WAF 2010 > MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Italy, wins World Building of the Year
wins World Building of the Year at World Architecture Festival Awards 2010
- ‘Building will talked about in the history of architecture’ -
A project for a centre for contemporary arts in Rome is now officially the best new building in the world. MAXXI, National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Italy, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, UK, has won global architecture’s most coveted accolade of ‘World Building of the Year’ at the prestigious World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF) 2010.
The presentation of the WAF Awards took place during a special ceremony, which marked the conclusion of the biggest global celebration of architecture - the World Architecture Festival, held at the Centre Convencions International Barcelona (CCIB) this week.
The winning design was selected from a shortlist of 15 projects from around the world by the WAF ‘Super Jury’.
The ‘Super Jury’ consisted of Arata Isozaki, Barry Bergdoll, who is the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Enrique Norten, founder of TEN Arquitectos, and Hanif Kara of engineer Adams Kara Taylor.
Speaking at WAF 2010 Paul Finch, WAF Programme Director, said: “The clarity required for architects to present their work in ten minutes often underlines the clarity of thought itself. There were a number of buildings that the judges admired, but the winning building had a certain inevitability to win the overall award. This is a building which is a volume, which takes its place in a very happy way, inside the volume of a city – an unwound Guggenheim, with ribbons of connectivity. It is a building which will still be talked about in the history of architecture in 50 years time.”
Collecting the World Building of the Year Award, Gianluca Racana, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects for MAXXI, said: “It is very nice to feel that after so many years of hard work it has been recognised. I was surprised that the jury was not critical at all - it was a very good sign.” He talked about the sense of achievement in getting the building constructed amidst the bureaucracy and funding difficulties in Italy and he described designing a museum for contemporary art as a dream project. “It is open ended”, he said. “The building is an incubator for a new art form. It is very seductive.”
But he warned that there may be no more such commissions in Europe, with funding shortages. “It will be the last of a line starting with the Guggenheim” he said.
The WAF Awards see unsung local buildings take on internationally acclaimed projects in what is the world’s biggest architecture contest. Unlike other architectural competitions, architects present their work in front of leading industry judges and a live public audience as they compete for the accolade of ‘World Building of the Year’.
Closing the Festival, Paul Finch commented: “World Architecture Festival brings international architecture to the forefront, against the stunning backdrop of Barcelona. People with likeminded interests can speak the common language of architecture – a language that that can be conveyed quickly and help good ideas to translate into one another. We look forward to seeing you again next year for WAF 2011.”
This is the 3rd year the World Architecture Festival Awards have been presented. Previous winners include ‘World Building of the Year 2008’ - Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects and ‘World Building of the Year 2009’ - Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects of Johannesburg.
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