World Building of the Year

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki - Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp & Archimedia-1

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, New Zealand, designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp and Archimedia, has won the ‘World Building of the Year’ award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2013.

The new Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is an extensive public project that includes the restoration and adaption of heritage buildings; a new building extension which more than doubles the public exhibition areas; extensive basement storage and support areas; and the redesign of adjacent areas of Albert Park. The design creates an openness and transparency to allow views through, into and out of the gallery circulation and display spaces into the green landscape of Albert Park.

Commending the winning project on behalf of the festival’s super-jury, Paul Finch, WAF Programme Director, said “The winning project transcended category types. You could say it is about new and old, or civic and community, or display. It contrasts the manmade and the natural, and the relationship between art and science. This is a major design achievement in a seismic zone, providing an example of design pragmatism and a carful reworking which does no more than it needs to until it is required. Balancing many different elements, the resulting design is a rich complex of built ideas.”

This project was selected by the festival’s super-jury, having first beaten off competition from 12 shortlisted entries in the Culture category, before triumphing over the festival’s other 16 category winners.

The sixth edition of the World Architecture Festival welcomed over 2100 architects and designers from 68 countries attending for three days of speeches, presentations and exhibitions. Projects entered in this year’s festival awards, against a challenging economic climate, reflected the festival’s theme of ‘Value and Values’ demonstrating the core factors that inform the relationship  between perceptions of financial value and the values that architects typically hold regarding their work.

This year’s super-jury was chaired by Ken Tadashi Oshima of The University of Washington. The highly esteemed international judging panel also includes Ken Yeang – Llewelyn Davies Yeang; Patrick Bellew – Atelier Ten; Jeanne Gang – Studio Gang Architects and Dietmar Eberle -Baumschlager Eberle.

Previous winners of the World Building of the Year Award include Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Grafton Architects (2008); Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects of Johannesburg (2009); MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) in Rome, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (2010); Media TIC, Barcelona, designed by Cloud 9 Architects (2011); Gardens By The Bay, Singapore, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, Grant Associates, Atelier One and Atelier Ten (2012).

The World Architecture Festival will return to the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore between 1st October 2014. Entries for the WAF Awards 2014 will open in February 2014.

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Source: Press release,  Philip Sorensen at FTI Consulting on the 4th October 2013.