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Network and Expand Your Knowledge at WAF 2015

In addition to hosting the world’s largest architectural awards program, the World Architecture Festival (WAF) also features three days of conferences, architect-led city tours, documentary screenings, live crit presentations and networking opportunities. To be held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, WAF will take place from November 4-6.

A major component of WAF is the opportunity to learn and expand one’s knowledge of current issues facing architecture and urbanism. Inspired by Singapore’s upcoming 50th anniversary as an independent country, the theme of this year’s conference series is 50:50, looking back on how architecture and urbanism have changed during the last 50 years, as well as forward on what may change or stay the same in the next 50 years to come. The conference will center around three key topics: Designing for Tomorrow; Imagining the Future; and Cities and Urbanism, featuring talks by Michael Sorkin, Peter Cook and Manuelle Gautrand, among many others.

WAF Announces 2015 Festival Theme

The World Architecture Festival (WAF), the world’s largest architectural festival and awards event held annually in Singapore, has announced the theme of this year's program: 50:50. The theme is inspired by Singapore’s upcoming 50th anniversary as an independent country, and will look back on how architecture and urbanism have changed during the last 50 years, as well as forward on what may change or stay the same in the next 50 years to come.

The Studios / SOUP architects

© Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook

Sou Fujimoto, Peter Cook and Benedetta Tagliabue Among WAF 2015 Judges

From November 4-6, the 2015 World Architecture Festival (WAF) will take place in Suntec in central Singapore, featuring three days of conferences, exhibitions and lectures, in addition to the awards ceremony. As the world’s largest architectural festival and awards event, the WAF awards honor exceptional architecture from around the globe across 30 categories. Over 70 judges attend the festival and critique the submitted projects. Among this year’s “superjurors” are Peter Cook, Sou Fujimoto, Benedetta Tagliabue, Manuelle Gautrand,  Charles Jencks, and Kerry Hill.

All entries must be submitted by May 22nd to be considered for the WAF awards. Shortlisted projects will compete for category prizes on the first two days of the festival. On the third (and last) day, the category winners will present their projects to the “super-juries,” which will select the World Landscape, Future Project and Completed Building of the Year. 

Past winners have included  Zaha Hadid ArchitectsBIGSnøhetta and Vo Trong Nghia. Prizes for small projects, use of wood and use of color will also be awarded.

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA East Awards

A total of sixteen projects have been shortlisted for RIBA East 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Hawkins\Brown, Proctor & Matthews, Allies & Morrison, and AHMM. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize" href="http://www.archdaily.com/tag/riba-stirling-prize/" rel="tag">RIBA Stirling Prize.

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

Fitzrovia House / West Architecture

© Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook

Spotlight: Peter Cook

As one of the founding members of Archigram, the avant-garde futurist architecture group of the 1960s, Sir Peter Cook, the British architect, professor, and writer has been a pivotal figure within the global architectural world for over half a century; one of his most significant works from his time with Archigram, The Plug-In City, still invokes debates on technology and society, challenging standards of architectural discourse today. With a love for the slithering, the swarming and the spooky, Cook continues to teach at the University College London's Bartlett School of Architecture and lecture around the world.

As one of the founding members of Archigram, Cook gained significant international recognition; however, he has now also been recognized for his built works around the world. His recent works, including the construction of his Art Museum in Graz, Austria (Kunsthaus) has brought his radical ideas to a wider public audience. He currently practices with Gavin Robotham as part of CRAB Studio (Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau). 

Plug-In City. Image © Peter Cook via Archigram Archives BIX Communicative Display Skin for the Kunsthaus Graz, 2003; View from Schlossberg. Image © arcspace.com Tower of Droplets: Taiwan Conceptual Tower Competition Entry / CRAB Studio. Image Courtesy of CRAB Studio Plug-In City. Image © Peter Cook

AD Interviews: Peter Cook / CRAB Studio

Having taught architecture for almost fifty years, Sir Peter Cook has seen generations of architects go from student to high-profile practitioner. In almost half a century, though, architecture education has not particularly moved on: "I don't see the general situation as being any more progressive than it was when I was a student," he says.

Cook tells ArchDaily that instead of focusing on curriculum, structure and countless other preoccupations of many schools, "my experience is that doesn't matter, it depends who's teaching and how enthusiastic they are and whether they understand people," adding that "a really good architecture school is like a village," with tutors who simply don't go home because they are enjoying it so much (or perhaps for other, less innocent reasons).

In addition, Cook also explains that there is potential for a radical shift in the understanding of architecture education, so that we think of it not only as a route into an architectural career, but rather as a route into a whole host of other jobs. "I know people who have science degrees but they actually organize railways," he says. "There's a role for a wing of architectural education at a certain point to take off and say, 'that person is never going to design buildings, but a certain form of architectural education can enable them to look at the world in more depth.'"

