Australian projects are notably well represented in the shortlists for the 2013 World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards and the 2013 INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors awards, both of which were unveiled in London on Wednesday evening. One in eight (37/302) of the projects shortlisted for the WAF awards and an astonishing one in four (15/59) of those shortlisted for the INSIDE awards are Australian – see Australian and New Zealand projects shortlisted in WAF and INSIDE.
This year’s WAF awards attracted entries from almost fifty countries. The organizers reported that European entries had increased by almost 40 percent this year and that North American entries had grown by 14 percent, with a repeat of last year’s huge interest from South-East Asia. The 302 projects shortlisted by the WAF judging panel across twenty-nine award categories represent about half of the total number of projects entered this year.
The shortlisted Australian projects include thirty-one in the Completed Buildings category, with the strongest showing being six projects in the Higher Education or Research subcategory. Two Australian projects were shortlisted in the Landscape Projects category and three in the Future Projects category. Neeson Murcutt Architects saw its Prince Alfred Park and Pool Upgrade (Sydney, NSW) shortlisted in two categories: Completed Buildings and Landscape Projects. Shane Thompson Architects appeared twice in the Future Projects category – its North Byron Beach Resort Stage 1 project (NSW) was shortlisted in the Leisure Led Development subcategory, and its Consulting Suites project (Brisbane, Queensland) was shortlisted in the Office subcategory. Leading the individual practice tally was Cox Architecture, with projects shortlisted across six categories.
The real surprise of the night was Australia’s remarkable performance on the INSIDE: World Festival of Interiors shortlist, with Australian projects distributed evenly across nine of the twelve diverse INSIDE awards categories. BVN Donovan Hill was shortlisted four times: in the Education category (Victoria University, Learning Spaces of the Future, Melbourne); the Health category (The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Darlinghurst, NSW); and two projects in the Offices category (Allen & Overy, Sydney, NSW; and Allens Linklaters, Melbourne, Vic).
The WAF and INSIDE festivals will take place in Singapore from 2 to 4 October, when teams responsible for the shortlisted projects will pitch against each other to international judging panels, during sessions open to all delegates. Winners of WAF award categories will then compete for the Building of the Year Award and winners of INSIDE award categories will then compete for the World Interior of the Year Award. “It’s sort of a refresher, but not in a boring CPD way,” commented Paul Finch, WAF program director.