It doesn't happen every day that a large piece of urban infrastructure is crowned the globe's best new building design, but at today's closing ceremony of the annual World Architecture Festival, one industrial facility reigned supreme over a shortlist of 200 noteworthy new buildings: CopenHill, the illustrious waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen also known as Amager Bakke, has been declared the World Building of the Year 2021.
Representing the Production, Energy & Recycling category, the Bjarke Ingels Group-designed project vastly expands the definition (and expectation) of an energy-sector facility, featuring a ski slope, hiking trail, and green terrains on its roof, sporting the world's tallest artificial climbing wall on its vertical facade as well as hosting a rooftop bar, cross-fit area, and a viewing plateau of the city.
WAF Program Director Paul Finch praised the way CopenHill "addresses the role of architecture in the new world of recycling and zero carbon," adding: "It treats infrastructure projects in a way which makes people say 'Yes in my back yard' rather than 'no.' It encourages designers to think beyond the brief, to argue for ideas, and to ride the tides of politics and economics in the pursuit of the socially beneficial. And it reminds us that buildings can be fun!"
The jury also included Abdelkader Damani, Director of Frac Centre-Val de Loire and Artistic Director of Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans; Nuno Gonçalves Fontarra, Associate Partner at Mecanoo; Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Creative Director of 3XN Architects; and Christina Seilern, Principal of Studio Seilern Architects.
Other major World Architecture Festival Award recipients were the Silo City proposal in New York City designed by Studio V Architecture winning Future Project of the Year, Al Fay Park in Abu Dhabi by SLA Architects selected as Landscape of the Year as well as the Horizon Manila master plan by William Ti, Jr. taking home the latest WAFX Award.
Also, take a look at the latest winners of the festival's Architecture Drawing Prize which we announced recently.
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