The WAFX Prize (sponsored by Greencoat) is awarded to ten future projects that identify key challenges that architects will need to address in the coming years and was created as part of the World Architecture Festival’s 10th anniversary celebrations in 2017 (WAF 10 Manifesto). Winning future projects which address the Manifesto issues are entered for the prize. Key challenges span diverse topic areas, including climate, energy & carbon, water, ageing and health, re-use, smart cities, building technology, cultural identity, ethics, power and justice.
The prize winners will be given the opportunity to present their projects live at the World Architecture Festival on 28th and 29th November, with the overall winner receiving a prize at the Festival’s star-studded Gala Dinner on the 30th November, the culmination of the three-day event at the RAI convention centre in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. The WAFX judges were impressed by the diversity of innovative approaches by architects and designers across the globe, which varied from innovative solar panel fields in The Netherlands, to urban green corridors in Bangkok, eco farms in rural Vietnam and river parks in Colombia.
Over and above presenting this project on the Main Stage at the WAF Festival, Savage+Dodd and Urban Works will present their project as a WAF Shortlist competitor in the COMPETITION ENTRIES – FUTURE PROJECT category. Should they win in this round of judging they will go on to present to the Master Jury for the grand winner prize in the FUTURE category.
About the winning project
TOWER INTEN_CITY JOHANNESBURG
Re-imagining Tower on Main to include EQUITY, DIVERSITY and DENSITY in the inner city of Johannesburg
Rapid growth and investment resulted in an unprecedented concentration of high-rise developments in Johannesburg in the 1960’s. These towers served the exclusive interests of corporate capital. After the fall of Apartheid and the dramatic economic, demographic and political shifts, these towers remained unchallenged to serve their new context – one which is Urban, African + Cosmopolitan.
Further, Johannesburg has a historical debt relating to the inequality perpetuated by Apartheid spatial planning which is played out through everyday experiences of living and working in the city.
Tower Inten_city is a story of spatial justice showcasing the conversion of a previously inaccessible 30-storey inner city tower block into a mixed-use environment that combines;
• Dense apartment living that has compact living units for families and micro units for singles integrated with social interaction spaces throughout the vertical structure which provide space for relaxed and accessible social interaction whilst allowing for more residential units in the structure.
• A social lobby envisaged as a large public living room and retail mezzanine level which extends into a plaza around the tower that includes kiosks and a theatre allowing larger public gatherings or general public recreation space.
• Commercial office rental space that can accommodate a range of small to middle size businesses.
• A public landmark, which uses the roof of the tower as a gathering and event space and repurposes one of Johannesburg largest electronic billboards into a public notice board broadcasting events and content relevant to its community.
The intention is to create a dense concentration of living, working and social spaces in a tower that radically shifts the status quo on urban living in Johannesburg. The potential of the proposed design solution if replicated in other corporate enclaves within Johannesburg is a renewed balance of live work and play spaces within the city.
About the architects
Thiresh Govender (1978, South Africa) is an architect and urban designer practicing in Johannesburg. His work is driven to understand the larger forces shaping architecture and cities in our new democracy. He was awarded the Chevening Scholarship to complete his master’s in urban design at The Bartlett in 2006. Following intrepid travels to far-away places he set up UrbanWorks in Johannesburg as a means to explore the possibilities of practice and understand this unwieldly metropolis on design terms. He is deeply obsessed with the emergent spatial patterns of this city and its architecture – specifically its capacity to foster radical new possibilities. He leads Unit 14 at the University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture which investigates the Rogue Economies shaping Johannesburg.
Heather Dodd (Savage +Dodd Architects) is a partner in Savage + Dodd Architects based in Johannesburg South Africa. Savage + Dodd Architects believe in the power of design in restorative spatial justice and urban resilience. This has been a core theme in challenging an existing spatial Apartheid inheritance and working towards placemaking and equity in the urban environment. Heather has been involved in housing and urban regeneration projects in the inner city of Johannesburg for the past twenty years. Her skills have been in reimagining and re-purposing buildings to enable new and innovative uses within a rapidly changing urban context.
About the World Architecture Festival
Now in its 11th year. The World Architecture Festival (WAF) is an annual festival and awards ceremony for the architecture industry. It is the world’s largest peer-reviewed Awards program which attracts hundreds of entries from across the globe. At the festival around 500 shortlisted projects present their projects in a 10-minute session to a judging panel and compete for awards in 31 categories. One of these projects is awarded the World Building of the Year title. All the entries are published in the World Buildings Directory online database and each year the World Architecture Festival publishes a list of the winners of the awards. This year the live judging and presentations will be held in RAI Amsterdam on the 28th to the 30th of November