The inaugural WAFX Prize salutes sustainable designs

The Hydroelectric Canal based in Boston, Massachusetts is the overall winner of the inaugural WAFX Prize. It also won the Climate, Energy and Carbon prize.

From a hydroelectric canal that addresses rising sea levels to a tower of renewable energy, architecture is going eco-friendly.

The two projects above are among the winners of the inaugural WAFX Prize, part of the World Architecture Festival’s (WAF) 10th anniversary celebrations. Prizes went to future projects that identify key challenges for architects over the next 10 years.

WAF 2017 will be held at the Arena Berlin in Germany from tomorrow and will run for three days. WAF organisers have also launched the WAF Manifesto, which identifies key future challenges including climate, energy and carbon; water; ageing and health; re-use; smart city technology; building technology; cultural identity; ethics and values; power and justice; and virtual worlds.

There are 11 future project winners which critically address the Manifesto issues.

(All photos come from the project proponents.)

1. Hydroelectric Canal by Paul Lukez Architecture

Emerging as overall winner is this Hydroelectric Canal which also won the Climate, Energy and Carbon prize. This project addresses the complex issue of rising sea levels and protects Boston’s (United States of America) low-lying harbour areas from flooding. When rising tides or storm surges occur, water will be channelled from the canal to recreational parks, which also act as reservoirs. Hydroelectric turbines will generate power from the tidal changes, providing clean energy for the communities there. The project also plans to restore 2.32mil sq m of salt marshes.

WAFX Prize 2017
Floating Ponds, the Water prize winner.

2. Floating Ponds by Surbana Jurong Consultants.

This Singaporean company aims to do away with land for farming, something that will be welcomed by high-density cities, through creative use of space. Awarded winner of the Water prize, the Floating Ponds project goes for a systemic integration of water, nutrients and energy to enable the creation of a self-sustained and closed loop farming eco-system. It taps solar energy to grow algae – which will be used to feed fish – on rooftops. The nutrient-rich water from the fish-algae tanks can then be used to grow vegetables. The plan is for more than 90% of the tanks’ water to be recycled, reducing the need to add fresh water.

WAFX Prize 2017
Taking home the Building Technology prize is Germany's Energiepark Heidelberg project.

3. Energiepark Heidelberg by LAVA Berlin.

A 1950s gas tank is transformed into an “energy tower”. It will store water heated by solar and wind generators, which will then be channelled to local homes. It also has an eye-catching facade created from 11,000 diamond-shaped plates, that are attached to a steel cable network, creating a veil that shifts in the wind. Beneath the veil, a staircase will wrap around an insulating inner shell of mineral wool in different shades of blue. This project, based in Heidelberg, Germany, is the winner of the Building Technology prize.

WAFX Prize 2017
One of three winners of the Smart Cities prize is Jakarta Jaya: The Green Manhattan by SHAU.

4a. Jakarta Jaya: The Green Manhattan by SHAU

Jakarta Jaya is based on creating a giant reclaimed island 58sq km in size in the sea off Indonesia’s capital. It’s one of three winners of the WAFX Smart Cities prize. Billed as a “sustainable city” or “Green Manhattan”, it’s designed for a population of 1.9 million and looks at a multitude of ecological and social projects. The master plan includes an integrated water system that uses the river to prevent floods in Jakarta. In addition, emphasis will be given to public transport, renewable energy and the minimising of waste. Solar powered cars will be allocated to the population at a ratio of 1:10 while water transportation will also be a part of the plan.

WAFX 2017
Media City, located in Istanbul, Turkey, also won the Smart Cities award.

4b. Media City by Gad Architecture

Another Smart City winner is Media City, which is set to be a vibrant new habitat in Istanbul where people can witness the design, production and application of virtual reality and multimedia products. It aims to be an example for future smart city strategies.

WAFX 2017
The third project to win the Smart Cities prize is Oresund City.

4c. Oresund City by Sweco Architects AB

Oresund City is based on the vision of using a new archipelago to join Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden to form an entirely new city. This co-winner of the Smart City prize promises to be a new European metropolis by 2030.

WAFX 2017
Sodra Skanstull was awarded the Ageing and Health prize.

5. Södra Skanstull by White Arkitekter

This proposal, located south of Stockholm, Sweden, highlights how promoting walkability is at the heart of future people-centred sustainable cities. Winner of the Ageing and Health prize, Sodra Skanstull will consist of a new masterplan where the focal point is a new diagonal boulevard for pedestrians and cyclists, which makes use of an old railway route, and improves public movement through the area.

WAFX 2017
The Ethics prize went to Whitmore Community Food Hub Complex.

6. Whitmore Community Food Hub by University of Arkansas Community Design Centre

This project theme is “building community around food”. It will provide processing and distribution support for the agricultural community around O’ahu, Hawaii. The 37,160sqm Food Hub will also meet additional community needs such as agricultural workforce housing, retail and local business incubation. The visitor entrance combines a canopy, public arcade, and roof garden to facilitate cultural tourism while inside the entrance is a cafe with a hanging garden above. On the Neighborhood Lawn, treatment ponds upcycle stormwater runoff and grey water discharged by the Food Hub. This project was awarded the Ethics prize.

WAFX 2017
The Cultural Identity prize winner is the Lagos's Wooden Tower.

7. Lagos’s Wooden Tower by Hermann Kamte & Associates

Winner of the Cultural Identity prize, this proposal aims to create a new generation of city living in densely populated Lagos, Nigeria. The wooden residential tower is built with high-resistance engineered timber and features smart and sustainable features. It maximises daylight and natural ventilation while the wooden facade, inspired by Yoruba tribal tattoos, shades the building from the sun’s heat. Each floor incorporates soothing green plants which will help freshen the air while maintaining a constant microclimate within the living space.

WAFX 2017
Winner of the Re-use prize: I Love Nydalen.

8. I Love Nydalen by SAAHA AS

This proposal maps out how the historic industrial buildings in the Nydalsveien 32B area of Oslo, Norway, can be preserved and redeveloped with housing, to enable active and vibrant city life. The centre of the district will be transformed into a greenhouse, a common and shared space for both residents and the general public. Winner of the Re-use prize.

WAFX 2017
The Revolution 4.0 project won the Power and Justice prize.

9. Revolution 4.0 by Abdullah Ahmed N Al-Dabbous

Selected as the winner of the Power and Justice prize, the project utilises Cairo’s unused urban spaces such as motorway flyovers to provide both learning and opportunities for advancement for street children. It aims to engage with the children and treat them as positive economic assets rather than liabilities.

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