Entry FAQ's

Key dates for the WAF entry and judging process:

27 April 2017
Discounted Early Bird entry rate ends.

2 June 2017
Final extended entry deadline.

June 2017
Renowned architects and industry professionals decide on a shortlist from all of the entries.

July 2017
Shortlist announcement to the general public.

The WAF Jury
More than 100 architects, members of the press and clients are invited to serve on the juries at the festival in November. They ensure that each piece of work is evaluated in an independent manner.

15-16 November – LIVE AT WAF!
All category finalists present to WAF Jury for 10 minutes, live in front of an audience at the festival in Berlin. Each finalist receives direct feedback from a panel of judges and is able to watch other finalists present their projects. All finalists must bring at least two delegates (paid for tickets - view the prices here) to present their project live at the festival.

17 November – LIVE AT WAF!
Each category winner presents to the WAF Super Jury to compete for the ultimate prizes at WAF; World Building of the Year, Future Project of the Year, Landscape of the Year and Small Project of the Year.
The winners are announced at the Closing Ceremony at the Festival!

Still have questions? 

We know that the WAF judging process is an integral part of your WAF experience and that knowing that the your project has been assessed fairly and with expertise is crucial when entering. We hope that the information below demonstrates that this is the case but if you have any additional queries we would be very happy to speak to you in detail, simply contact us.

Who can enter?

  • Architects
  • Developers, funders, contractors and other associated organisations (for example clients), may also enter on behalf of the architect, with their consent

What can be entered?

  • All Completed Building projects have to be completed between 1 January 2016 and 1 June 2017
  • Future Projects do not have to have a completion date
  • There is no limit on the number of projects that can be submitted
  • Projects can be submitted in more than one category where relevant
  • All designs must be by professionals whose qualifications are recognised by their local accreditation organisation
  • If you have entered or have been shortlisted before you can still enter the same project, providing the the project is completed from the 1 January 2016 and 1 June 2017 if you are entering Completed Buildings. 

What do I need to include on my online entry?

Entrants must submit an online entry which will include contact details and a minimum of:

  • Minimum of 6 x low resolution photographs of the project (maximum of 20)
  • 3 x further images of a site plan, floor plan, key section
  • Minimum of 3 x high resolution image, minimum of 300 DPI that may be used by our media partners should your project feature in any editorial coverage.
  • Minimum of 250 words of explanatory text
  • Artwork for your entry boards - please note this year we will be printing all of the entry boards for you to save you the time and effort of arranging print and delivery. See further details about your entry boards.

and a maximum of:

  • 20 images including photographs, elevations, sections, details and plans
  • 1000 words of explanatory text

Please ensure that you are authorised to use all images. By submitting the entry you acknowledge that World Architecture Festival and its partners have the right to reproduce photography, drawings and other information materials in whole or part without payment of copyright (where we are made aware of their names, photographers will be acknowledged) in connection to the Festival.

What should my entry board artwork contain?

Each entry must comprise two A2 entry boards that will be viewed by WAF shortlisting judges. We will print your entry boards. Simply upload your entry board designs as the final stage of your online entry. Maximum upload of 12MB per board.

  • Entry board artwork must include photographs of the building (in either colour or black and white), a site plan, drawings and a 250 word description in English
  • Entry board artwork must be sized for A2 boards- 420mm (wide) x 594mm (high), approximately 16.5in wide x 23.4in high
  • To ensure anonymity in judging, no names of entrants or collaborating parties may appear on any part of the front of the board
  • Your PDF should be supplied as four-colour process CMYK and not RGB colour space
  • All fonts are embedded or converted to outlines (so that no fonts are needed)
  • All image resolutions are to be above 300 dpi at 100% of the final image size
  • All images are to be embedded
  • PDF's are to be supplied with 3mm bleed

What language should my entry be in?

All entries must be submitted in English.

When is the entry deadline?

2 June 2017

How much is it to enter?

  • Early bird rate (ends 27 April): 875 EUR +VAT
  • Standard rate (after 27 April): 975 EUR +VAT

Enter three or more projects and receive a 15% discount. Use discount code MULTIENTRY15

When will I find out if I have been shortlisted?

