World's Best Architectures and Landscapes Revealed for WAF 2021 Shortlist

Some of the best architecture by today’s foremost practices is revealed as the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards announces its 2021 shortlist, celebrating buildings and landscapes to have been completed across the world between 2019 and 2021. The 200-strong shortlist has been selected from over 700 entries from countries ranging from China and Japan to Mexico and Ecuador.


Jiyu Square by The Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co Ltd, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

Amongst the shortlist for the WAF Awards, the world’s biggest architectural awards programme, are: a stylised urban landscape linking Abu Dhabi’s desert to its modern city grid; Heatherwick Studio's Singapore skyscraper, Eden; China’s Culture Exhibition Centre featuring a sun and a moon pavilion, and a tourist development on a Persian Gulf island built to empower the local community.


Wuchazi Bridge by Sichuan Provincial Architectural Design & Research, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

The theme for the 2021 edition of the festival is: ‘Resetting the City: Greening, Health and Urbanism’ and the awards attracted 732 entries from 55 countries, submitted across 20 completed buildings and landscape categories; an increase of 44% in submissions from 2019’s edition of the festival.


Colins Arch by Woods Bagot & SHoP Architects, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

WAF will reconvene this year in Lisbon, at the FIL exhibition centre, from 1-3 December, the first time the event has been hosted in the Portuguese capital following previous editions in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Singapore and Berlin.


North Perth House by Nic Brunsdon, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

Other major world architects shortlisted this year include: B.I.G. Architecture, Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Grimshaw Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). The 20 completed buildings and landscape categories range from Housing, Office, Transport, Health and School to Civic and Community, Sport, Religion, Culture, and Production Energy and Recycling, with entries representing the most beautiful to the most innovative in contemporary architecture.


FDNY Rescue Company 2 by Studio Gang Architects, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

The architects and designers behind each shortlisted project will compete for category prizes live at WAF in December. Presentations of the shortlisted designs will be made to more than 100 international juries in front of festival delegates. Category winners then compete against each other on the final day of the festival, to compete for the ultimate accolades of World Building of the Year, Future Project of the Year, Interior of the Year and Landscape of the Year.


Cote Rocheuse Winery by Severin Proekt, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

We are delighted with both the quantity and quality of this year’s entries. This promises to be the most competitive awards programme we have ever run, and we look forward to meeting the shortlisted architects in Lisbon.

WAF programme director Paul Finch

The completed buildings ‘Super Jury’ which will decide the World Building of the Year 2021, includes: Jeanne Gang, Founding principal and partner, Studio Gang, Abdelkader Damani, Artistic Director, Frac Centre-Val de Loire | Biennale d'Architecture d'Orléans, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Co-Founder & Principal, 3XN Architects and Christina Seilern, Principal, Studio Seilern.


Wishing Pavilion by Daydreamers Design, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

The ‘Super Jury’ for the Landscape of the Year includes: Robert Schäfer, Landscape Architect & Journalist, Brita von Schoenaich, Principal, Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape, Lily Jencks, Founder, LilyJencksStudio | JencksSquared, Todd Langstaff-Gowan, Landscape Architect, Historian, Author and Collector, and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design.


Aria Hotel by Sanjay Puri Architects, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

About World Architecture Festival (WAF)

World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors will take place at the FIL exhibition centre, Lisbon, on the 1-3 December 2021. WAF is where the world architecture community meets to celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired. WAF is the world’s largest annual, international, live architectural event. It includes the biggest international architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries.


Carolina Panthers Training Facility by Populous, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival

The 2021 World Architecture Festival (WAF) comprises:

  • A thematic conference programme (based on the theme: ‘Resetting the City: Greening, Health and Urbanism’ - Electronic gallery of all Award entries
  • Exhibition area
  • Live judging of finalists ‘projects
  • Networking and social events including partner fringe events
  • Winners Dinner

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors runs alongside WAF, with its own awards and conference programme. Delegates have access to both events. WAF and INSIDE are organised by EMAP, publishers of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal.

WAF's sponsors are Founder Partner GROHE and headline partners ABB and Miele.


Windward House by Alison Brooks Architects, Photo credit: World Architecture Festival