BVN, Cox Architecture, ThomsonAdsett, Grimshaw, FMD Architects, Durbach Block Jaggers and John Wardle Architects were some of the Australian architecture studios that stood proudly amongst the award-winners at the 2021 World Architecture Festival (WAF), the world’s largest annual international architectural event that took place virtually last week.

The 2021 WAF Awards saw 496 shortlisted projects in 39 categories from 62 countries across completed buildings, future projects and landscape. Of the 30 Australian projects shortlisted for the awards, Australian architects won in seven categories.

Cox Architecture took out two WAF awards for Completed Buildings – School and Completed Buildings – Sport. Working in collaboration with ThomsonAdsett, Cox designed Fortitude Valley State Secondary College (FVSSC), Queensland’s first vertical school and also the first inner-city school built in over 60 years.

Cox won the award in the Completed Buildings – Sport category for their work on the Ken Rosewall Arena Redevelopment at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. The new multipurpose outdoor arena includes an operable fa├žade to enclose the arena for the netball season, while providing an open, outdoor feel when raised in tennis mode. The striking roof is an innovative cable-tension structure and PTFE fabric design, a first for stadia in Australia, designed by Cox in collaboration with Arup and Fabritecture.

The proposed Sydney headquarters of tech company Atlassian, designed by US architectural practice SHoP Architects and Australian studio BVN won the Future Projects – Office award. Expected to be the world’s tallest hybrid timber building on completion, the 40-storey $1 billion-plus mixed use development will offer 58,683sqm of office space along with backpackers’ accommodation, as well as lobby and retail spaces.

Melbourne’s FMD Architects won the award for Completed Buildings – House & Villa (Rural/Nature) with their Tasmanian Coopworth project.

The Completed Buildings – Office award went to Grimshaw for their work on the Olderfleet project – a 58,000sqm PCA Premium Grade office tower located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Set back from three heritage-listed buildings on Collins Street, the 38-storey office can accommodate over 5,000 people. Featuring a tenant-focused design with a vertical village concept, the Olderfleet tower was conceptualised as a future-workplace precinct to create a highly flexible, rich urban community experience.

Phoenix Central Park, a gallery and performance space located in Chippendale in inner-city Sydney won the Completed Buildings – Culture award, with the design brought together by two architects: John Wardle Architects designed the gallery in the east wing while Durbach Block Jaggers designed the performance space.

John Wardle Architects also took out a second award for their work on Holme Apartments in Melbourne’s Collingwood, winning in the Completed Buildings – Housing category.