Form4 Architecture recently took part in their 5th World Architecture Festival. This time around it was staged in Amsterdam at the RAI conference centre with the largest number of delegates in attendance that the Festival has welcomed since its inception in 2008.
There were over 400 architects from around the world presenting their work in the 42 different categories for the World Architecture Festival Awards. This alone creates a mesmerizing overview of what is taking place in the profession be it in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia or Africa. Keynote speakers included David Adjaye, Jeanne Gang, Rem Koolhaas and Li Xiaodong whose presentation of his Liyuan Library on the outskirts of Beijing was one of the highlights of the talks.
Form4’s Co-Founding Principal and Chief Artistic Officer John Marx chaired the jury for the “Large Scale Housing” category won by an extraordinary project in Mathura, India designed by Sanjay Puri Architects. The project is made up of an 800-room complex devoted to young academics. The design skillfully incorporates the idea of a street following the same urban patterns seen in this part of the country.
John Marx also presented Form4’s projects in three different categories including the practice’s recently completed Innovation Curve in Palo Alto in the highly competitive “Use of Colour” category. The jury for this category was chaired by Sir Peter Cook, an English architect who is best known for having been one of the founders of the legendary and avant-grade Archigram studio in the 1960s and for his own imaginative approach to colour in architecture.
As per usual, in between presentations, talks and the actual awards ceremony at the Beurs van Berlage, there was real buzz of colleagues from across the globe catching up, introducing each other to new friends and acquaintances. All the things that happen in between the official Festival program being what at least half of what WAF is really all about. A place to swap notes on the state of architecture today, be it in San Francisco, London, Valetta, Milan, Dubai, Beijing or Singapore. And of course we saw first-hand what was happening in Amsterdam and were thoroughly impressed by their public infrastructure including the recently opened metro line that transported us effortlessly to the conference centre.
Another highlight at the Festival for us was The Architecture Drawing Prize stand displaying winners of hand-drawn, hybrid and digital categories. We ended our time at WAF sitting as guests at the Architecture Drawing Prize winners’ table and enjoying once again the Festival’s Gala Dinner atmosphere. A great finale to this event and particularly as 2019 will see Form4 focus on ideas around representation and architecture just as we did in the watercolour section of the Architectural Review (AR) monograph published earlier this year; and which was also featured on the AR stand at WAF in Amsterdam. We were delighted!