04 Dec 23

Woods Bagot takes home three accolades from World Architecture Festival

World Architecture Festival has concluded for 2023 and all winners for this year’s program have been announced. Woods Bagot has taken home three accolades from Singapore, including the top award for large workplace, a special prize for the innovative use of glass, and highly commended for visualisation.

M&C Saatchi has received best in its category for Inside World Festival of Interior’s Workplace (Large) category.

The transformation of Sydney’s historic Transport House, completed in 1938, included the repositioning of the building core, adding two new internal staircases, a dedicated building entry, improved collaboration spaces and a café.

“The client brief from the beginning was to be provocative,” says Global Client Leader Ian Lomas. “As a designer, to be given that brief is such a joyful commission.

“What we tried to do was stay true to our beliefs and our understanding of the values that the client holds. In this case, the project was guided by three key themes: connection to Country through deep, meaningful engagement with Elders and community; the retention of all existing materials onsite; and the project’s exhibition of confidence in character.”

“It’s a story of origins, modernity and a celebration of character,” adds Project leader Jordan Schumacher. “The design outcome uses opposing ideas to create different spaces and experiences derived from stories of the past, shaping stories of the future.”

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Woods Bagot and SHoP Architects also received the FutureGlass prize for 55 Pitt Street. This special prize was awarded to the project that demonstrated the experimental and innovative use of glass technology.

“The project embraces glass technology in its architectural expression, allowing for a sense of transparency through the building’s veiled façade, permitting natural light and ventilation,” says Global Design Leader Domenic Alvaro.  

“The integration of clear glass from the ground plane and podium is used to distinguish the flexible mixed-mode spaces seen from the street,” adds SHoP Architects Project Director Robert Page. “These spaces are a vital amenity to this future workplace where responsive operable windows control natural ventilation, allowing the facade to function like a living skin and occupants to connect with the environment.”

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Finally, Woods Bagot received Highly Commended for the Visualisation Special Prize for Hillcrest Rose Bay, Sydney. The Visualisation Prize is awarded to the most inspiring architectural renders that explore the “limitless potential of visualisation,” the organisers said.

Visualiser Jeffrey Faranial helped realise Tracey Wiles and Domenic Alvaro’s architectural vision for the luxury multi-residential project in Sydney’s east. The render incorporates a high level of detail and realism that helps to promote the architectural excellence, incorporating a balanced composition that artistically considers both architecture and vegetation.

“This recognition is a great honour and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team,” says Jeffrey Faranial. “It is always rewarding to have your efforts acknowledged, and this award motivates us to continue to provide the best possible service to our clients.”

Alvaro said this year’s festival has been an “extraordinary effort” across a variety of project typologies, which explains the international interest in Wood Bagot as a practice.

“We’ve been able to cover a lot of ground from interior projects to major redefining city-making landmarks,” says Alvero. “It’s been great to see the jury’s focus on sustainability over solely aesthetics, considering how designers intertwine beauty with the goal of reducing the carbon footprint on our planet.”

Regional Interior Design Leader Tracey Wiles says that narrative was an important factor in this year’s competition that drove the jury’s criteria for project excellence.

“It’s incredible that we had 11 shortlisted projects – more than any other studio in the world – and that these projects are supported by great narratives made palatable and comprehensive to a general audience,” says Wiles. “We’re so proud of the presentations that took place at this year’s WAF, and of our team’s ability to communicate complex ideas around excellent projects.”

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Isla Sutherland
Content and Communications Specialist (Australia & New Zealand)

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