Six UAE projects shortlisted for World Architecture Festival 2021

Winners from more than 400 entries around the world will be announced at the event in December

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Six projects from the UAE, including Abu Dhabi’s currently under construction Zayed National Museum, have made it to the shortlist of the World Architecture Festival, with winners to be announced in December.

The shortlist, which spans two main categories – Completed Buildings and Future Projects – contains more than 400 entries from around the world.

The Zayed National Museum, which won the festival’s Cultural Identity award earlier in July, is nominated under the Future Projects category.

Designed by acclaimed UK architects Foster + Partners, the building is distinguished by a cluster of five steel towers that soar into the sky – some as tall as 123 metres – that evoke the wings of the falcon, the UAE's national bird.

Scroll through the gallery above for projects in the UAE nominated at the World Architecture Festival.

A handout rendering of Zayed National Museum by (Courtesy: TDIC) *** Local Caption ***  al15ja-museum-zayed.jpg

The museum will narrate the story of Sheikh Zayed, Founding Father, and highlight the history of the region and its cultural connections with countries around the world, according to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Other completed buildings in the shortlist include Sharjah’s House of Wisdom (also by Foster + Partners) and Buhais Geology Park's Interpretive Centre (by Hopkins Architects).

Expo 2020 Dubai’s Sustainability Pavilion, Terra (by Grimshaw Architects), has also been nominated in the Display section under Completed Buildings.

Abu Dhabi’s 27,500-square-metre Al Fay Park, which boasts more than 2,000 trees, also makes it to the shortlist, under the Landscape - Urban Context section in the Completed Buildings category. The forest-like space on Al Reem Island, designed by SLA Architects, opened to the public in January.

Also nominated under Landscape is Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Hosn park-scape, the 140,000-square-metre park built around the Qasr Al Hosn Fort in the centre of the city.

Originally built in 1760 as a watchtower to protect the only freshwater well on Abu Dhabi island, the site constitutes the birthplace of the modern metropolis, according to architectural firm Cebra, which was tasked with the project.

“Introducing a new type of locally rooted urban landscape, the project combines modernity alongside the emirate’s maritime and desert heritage in a coherent narrative that communicates between the site’s two contrasting buildings,” Cebra said.

"The project emphasises this duality by dividing the site diagonally into two contrasting landscapes. The design links the landscapes of the desert with that of the city to emphasise the significance of the relations between traditional Emirati culture, the nature of Abu Dhabi island and the modern metropolitan identity.”

A number of projects in the Gulf also make it to the shortlist, including Qatar’s Al Janoub Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects, nominated in the Completed Buildings category under Sport.

Saudi Arabia's Ashar Electrification Project in Al Ula by Gio Forma, the coming E-Games Arena in Riyadh by M3N + BBA Designer & Consultants, Diriyah Gate in Riyadh and a private villa in Jeddah called Monolithic House by architecture firm Mi-nus were also nominated in the Future Projects category.

With last year's World Architecture Festival Awards cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's shortlist features projects completed between 2019 and 2021. Winners will be announced at the event, to be held from Wednesday to Friday, December 1 to 3 in Lisbon, Portugal, where the World Building of the Year will also be named.

Scroll through the gallery below for other projects from around the world named in the shortlist for the World Architecture Festival:

Updated: July 28, 2021, 3:58 AM