Shortlisted entrants will be notified in writing by July 2017 and supplied with finalist promotional material. The full shortlist will be announced in numerous press titles from July onwards including by WAF's key media partners The Architectural Review, Arch Daily and Dezeen.

How judges are selected

Criteria for jury selection include:

  • The architect has won a WAF award
  • The architect is a previous category winner and has attracted favourable comment from entrants/delegates (we pick this up anecdotally)
  • Media partner editors or contributors known to have good critical faculties (either from their writing, or as a result of seeing them speak at other events)
  • Allied professionals for certain categories (for example a cost consultant or a client for a commercial category like Offices)
  • Geographical origin to ensure a balanced global judging group in the round
  • Experience and expertise in relation to particular building types
  • Recipients of regional and international awards
  • Outstanding reputation as an architect or allied professional
  • Outstanding critic
  • International experience as an architect or allied professional
  • Known critical faculties

Prize judging

In the case of prizes, which may be awarded for excellence in respect of a particular aspect of design (for example use of wood), entrants need to indicate that they wish to be considered for the prize on their electronic entry form. There is a three-part process:

  • The design must have been shortlisted by the shortlisting judges
  • A shortlist of entries is developed by independent judges in advance of the Festival
  • An expert panel reviews final presentations at the Festival
  • Criteria for judge selection include (a) designer known to have produced excellent work with a relationship to the prize subject; and/or (b) advanced technical knowledge

How judging takes place


  • All entry boards are laid out in their categories for consideration by judges
  • Judges work in pairs on several categories
  • Judges are explicitly asked to pick a shortlist, i.e. not trying to identify winner(s), which reflect design quality in the round, looking for evidence of innovation, imagination, expression etc. both within the terms of the category and in their potential contribution to architecture generally

Category judging

  • Takes place on the first two days of the Festival
  • Each category has an international panel of three judges
  • Each panel operates in a ‘crit room’
  • For each category it judges, the panel needs to select a winner, it may also award a high commendation but is not obliged to
  • After the final day’s presentation, each jury decides in private who has won, and the chair produces brief comments on what the jury liked about the winner
  • All presentations take 10 minutes and juries have eight minutes to ask questions and discuss the project with the architect. All finalists must send two delegates to present their project.
  • The judges represent the audience of delegates, who do not ask questions
  • Category winners are announced at the end of each day, following the keynote

Prize judging

  • This takes place on the morning of the final day in crit rooms
  • Presentations and judging follow the category judging pattern, though there may be more discussion depending on the number of finalists
  • Following the final presentation the jury decides on the winner
  • The prize winners are announced at the Gala Dinner

Overall winners judging

  • This takes place on the final day of the Festival using two stages and two crit rooms
  • Category winners present their designs and are quizzed  by the super-jury in the same format at category judging
  • The four ‘best-in-show’ awards cover Completed Buildings; Interiors; Future Projects; and Landscape
  • As with category judging, after final presentations the juries meet in private to decide the winners, and each chair provides notes on why the winner won
  • The winners are announced at the Gala Dinner

Guidance to judges/entrants

  • All judges are provided with an outline of their role including guidance for assessing architectural quality based on ‘Design Review’, written by Peter Stewart for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), 2002. Downloadable here.
  • Chairs of juries have additional guidance on their role, particularly in relation to time-keeping
  • In general we ask that decisions be reached by consensus reached through discussion using their expert judgement
  • We do not use formal scoring or checklists

Will I receive my entry board?

Entry boards will not be returned to the entrant. Boards will be recycled or displayed at subsequent WAF events.

Where will my entry be publicised?

At the festival:

  • All entries will be exhibited in the awards gallery on site at the Festival and included in the Festival catalogue.

Other outlets:

  • Winners and entries may be published in our media partner publications (at their discretion).
  • Exhibition boards may be displayed at subsequent exhibitions.
  • We will provide information on all winning entries to other architectural magazines, newspapers and relevant media worldwide.
  • Submission of an entry will be taken to imply the granting of permission to publish all material and particulars of the successful schemes, including the jury report. The names and addresses of private residential clients will not be published.
  • The winning building will feature on the homepage of Festival website after the event


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