It has been amazing to be part of the WAF award winning team. When you look across the range and quality of projects put forward for the WAF Awards, to be short listed and then become associated with the overall winner is a momentous achievement for Grant Associates.
Director - Grant Associates
Date posted: 06/11/09
South African architect Peter Rich is the second winner of the World Building of the Year award for his Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa, a building on the site of an ancient civilsation which is also designed to highlight the fragility of the enviornment.
Chaired by Rafael Viñoly, this year´s international super jury (which included Kengo Kuma, Farshid Moussavi, Suha Ozkan and structural engineer Tim Macfarlane) had an especially tough task in deciding on an overall winner for World Building of the Year.
How do you compare an elegant little shop with a piece of landscape design or a winery with an aviary? Jurors were impressed with a number of schemes – such as the redevelopment of Father Duffy Square in New York by Choi Ropiha, Perkins Eastman, PSKB Architects and WOHA´s Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit Station in Singapore. Both schemes, they felt, responded to complex urban problems in highly sophisticated ways.
They also admired the winner of the Landscape category, by Chinese architects Turenscape for its imaginative qualities and strength of execution.
But after a lively debate, the jury conceded that the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre by Peter Rich was clearly the most architecturally and psychologically powerful project in the final, very tough, analysis. 'It carries both weight and a message of complexity to the outside world, ' commented Suha Ozkan. The jury agreed that the way in which it related to the land and made graceful virtues of the challenging issues of sustainability, politics and social improvement made it a highly deserving winner.