Speakers for the 2016 World Architecture Festival (WAF) seminar program have been announced, including international architects with projects on the go in Australia.

Shop Architects principal, Coren Sharples and Morten Schmidt of Schmidt Hammer Lassen will share their knowledge and expertise during a speaker session on the second day of the festival, which will be held at Arena Berlin in Berlin, Germany between 16 and 18 November.

Sharples and Schmidt’s talk, ‘Housing and the urban block’ is aligned to the festival theme ‘Housing for Everyone’ and will explore how architects can use their influence to ensure housing is woven into the urban fabric where it sits. Their discussion will also question what services, infrastructure and other considerations are required for the design of housing, recognising occupiers’ need for connectivity and a sense of place.

For those Australians journeying to WAF, the talk will also be a good chance to gain insight into the processes and considerations influencing the architects’ Australian projects.

Shop worked with Woods Bagot on the design for the recently approved 447 Collins Street in Melbourne, a skyscraper project that will literally stich two buildings together, one residential and one office, at their apex with a skybridge. The building has earned the nickname ‘pantscraper’ and is a unique strategy for a mixed-use building, one that Shop architects have become known for around the globe and one Sharples will likely touch on at WAF.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s commitment to connectivity and sense of place in architecture will also be on display in the near future in Melbourne. The team was selected along with Architectus to transform the State Library of Victoria to meet the current and future needs of the community and is due for completion in 2020.

Sharples and Schmidt will be joined by a formidable lineup of speakers that includes the likes of Patrik Schumacher (director of Zaha Hadid Architects), Peter Cook (director at Crab Studio) and Ole Scheeren (principal at Buro Ole Scheeren).

This year’s festival will be held at Arena Berlin in Berlin, Germany between 16 and 18 November, with the theme ‘Housing for Everyone’. 

Other topics in the program include demographic shifts, low-cost poverty relief housing, housing and cultural difference, architects as instigators, energy use in architecture, expectations of luxury housing and weaving housing into urban fabrics.

The winners of the 2016 World Architecture Festival Awards will be announced during the festival, with the 2016 World Building of the Year being chosen from the category winners.