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: 21/10/08
How long has the Festival been in preparation?
We started thinking about it two years ago. There are various international exhibitions and festivals around the world that architects go to, but they are always bit part players. The events are about property, investment, construction.
Our feeling was that there needed to be an event which is a global annual one where architects can speak to architects. The reason we have made the awards the heart of Festival is because:
1. it's a way of recognising excellence of work actually completed and delivered
2. because the initial judging is of anonymous entries it's a way of identifying architects who may not be known outside their own countries
3. because it celebrates in a critical way architectural ambition and achievement
Will it be a success?
We are delighted with the way things have gone, for several reasons.
We had a very warm response from the judges who we invited to take part. We had an equally warm response from major architectural magazines around the world - 30 in total who have helped make this an exciting launch. And most of all we have had a very warm response from architects, with 722 entries from 63 countries.
For us this is a huge vote of confidence in the idea of having such a Festival. We are thrilled that so many delegates are coming to Barcelona to take part in the inaugural event.
How will you spend the week of the Festival?
I am going to have a very varied week. On Tuesday I am filming with CNN who will be covering the Festival all week and looking at some of Barcelona's striking recent architecture.
I will be chairing a number of seminars on Wednesday and Thursday, and announcing the category winners at the end of each day.
And on Friday I will be looking forward to seeing all the presentations from the category winners and helping the super-jury in their deliberations to decide the first World Building of the Year.
On Saturday I plan to have a rest.
If visitors have time to see one building in Barcelona, what would you recommend?
They should go to the Miro Foundation. It has marvellous architecture by Sert, wonderful content and fabulous views of Barcelona itself.