09 Jul 24

World Architecture Festival 2024 projects shortlisted

World Architecture Festival (WAF) is the largest live awards event for architects and designers. Held annually, it is the only awards program where all finalists present their projects live to a panel of judges at the festival in Singapore. Six Woods Bagot projects have been shortlisted in this year’s WAF program.  

The StandardX in Melbourne’s Fitzroy has been shortlisted for the Completed Buildings: Hotel and Leisure category. In the city’s oldest suburb – characterised by corner pubs, flea markets and live music venues – the project team devised a considerate response to site, stitching together Fitzroy’s industrial past with its vibrant and eclectic future. Across its 125 rooms, the StandardX trades a larger floorplate for an intimate scale that is deeply enmeshed in the heart of the neighbourhood. Room footprints are offset by larger gathering spaces and common areas that celebrate the local context and support the neighbouring ecosystem of independent retailers.

“The StandardX is for the experiential traveller that seeks to immerse themselves in the rhythm and pulse of place,” says Woods Bagot Principal Pete Miglis.

Encased in a shield of Corten steel – a skin intended to weather and patina – the built form was designed to resemble the typology of Fitzroy’s prominent corner pubs: solid in nature with a singular materiality and punched windows. Its bold architectural form provides a visual beacon, drawing people from the surrounding high streets into its vibrant nucleus.

“The building rapidly assumes a distinctly local patina that speaks to Fitzroy’s convergence of industrial heritage and contemporary artistic sensibility,” says project architect Robert Rosamilia.

“It’s a building that’s entirely of its place.”

Minthis, in the Cypriot village of Tsada, has been shortlisted Completed Buildings: Mixed-Use category.

The wholistic Mediterranean mountain sanctuary comprises accommodation, retail, wellness amenity and hospitality, balancing antiquity and modernity through a lavish masterplan that embraces the natural landscape. Forming a complex of recreational buildings, the plot offers panoramic views of the undulating Troodos mountains, with village aggregation informed by principles of community assembly.  

Woods Bagot Principal Nik Karalis says the wellness precinct was informed by the concept of the “modern relic”, celebrating antiquity while boasting the latest in world-class amenity.

“This five-million-square-meter mountain community embraces the old to re-imagine the future and our place in a constantly changing landscape of epic scale,” says Karalis. “The final centrepiece, the main new village and spa building, is now settled, and the project will evolve graciously over the next centuries to establish itself overtime as a destination that has emerged out of sensitive contextual positioning, tradition and pathos.”

“Minthis is about capturing the essence of the rugged beauty of the Trodos Mountains,” says Woods Bagot Principal Julian Cross. “The London studio has gotten to know and love the place over the last twelve years of working on the scheme, building the clubhouse and many private villas, and the final culminated of the spa and village centre. This has been a labour of love with the input of an excellent client with a deep respect for place. Our design seeks to create a distinct and tangible resonance of place through form and materiality which sits in harmony with the landscape and creates a new home from home for locals and visitors alike.”

Mosman High School in Sydney’s Lower North Shore region has been shortlisted for the Completed Buildings: School category. The versatile four-storey building on the Middle Harbour peninsula has a gross floor area of 8,800 square metres and lifts the school’s much needed student capacity. Featuring classrooms, studios, staffrooms, canteen, gym, and theatre,

Global Leader of Education and Science at Woods Bagot Georgia Singleton says the design incorporates the site’s heritage and natural landscape, while drawing its inspiration from the creativity and vibrancy of the school’s students. The building’s brick “crust” comprises four different tones, referencing Mosman’s heritage shopping strip.

“The design for Mosman High School celebrates Indigenous heritage, merging brick-wrapped forms and colourful window pops that echo Mosman’s historic palette,” says Singleton.

“Trees and vibrant accents transform the school into a joyful performance space, honouring both ancient and recent local culture. This architecture blends respect for Indigenous influences with Mosman’s heritage, creating a joyful learning environment focused on performance.”

University of Tasmania Forestry Building in Hobart has been shortlisted for the Future Projects: Higher Education and Research category.

The site comprises two heritage-listed 1920s redbrick warehouses, a former 1980s warehouse showroom and a 22-metre dome-shaped conservatory designed by Morris-Nunn and Associates in 1997.

The project team is reimagining the site as an inner-city hub for learning, research and collaboration through a highly connected campus that unifies the disparate built elements onsite with integrated landscape, through-block connections and publicly accessible thoroughfares.

“We strived to create a campus – not a building – through a masterplan that features a collection of diverse and rich interstitial spaces to meet the disparate needs of the university,” says Woods Bagot Director Bruno Mendes. “As a highly flexible structure, the building’s demountable design will enable the university to adapt the interior environment as the university’s pedagogical needs change.”

Through adaptive reuse, the project team is retaining 40 percent of the existing architecture onsite, making it exemplary in its reuse and recycling of existing materials and features to not only retain history and heritage but reduce the environmental impacts of construction.

Synchro Yards

Synchro Yards in Montenegro has been shortlisted for the Future Projects: Residential category. This future luxury waterfront community is set to be the centrepiece of the Mediterranean marina, complete with a beach club, luxury hotel, event space, restaurants and retail strip.  

The development will feature two luxury premises, with 22 and 25 residences respectively, with strategic views over the marina.

Built on the site of the former synchro elevator and shipyard hanger, Synchro Yards will offer an “avant-garde” quarter for fostering community and culture, featuring the restoration of a former shipyard.

“Woods Bagot was privileged to lead the design for the new district for Porto Montenegro,” says Woods Bagot Principal and project leader Julian Cross.  “At its heart is a new civic building formed from the adaptive reuse of the historic Synchro Lift, used to service ships during the site’s time as a naval port.

“Our design was inspired by this naval heritage as well as its extraordinary setting on Kotor Bay and its current use as a home for some of the worlds most beautiful yachts. A dynamic and modern place that is distinct to its Adriatic location, it remembers its history but stands out as a new global destination”.



The Minerva in Potts Point, Sydney, has been shortlisted for the Future Projects: Leisure category.

Arguably the area’s most famous example of art deco architecture, the Metro Minerva was once one of Sydney’s most beloved and vibrant performance spaces. Built in 1938, the building features the vertical sweeping curves, stepped forms and linear motifs characteristic of art-deco design.

Woods Bagot is reviving the building, restoring the main auditorium space and introducing a range of elevated amenity and cultural offerings. Existing heritage details are celebrated and restored, while new insertions use traditional materiality and deco scale with a contemporary interpretation.  

Woods Bagot Principal Tracey Wiles says the redevelopment will bring the dormant building into the 21st century, complete with an integrated boutique hotel, cafe, bar and basement venue. 

“The Minerva is an art deco icon – a historic performance space reimagined to exist as part of Sydney’s future heritage,” says Wiles. “Whether crafted or procured, every element was integrated with an empathetic lens on the historical lineage of the site.”

Judging will take place in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands from 6 to 8 November, where design leaders will present their projects before a live jury.  

For more information visit the WAF website.

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Isla Sutherland
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