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Ken Rosewall Arena and Mon Repos Turtle Centre among buildings shortlisted at 2021 World Architecture Festival Awards

Ken Rosewall Arena and Mon Repos Turtle Centre among buildings shortlisted at 2021 World Architecture Festival Awards
July 20, 2021

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards has announced its 2021 shortlist, celebrating buildings and landscapes to have been completed across the world between 2019 and 2021. The 200-strong shortlist has been selected from over 700 entries 

Among those shortlisted in the sport category are Cox Architecture for the Ken Rosewall Arena Redevelopment in Sydney and the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

The original Ken Rosewall Arena was unveiled in 2000 to host Tennis for the Sydney Olympics. Almost two decades later, COX were appointed to transform the facility into a multipurpose outdoor covered arena. Starting the project in 2018, the first upgrades to the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre were complete prior to the 2020 inaugural ATP Cup, with a new cable-tension roof.

Among those shortlisted in The Display – Completed Building category are Kirk Architects for Mon Repos Turtle Centre in Bargara, Queensland as well as Terroir Architects for the design of the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, Phillip Island, Victoria.

The Mon Repos Turtle Centre in Bargara, Queensland which occupies a sensitive beachside location within a conservation park. The Mon Repos beach and environs is the most important turtle nesting ground in Australia and has been a key research centre for over 40 years. The project scope included the master planning of the entire beachside environs to manage vehicle and pedestrian movement within the sensitive coastal landscape which is one of the most significant seasonal nesting grounds for the loggerhead turtle.

Terroir Architect’s design of the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre has enriched the visitor experience in multiple ways. As the managers of the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre, Philip Island Nature Parks (a not-for-profit organisation) is a pre-eminent authority on care for penguins and their habitat, so this Visitor Centre needed to balance the twin ambitions of eco-tourism and conservation. The Centre forms a nexus between the dunes, headland and wetland, linking all three delicate landscapes.

Within the Culture awards, JPW are shortlisted for the Chau Chak Wing Museum - the new museum of art, science, history and ancient cultures at the University of Sydney. Also included in the Culture shortlist are Durbach Block Jaggers / John Wardle Architects for Phoenix Central Park - a private performing arts venue and art gallery located at 37-49 O'Connor Street, Chippendale.

Other buildings and landscapes shortlisted include a stylised urban landscape linking Abu Dhabi’s desert to its modern city grid; Heatherwick Studio's Singapore skyscraper, Eden; China’s Culture Exhibition Centre featuring a sun and a moon pavilion, and a tourist development on a Persian Gulf island built to empower the local community.

The theme for the 2021 edition of the festival is: ‘Resetting the City: Greening, Health and Urbanism’ and the awards attracted 732 entries from 55 countries, submitted across 20 completed buildings and landscape categories; an increase of 44% in submissions from 2019’s edition of the festival.

WAF will reconvene this year in Lisbon, at the FIL exhibition centre, from 1st-3rd December, the first time the event has been hosted in the Portuguese capital following previous editions in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Singapore and Berlin.

Also shortlisted for the WAF 2021 awards include: B.I.G. Architecture, Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Grimshaw Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). The 20 completed buildings and landscape categories range from Housing, Office, Transport, Health and School to Civic and Community, Sport, Religion, Culture, and Production Energy and Recycling, with entries representing the most beautiful to the most innovative in contemporary architecture.

The architects and designers behind each shortlisted project will compete for category prizes live at WAF in December. Presentations of the shortlisted designs will be made to more than 100 international juries in front of festival delegates. Category winners then compete against each other on the final day of the festival, to compete for the ultimate accolades of World Building of the Year, Future Project of the Year, Interior of the Year and Landscape of the Year.

WAF programme director Paul Finch commented "we are delighted with both the quantity and quality of this year’s entries. This promises to be the most competitive awards programme we have ever run, and we look forward to meeting the shortlisted architects in Lisbon".

The completed buildings ‘Super Jury’ which will decide the World Building of the Year 2021, includes: Jeanne Gang, Founding principal and partner, Studio Gang, Abdelkader Damani, Artistic Director, Frac Centre-Val de Loire | Biennale d'Architecture d'Orléans, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Co-Founder & Principal, 3XN Architects and Christina Seilern, Principal, Studio Seilern.

The ‘Super Jury’ for the Landscape of the Year includes: Robert Schäfer, Landscape Architect & Journalist, Brita von Schoenaich, Principal, Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape, Lily Jencks, Founder, LilyJencksStudio | JencksSquared, Todd Langstaff-Gowan, Landscape Architect, Historian, Author and Collector, and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design.

The full shortlist for this year's completed buildings and landscape project awards can be viewed here.

WAF and its co-located event, INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, will welcome the world’s leading architects and designers to Lisbon for three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events from 1st-3rd December.

For more details on the 2021 World Architecture Festival and the WAF Awards please visit:

Images from top: Ken Rosewall Arena Redevelopment; Mon Repos Turtle Centre; Penguin Parade Visitor Centre; Phoenix Central Park; image above (Clockwise): Al Hosn Masterplan by Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi; Eden by Heatherwick Studio; Chinese Culture Exhibition Center by Qingdao Tengyuan Design; Majara Residency by ZAV Architects

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management. Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

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