European Dialogues

01 WAFRecollections from World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Amsterdam (4-6 December 2019) and Freiburg’s “Creative Communities” workshop (28 – 29 November 2019)

Another WAF behind us and we’re happily thinking back on increasingly familiar faces amongst regulars and the deepened friendships that we have been fortunate to make through the Festival.

02 WAF
World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam

This year, John Marx presented his Burning Man project for The Golden Cage (see our previous blog post) and joined an illustrious panel of judges to select the winner for the best “Use of Colour” Category at the World Architecture Festival Awards.

Fellow judges included Axel Demberger from Eastman and Marcos Rosello of aLL Design.  The jury was chaired by Sir Peter Cook, a Royal Academician and Founder of the celebrated studio Archigram. As the winning scheme, the group of four judges picked Archimatika’s project, “Comfort Town.” It is a vibrant 180 low-rise apartment building development located in Kiev, Ukraine. Archimatika say the project represents the “first daring color solution for a residential neighborhood in the country.”

03 WAF
World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam

The WAF “World Building of The Year” was selected from the 20 winning completed building category entries and is local to the Festival’s host country: The Netherlands.  A public library in Tilburg, the project is the result of a successful collaboration between Civic Architects, Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau as well as Inside Outside/ Petra Blaisse.

Called LocHal, the library, a former locomotive hangar dating from 1932, responds to the current interest in an architecture that minimises its environmental impact through the imaginative reuse of existing building stock.  The WAF Awards super jury suggested this in their statement. “This project transformed a significant building which had been planned for demolition. The result has created a physical facility in which a variety of users can meet for a variety of purposes, in this sense the building has become a social condenser.”

The call for architecture to be conducive to social interaction is something that is being increasingly acknowledged and perhaps in the face of the widespread problem of loneliness that is apparent even in the most densely populated urban metropolises.  It is something that we at Form4 Architecture strive to address in our projects through placemaking that has a grassroots approach.

Our Creative Communities Workshop in Freiburg took place just before WAF. It was hosted by Ideal Spaces an ongoing research project that is focussed on how we experience and foster togetherness through architecture and art as well as through our communities.

01 Freiburg
Creative Communities Workshop in Freiburg

Interestingly, Ideal Spaces is interested in both  the design of physical spaces conducive to well-being and the idea of a good place. The catalysts and conditions that lead to designing a better environment are at the heart of much of the work Ideal Spaces carry out through exhibitions, artworks, research events and supporting both interdisciplinary and collaborative methods to challenging dystopia. We look forward to building on this further and to our next WAF in Lisbon in 2020.

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