World Architecture Festival prize winners

World Architecture Festival, The Venture MagazineThe 2019 World Architecture Festival took place in Amsterdam in December, showcasing more than 500 designs and projects. More than 140 judges from all over the world over took part in voting for the top prizes. Below are some of the big winners. Have a project you’d like considered, or want to attend this year? Registration inquiries are open at for the 2-4 December showcase in Lisbon.

World Building of the Year

Top honours went to LocHal library in Tilburg, Netherlands. Civic Architects, Braaksma & Roos Architects, and Inside Outside worked together to transform a former locomotive shed into a “culture cathedral in steel and glass.” The space hosts a public library and co-working spaces as well as a large exhibition hall. The entrance hall is designed as a public square, with reading tables and a coffee kiosk. Large steps double as a theatre, with seating for 1000. A third-floor balcony offers panoramic views. The children’s library decor echoes a nearby fairytale theme park.

Future Project of the Year

World Architecture Festival, The Venture MagazineBetween meadows, farms, and suburbs 15 minutes from Hamburg city center, “The Connected City” Oberbillwerder will cover 930,000 square metres of housing, businesses, retail, public buildings, and recreation. A collaboration between ADEPT and Karres+Brands, Oberbillwerder is centered on social, financial, and environmental sustainability. There will be easy public transportation to Hamburg, and within Oberbillwerder, canals, cycling paths, and pedestrian sidewalks will connect 7,000 homes and the attendant businesses. Abundant green spaces will allow a population of about 15,000 to enjoy exercise and relaxation.

Small Project of the Year

Small in scale but big on imagination, Lokadhatu (The World) is a children’s pavilion in Zhangzhou, China. It is the brainchild of Studio Link-Arc. Not your standard playground, Lokadhatu interplays with its surroundings and allows kids to really use their creativity to turn abstract objects into a platform for any kind of game they can think up.

Use of Colour

Built around pedestrian courtyards using the block development principle, Archimatika’s Comfort Town World Architecture Festival, The Venture Magazineresidential complex in Kyiv, Ukraine, makes liberal use of yellows, pinks, greens, and oranges to differentiate between buildings. The 700,000 square metres of space contain apartments, fitness centers, markets, and schools, making life convenient and local for residents.

Amsterdam Prize

As a tribute to the host city, the World Architecture Festival recognized GG-loop’s Freebooter apartment building. The design recalls the ships of Dutch freebooters, pirates, and adventurers who sought their fortunes in new lands. The apartments were prefabricated, using western red cedar, pine, and steel, with louvers positioned to allow maximum natural light in while preserving privacy.

Engineering Prize

SUP Atelier’s Swirling Cloud, a bamboo pavilion constructed for Beijing Forestry University’s 2018 Bamboo Garden Festival, stood out for its engineering. It served as an information center during the festival and today lives on as a recreational and meeting space. The undulating spiral is the focal point of a campus square surrounded by groves, benches, and memorial stone carvings. Its flexibility and harmony with nature exemplify the World Architecture Festival’s ideals.

World Interior of the Year

World Architecture Festival, The Venture MagazineNearly a century old, the JCA Living Lab once served as a Japanese army barracks. It’s a lot homier now as JC Architecture has transformed it into the prototype for a model of giving old buildings a second life as family homes in Taipei. The space preserves Japanese Hinko timber window frames and original marble flooring whilst adding modern touches. Glass walls and ceilings let just enough of the outside world in to make you appreciate the comforts inside and radiate a sense of calm to the bustling world.

Landscape of the Year

Shanghai’s history was written on its waterfront, as the city has thrived on its status as a key port on China’s eastern seaboard for centuries. The Demonstration Section of the Yangpu Riverside Public Space pays homage to that history whilst providing a scenic recreational area for the workers of today. “This is a smart solution for several complicated tasks. A design that celebrates the remains of Shanghai’s industrial riverside heritage, the scheme reconnects the city with the waterfront by reusing the material language of this historic site in an innovative way with excellent details,” the judges declared.

For the full list of World Architecture Festival winners, visit