The Quay Quarter Tower (QQT) in Sydney, Australia has been declared the World Building of the Year 2022 at the 15th annual World Architecture Festival (WAF) held in Lisbon, Portugal.
Designed by 3XN Architects, the 206m tower – located close to the Sydney Opera House – is an office building arranged as a vertical village, creating a sense of community and providing spaces that focus on collaboration, health, well-being and external terraces.
3XN used a radical sustainability strategy which involved upcycling the existing tower to construct five stacked shifting volumes. The series of stacked atria create a social spine with amazing views while letting daylight penetrate deep into each floor.
"The winner was commissioned to provide a building on a world class site, and to retain a huge proportion of an existing 50-year-old commercial tower. The result was an excellent example of adaptive re-use.
"It has an excellent carbon story, and it is an example of anticipatory workspace design produced pre-Covid, which nevertheless has provided healthy and attractive space for post-pandemic users.
"The client was prepared to risk building out an idea on a speculative basis – it worked," said Paul Finch, WAF programme director, in a press release.
Also announced at the gala dinner held Dec 2 at the Convento Do Beato, a former Portuguese convent dating back to the 16th century, located in a historic part of Lisbon, were World Interior of the Year, Future Project of the Year and Landscape of the Year.
The Pingtan Children Library in China by Condition_Lab was named World Interior of the Year for 2022. The library is a small timber structure inspired by a typology of traditional "Dong Houses" and is primarily composed of two interwoven spiral staircases.
The value of the project lies in the animation and preservation of traditional culture for the young users and the discipline of the design, highlighting the social importance of architecture.
Judges were impressed by the “traditional craftmanship” of the design for children, “the real users of this delightful structure, where they can play on the steps, reach for a book or peek at their friends”. They congratulated Condition_Lab on creating “a space for the community and achieving it”.
Meanwhile, the Future Project of the Year title – which celebrates the best work that is yet to be completed – went to Dream Pathway/The connection between the sports recreation park to a cultural street, in Iran.
Designed by CAATStudio (Kamboozia Architecture and Design Studio), the project showcases an urban pedestrian and cyclist pathway in the western part of the Abbas Abad hills complex in Tehran.
The project, once completed, aims to create an "interactive-attractive narrative in the city which moves users between four different zones through the use of rammed earth material and geometric forms".
Judges described the project as an “original architectural and urban concept that lives up to its project title and ambition” and congratulated it on its “exquisitely controlled geometry” which they felt “provided a surprising continuity” between the “city's street pattern and the district's new parkland destination”.
The Landscape of the Year 2022 was awarded to the Preservation and Rehabilitation of Rural Landscape of Gaodang: A Buyi Ethnic Minority Group Village in Southwest China project.
Designed by SHANCUN Atelier, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University + Anshun Institute of Architectural Design, the project came under the Landscape Rural category.
Judges praised the project as an “incredibly sensitive village conservation scheme, breathing life back into rural China”.
It brings together a rich diversity of stakeholders over the last seven years to realise a design that ensures this rural community will last into the future.
Next year, the festival will reconvene in Singapore for its 16th edition from Nov 29 - Dec 1. Registration is now open.