The 2021 prizes
Alongside the 33 WAF award categories are a host of special prizes awarded to projects from the main shortlist. Entrants do not to pay any additional fees to be considered for the prizes.
Start your entry into one of the main WAF categories now to be considered for one of WAF's special prizes! Simply tick the relevant box on the entry form when submitting.
The WAFX Award heralds the world’s most forward-looking architectural concepts, and is awarded to future projects that identify key challenges that architects will need to address in the coming years. Ten innovative designs addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges have won awards ranging from ageing and health to cultural identity and carbon reduction. The overall WAFX winner will be presented with their award at the Festival.
The WAFX shortlist will be chosen from the main WAF Future Project shortlist - no additional fee is required from entrants. View the 2021 Category Winners
The Drawing Prize- supported by gleeds
Now in its fifth year, the Prize celebrates the importance of drawing as a tool in capturing and communicating architectural ideas. In the spirit of many great architects of the past, from Palladio and John Soane to Le Corbusier and Cedric Price, it's an ideal platform for reflecting on and exploring how drawing continues to advance the art of architecture today. T he annual competition - sponsored this year by Gleeds - invites architects, designers and students around the world to submit entries in three categories: hand-drawn, digital or hybrid. Curated by Make Architects, Sir John Soane's Museum and WAF, the prize is judged by the likes of Ken Shuttleworth, artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell, and Foster + Partners' head of design communication Narinder Sagoo. Winning and shortlisted drawings are displayed at Sir John Soane's Museum and WAF 2021. For the 2020 competition, Make designed a virtual gallery to showcase them. The winners also receive a delegate pass to WAF, where they'll have their work displayed and be presented with an award.
Visualisation Prize - supported by Lumion
The Visualisation Prize, supported by Lumion, launched at WAF 2019 and is a natural addition to our already popular Photography and Drawing competitions. This prize will invite entrants to submit a rendering video of their projects. Entries are open to any visualisation videos of a future project or recently completed building with a length of up to 3 minutes. Projects must be a combined entry between the visualiser and the architectural practice or just the practice if the rendering was made in-house. The overall winner will be presented with their award at the Festival. Entries will open in July 2021.
Water Research Prize - supported by GROHE
The Water Research Prize was developed from the WAF Research Programme. This was launched to promote the ideas highlighted in the WAFX Manifesto, marking WAF’s 10-year anniversary in 2017. We are delighted that WAF’s headline partner, GROHE, once again supported the Water Research Prize. GROHE is supporting research into tackling unique challenges that water presents, with the winning initiative awarded £10,000 of funding. The results of this work will be presented at WAF on the Festival Hall Stage.
FREE entries are now CLOSED for the Water Research Prize 2020 and the 2020 winner is now revealed!
The 'Lisbon Prize' - supported by kreon
To mark this year's brand new festival location, WAF is launching a ‘Lisbon Prize’ supported by trendsetting lighting manufacturer kreon who approach lighting from an architectural perspective. This special prize will recognise and celebrate the best building in the city, completed during the entry period. Any building in Lisbon entered into a Completed Building category will be eligible to be considered for the shortlist of the 'Lisbon Prize' and visited by a jury. The winner will be announced on the first day of WAF.
The Lisbon Prize shortlist will be chosen from the main WAF shortlist - no additional fee is required from entrants.
Best Use of Certified Timber Prize - supported by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The 'Best Use of Certified Timber' returns to WAF. This prize is supported by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). A special jury including a PEFC representative will identify entries which have used certified timber in an innovative, educational or artistic manner. Shortlisted architects will be contacted to confirm that the timber specified and used in the project originates from certified sources demonstrating leadership in sustainable design.
The Best Use of Certified Timber Prize shortlist will be chosen from the main WAF shortlist - no additional fee is required from entrants.
Small Project of the Year Prize
When entering the WAF awards you also have the opportunity to submit your project for consideration into the Small Project of the Year Prize, doubling your chances of being a WAF finalist. Any completed buildings project can be entered, the only criteria is that it is judged to be small for type. Entry into the prize is free and if your project is shortlisted you will present to the prize judges live at the festival.
The Small Project shortlist will be chosen from the main WAF shortlist - no additional fee is required from entrants.
All shortlisted completed building entries are eligible for The Engineering Prize, which is the subject of a special jury who will review presentations of up to 10 selected buildings on the last day of the Festival.
The Engineering shortlist will be chosen from the main WAF shortlist - no additional fee is required from entrants.
Best Use Of Natural Light Prize - supported by VELUX
This prize, supported by VELUX, will be for the best use of natural light in completed buildings that showcase unique use of a daylighting. Special emphasis will be put on projects that consider the impact on human well-being, performance and joy.
The Best Use of Natural Light Prize shortlist will be chosen from the main WAF shortlist - no additional fee is required from entrants.
The Architectural Photography Awards
The Architectural Photography Awards aims to put the focus onto the skill and creativity of the photographer. Judges and viewers are asked to look beyond the architecture, to the composition, light, scale, atmosphere, sense of place and understanding of the project. The Architectural Photography Awards highlights the expertise of the specialist architectural photographer, translating the sophistication of architecture into a readable and understandable two dimensions, to explain and extol the character, detail and environment of the project.