World Architecture Festival 2016 to address international housing and immigration issues

Apr 26, 2016 -- Leading Berlin-based architects Lars Krückeberg and Juergen Mayer to respond to theme ‘Housing for Everyone’ at world’s largest annual international architecture event.
Lars Krückeberg, Founding Partner of GRAFT (© Paulus Ponizak); Juergen Mayer, Founder of J. Mayer H

Ahead of a launch reception tonight at The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory in Berlin, The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has announced new details of housing-themed speaking sessions at this year’s event.

Lars Krückeberg, Founding Partner of GRAFT, and Juergen Mayer, Founder of J. Mayer H., will speak as part of a session titled ‘Architect as instigator’, exploring the issues of housing and immigration and how architects can drive social change through the buildings and spaces they create.

Both GRAFT and J. Mayer H. are working on various housing projects across Germany. GRAFT is currently designing Eckwerk, a mixed-use project that will combine tech companies with housing for students and young professionals. J. Mayer H.’s recently completed Sonnenhof project consists of four new buildings with office and residential spaces in the historic center of Jena, creating a flexible pattern of use that also integrates itself conceptually into its surroundings.

Lars Krückeberg, Founding Partner of GRAFT, commented: “Before the beginning of the refugee migration crisis in 2015, Berlin was already gaining over 40,000 net inhabitants per annum. Additionally asylum claims have reached a historic high in Germany with 442,000 first applications in just one year. Housing is therefore a crucial issue for architects across the country.

“Our proposal for our Eckwerk project, for example, is a strategy of urban acupuncture that uses affordable housing as the most promising way to manipulate the natural tendencies of socio-economic change in the urban matrix. Like a Trojan Horse, the project intends to surprise both sides of the argument with a “third way”, proving that affordable housing in high price areas is possible.”

Award submissions are being welcomed across 30 categories for the WAF awards, as entrants look to replicate the success of last year’s World Building of the Year, Interlace by OMA/Buro Ole Scheeren, a largescale residential project in Singapore. Entries for the WAF awards close on 19 May.

Paul Finch, Programme Director of the World Architecture Festival, added: “Our move from Singapore to Berlin has already triggered a big increase in interest from German architects. The strength of the economy and the high quality of buildings make our new location attractive for the showcasing of both completed and future work. Our conference theme of ‘Housing for Everyone’ strikes a chord in the country currently, and we particularly look forward to debating these important issues.”

David Chipperfield will also deliver a keynote speech, responding to the Festival’s theme “Housing for Everyone”. Adhering to the theme, the Festival’s conference programme will debate the growing understanding of how demographics and global urbanisation are forcing change in the way we think about housing, with imperatives to create shelter at one end of the spectrum, and sufficiency for occupation and investment at the other. In all cases, while acknowledging that wider forces are at play, the programme will examine the significant contribution that architects can make.

WAF and its co-located sister event INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, will welcome more than 2,000 of the world’s leading architects and designers to the city for three days of conference programmes, awards, exhibitions and fringe events from 16-18 November.

Returning for its ninth edition, and following four successful years in Singapore, the Festival returns to its European roots and will be housed in Franz Ahrens’ historic former bus depot, now known as Arena Berlin.


Interviews with Lars Krückeberg, Founding Partner of GRAFT and Paul Finch, Programme Director of World Architecture Festival are available on request. Extended written comments are also available.

For more details on how to enter the WAF Awards please visit
@worldarchfest #WAF2016

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

After four years, the World Architecture Festival will be returning to Europe and will take place in Berlin on the 16-18 November.

The 2016 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 16, 17 and 18 November 2016. 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 are proud to work with Founder Partner, Grohe.

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