- promises a full program of events, including seminars and talks from the likes of Archigram founder Sir Peter Cook and Zaha Hadid Architects director Patrik Schumacher.
The buildings nominated for the award are a mixed bunch -- the garish Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is up against the contemplative Fitzroy Crossing Renal Hostel, a facility in the Australian Outback for indigenous residents suffering from end stage renal disease. But, there are clear themes on show, noticeably a growing respect for natural surroundings and the use of locally sourced materials.
The impact of climate change on design
Among the buildings which aim to blur the line between nature and the built environment are Amanda Levette's design for MAAT -- the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon -- a sweeping structure located on the outskirts of they city that compliments the vast body of water in front of it.
The Fitzroy Crossing Renal Hostel by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects Credit: world architecture festival
Another example is the Binh House project by Vo Trong Nghia Architects in Ho Chi Minh City, which lets nature take the lead, building homes around trees to stunning effect.
Other standouts include Bjarke Ingels' Urban Rigger, a floating, carbon neutral housing solution that arranges shipping containers on a hexagonal platform, creating roof terraces and a courtyard in the process. And Tokyo's Co-op Kyosai Plaza, a plant-covered concrete tower that changes its appearance according to the season.
The Salerno Maritime Terminal in Salerno, Italy by Zaha Hadid Architects Credit: world architecture festival
2017 saw a record number of international entries with architectural practices from 51 different nations and projects based across 68 countries.
According to a statement by WAF program director Paul Finch, "This year's shortlist has a hugely diverse geographic range. The use of water has been striking and there is evidence of real interest in climate modifications using novel techniques."
Winners will be announced during the 2017 World Architecture Festival which takes place Nov. 15-17, 2017.