Press Release:
‘Performance’ is announced as theme for World Architecture Festival 2017 edition

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The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced that ‘Performance’ will be the theme for its tenth edition, which is to be held at the Arena Berlin in Germany from 15-17 November 2017.

The CKK Jordanki concert hall in Poland, by Menis Arquitectos, which was shortlisted in the Completed Buildings: Culture category at WAF 2016

The CKK Jordanki concert hall in Poland, by Menis Arquitectos, which was shortlisted in the Completed Buildings: Culture category at WAF 2016

The notion of performance in architecture will be central to this year’s architectural tour programme, including a visit to Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonie, which inspired the concept of listening to music in the round when it opened in 1963.

Other destinations on the tour programme include Radialsystem V, by Gerhard Spangenberg, the former pumping station now repurposed for use as a venue for contemporary dance and music events, and Frank Gehry’s Pierre Boulez Concert Hall.

Revealing the theme for 2017, WAF Programme Director Paul Finch commented: “This year we will examine the multiple aspects of performance that architecture has to embrace: aesthetic, technical, economic and psychological.

We will be discussing buildings designed for performance – for example theatres and concert halls – but also the role that buildings play in the life and spectacle of the city itself.”

The WAF Awards, the ‘Oscars of architecture’, sit at the heart of the Festival and celebrate global architectural excellence across completed buildings, future projects and landscape projects. Entries are being welcomed in 31 categories.

Entrants for the WAF Awards programme can take advantage of an Early Bird rate until 27 April. The final deadline for entries this year is 18 May. Practices submitting three or more projects will be able to enjoy a 15% discount on entry fees.

Past winners include Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, Snøhetta, Isay Weinfeld and Foster + Partners as well as ones to watch Vo Trong Nghia, Farshad Mehdizadeh and Gustavo Penna.

View a selection of the top performance venues that have been shortlisted for a WAF award in its 10 year history:

Following a triumphant return to Europe in 2016 after four successful years in Singapore, this year’s edition will again be housed in Franz Ahrens’ historic former bus depot. 2016 was the best attended edition yet, with more than 2,300 of the world’s leading architects and designers attending WAF and its co-located sister event INSIDE World Festival of Interiors for three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events.


For more details on how to enter the WAF Awards please visit

@worldarchfest #WAF2017

Press, image and interview requests: Caro Communications: 020 7713 9388; @carocomms

Gloria Roberts –

Notes to Editors

Why get involved in World Architecture Festival?

Universal recognition, WAF is where the world architecture community meets to celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired.

World Architecture Festival is now the world’s largest, annual, international architectural event. It includes the biggest architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries.

The 2017 World Architecture Festival (WAF) comprises 5 key elements:

– The WAF Awards

– A thematic conference programme

– An exhibition of Award entries

– Sponsor and exhibitor stands

– A series of networking/social events, as well as WAF fringe activities

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors runs alongside WAF, with its own awards and conference programme. Delegates have access to both events.

WAF and INSIDE are organized by EMAP, publishers of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal.

Entry information:

Shortlisted entrants will compete for category prizes on the first two days of the three-day Festival, which will take place in Berlin on the 15, 16 and 17 November 2017. On the final day, category winners will present again to ‘super-juries’ of experienced and respected judges, who will decide on the World Landscape, Future Project and Completed Building of the Year Awards.


WAF Award categories:

WAF Manifesto:

To celebrate reaching its tenth edition, World Architecture Festival organisers have this year launched the WAF Manifesto. The Manifesto identifies key challenges which architects will need to address over the next ten years, including climate, energy and carbon; water; ageing and health; re-use; smart city technology; building technology; cultural identity; ethics and values; power and justice; and virtual worlds.

This year, WAF will identify buildings and future projects, entered for its awards programme, which also address the Manifesto issues. Special awards will be made to exemplary projects, which will be exhibited as part of a tenth anniversary exhibition featuring key winners from the past decade.


WAF is proud to work with Founder Partner, Grohe, and headline partners ABB Busch-Jaeger and Miele.