In Focus: The Architectural Applications of Zinc

Many times, the most innovative minds in architecture aren't the architects themselves. They can come in the form of students, researchers and in this case - providers. We recently asked VMZINC, a company that provides material solutions for architects, a few questions about the use of zinc in architecture, the Stonehenge Visitors Center and more. 

AD: How do you create intricate shapes with zinc, as seen in the roof at the Stonehenge Visitors Center?

The Pangbourne Communications Centre / Mitchell Taylor Workshop

© Peter Cook
© Peter Cook

© Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook

Barcelona Commemorates 300 Years of Catalan Spirit With 7 Public Installations

Every year, citizens of Catalonia commemorate the events of September 11th 1714, a key date in the War of the Spanish Succession that has come to symbolize what Voltaire called "the Barcelonans' extreme love of freedom." With this year marking the 300th anniversary of these events, Barcelona Cultura enlisted the Fundació Enric Miralles to curate 7 public installations around the city as part of its Tricentenari BCN program.

The result is BCN RE.SET, organized by Benedetta Tagliabue of the Fundació Enric Miralles and stage director Àlex Ollé, which invited guest architects from countries all over the world to colloborate with local universities and create installations symbolizing 6 political and ideological concepts: identity, freedom, Europe, diversity, democracy and memory. These installations will be in place until September 11th. Read on after the break for descriptions of all 6 installations.

Europe / ETH Zürich + Urban–Think Tank. Image © Marcela Grassi Diversity / Yael Reisner + Peter Cook. Image © Marcela Grassi Freedom / Anupama Kundoo. Image © Marcela Grassi Memory / Grafton Architects. Image © Marcela Grassi

RIBA Regional Awards Spotlight Best of Southern UK

The winners of RIBA Regional Awards have been announced for the South, South East and South West regions. Among the awards were further successes for Wilkinson Eyre's Mary Rose Museum, and Adam Richards Architects' Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, both of which were also recently featured on the UK Museum of the Year Shortlist

The award winning projects will join winners from other regions to be considered for the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize.

Read on after the break for all the winners from the three regions

Architecture Archive / Hugh Strange Architects. Image © Peter Cook Wedge House / SOUP Architects Ltd. Image © Andy Matthews Hilden Grange / Hawkins\Brown. Image © Tim Crocker University of Oxford Mathematical Institute / Rafael Viñoly Architects

The Lightbox Gallery Woking / Marks Barfield Architects

  • Architects: Marks Barfield Architects
  • Location: Woking, Surrey, UK
  • Project Manager: Hornagold and Hills
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photographs: Geoff Banks, Peter Cook, Morley Von Sternberg

© Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Geoff Banks

THIS WAS OUR UTOPIANISM! : An Interview with Peter Cook

In the following interview, which originally appeared in Zawia#01:Utopia (published December 2013), Sir Peter Cook, one of the brilliant minds behind Archigram, sits down with the editors of Zawia to discuss his thoughts on utopia - including why he felt the work of Archigram wasn’t particularly utopian (or even revolutionary) at all. 

ZAWIA: It is perhaps difficult to discuss our next volume's theme - “utopia" - without first starting with archigram and the visions that came out of that period. How do you view the utopian visions of archigram during that specific moment of history in relation to the current realities of our cities and the recent political and social waves of change ?

PETER COOK: Actually... at the time I was probably naive enough to not regard it as Utopian. 

AJ Releases Shortlist for 2014 Woman Architect of the Year

Architects’ Journal has just released the shortlist for theirWomen in Architecture Awards, which aim to "raise the profile of women architects in a sector where women still face an alarming degree of discrimination."

Christine Murray, Editor of Architects’ Journal, commented:“I’m delighted to announce this year's shortlist, which includes the women behind the celebrated Library of Birmingham, the new Stonehenge development and the Giant's Causeway visitor centre. The awards celebrate design excellence and leadership — qualities needed to succeed as an architect — and especially among women, who are under-represented in the construction industry.”See the list, after the break.

University of Limerick Medical School / Grafton Architects. Image © Dennis Gilbert Stonehenge Visitor Centre / Denton Corker Marshall. Image © Peter Cook Giants Causeway Visitor Centre / Heneghan & Peng Architects. Image © Hufton + Crow Red Bull Music Academy / Langarita-Navarro Arquitectos. Image © Miguel de Guzmán

Stonehenge Visitor Centre / Denton Corker Marshall

  • Architects: Denton Corker Marshall
  • Location: Stonehenge, A344, Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE, UK
  • Project Associate: Angela Dapper
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Peter Cook

© Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook © Peter Cook

Stonehenge Visitor Centre Opens its Doors

After a tortuous 21-year process Stonehenge, the stone circle that is one of the world's most important neolithic artifacts, finally has the visitor centre it deserves. Denton Corker Marshall's design, situated 2.5 km (1.5 miles) to the west of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, has opened its doors and is preparing to deal with the site's nearly 1 million annual visitors.

The new design features a museum, educational facilities, a cafe, shop and a ticket office. These spaces are brought together by a perforated oversailing roof supported on 211 narrow angled columns.

Read on for more about the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre