10 Jul 23

Woods Bagot projects shortlisted for World Architecture Festival

Four Woods Bagot projects have been shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards, the largest live global awards program for architects and designers.

Now in its sixteenth year, WAF is the most prestigious international architecture prize judged by a panel of the world’s leading industry figureheads. The program spans 44 categories across completed buildings, future projects, landscapes, and interiors.

Te Pae Convention Centre by Woods Bagot in association with Warren and Mahony has been nominated for the ‘Completed Buildings – Culture’ category of the architecture awards. Located in the heart of Christchurch, Te Pae covers 17,000 square metres of floorspace, including a 1,400-seat auditorium, an exhibition hall, and meeting rooms overlooking the nearby Victoria Square.

Project leader Bruno Mendes said Te Pae as a project has helped to mend both a physical and psychic tear in the local fabric more than ten years from the historic 2011 earthquake.

“Te Pae was informed by Christchurch’s rich tapestry of unique geography, abundant cultural narrative, and shared local history,” said Mendes. “The result really speaks to the value of designing with an intimate understanding of place and people.”

Brisbane’s Heritage Lanes 80 Ann Street has been nominated for the ‘Completed Buildings – Office‘ category. The 35-level, tower-on-podium building sits on the site of the former heritage-listed Turbot Street Fruit and Produce Exchange, with the design including the restoration of a significant portion of the former market.

Project leaders Domenic Alvaro and  David Lee said the building is a unique expression of the Queenslander vernacular, capitulating to the subtropical climate and paying homage to the local history of the site.

80 Ann Street recently won the ‘Brisbane Buildings that Breathe’ architecture prize in the Institute’s 2023 Greater Brisbane Regional Awards, and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ 2023 Queensland Award of Excellence for Civic landscape.

Sydney’s Warada on Walker has been shortlisted for the ‘Future Projects – Office’ category, as an aspiring contribution to the evolving North Sydney CBD. The proposed design is inspired by the Australian-native waratah flower, featuring 22 levels enveloped in a sculpted crimson exoskeleton.

Led by Principal Jason Fraser, the proposed development is envisioned as an extension of the public domain, building on the existing landscaped framework and urban laneway network.

63-83 Walker Street aspires to be a major contributor to the evolving vibrant and highly connected city of Sydney, creating a new benchmark commercial offering within the North Sydney CBD.

55 Pitt Street in Sydney has also been nominated for the ‘Future Projects – Office’ category, designed in collaboration with American practice SHoP Architects. The design team won this hotly contested international design excellence competition for its “outstanding” entry that stood apart from the competition for its soaring tower and seamless integration with the urban landscape.

The proposed design for the 62,000-square-metre future workplace references the Indigenous history of the site, where an historic stream of great cultural significance once connected with the harbour.

Associate Principal and project leader Chris Yoo said the new workplace is designed to entice people back to the office in the wake of the pandemic, prioritising biophilic connections, access to fresh air, and premium wellness amenity. 

With its dramatic Pitt Street entry statement and distinctive soaring yet seductive tower, the scheme is a proposed landmark workplace precinct at 55 Pitt Street.

Woods Bagot Director and Global Design Leader Domenic Alvaro said the shortlist demonstrates Woods Bagot’s continued commitment to excellence and innovation with world-class projects that hold their own on a global stage. 

“Woods Bagot strives to epitomise architectural excellence, challenging convention with original buildings that are deeply contextual, driven by narrative, and attuned to the people they serve,” says Alvaro.

He added that this year’s entries demonstrate a strong focus on human-scale precincts, authentic connection to Country, and contribute to the urban renewal of their wider contexts. “These will be the legacy projects for the practice,” says Alvaro. 

Australia is among the top 10 countries with the most shortlisted projects in this year’s program. WAF program director Paul Finch said organisers are “delighted” with both the quantity and quality of this year’s entries. 

“They are a reminder in a world experiencing numerous crises that architects continue to address both everyday and unusual challenges with skill and imagination,” says Finch. “We look forward to seeing the shortlisted architects in Singapore.” 

WAF is the only global architecture prize where shortlisted entrants present their projects live to a jury before an audience of their peers. Winning a prestigious WAF award can elevate a practice’s global reputation and earn the project a spot on the World Buildings Directory.

The winning projects will be decided at the architecture festival at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 29 November to 1 December.

In 2022, Woods Bagot received four WAF awards in Lisbon, winning the Best Completed School and Best Use of Colour awards for Meadowbank Schools; Best Completed Mixed-Use Project award for 80 Collins Street; and Best (INSIDE) Small Workplace for Sculptform Design Studio.


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Meadowbank School overview drone shot
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