Messner Mountain Museum Corones, Italy (2015) – Culture Category

Embedded within the summit of Mount Kronplatz, 2,275m above sea level at the centre of South Tyrol’s most popular ski resort, the Messner Mountain Museum Corones is surrounded by the alpine peaks of the Zillertal, Ortler and Dolomites. Established by renowned climber Reinhold Messner, the sixth and final Messner Mountain Museum explores the traditions, history and discipline of mountaineering.

Informed by the shards of rock and ice of the surrounding landscape, concrete canopies have been cast in-situ and rise from the ground to protect the museum’s entrance, viewing windows and terrace. Zaha Hadid explained the concept of the design: “The idea is that visitors can descend within the mountain to explore its caverns and grottos, before emerging through the mountain wall on the other side, out onto the terrace overhanging the valley far below with spectacular, panoramic views.”

d’Leedon, Singapore (2014) – Housing Category

d’Leedon Singapore, designed and built for Capitaland, with 340 unique apartment layouts is the largest residential development in the city state. The petal-shaped floorplan for the 36 storey towers allows for windows on three sides of every apartment and natural ventilation in all kitchens and bathrooms. With varied geometries, the orientation and placement of the seven towers is optimized in response to environmental considerations.

The site presented a number of constraints with two MRT underground tunnels and the primary water main supply to Singapore from Malaysia running directly beneath the site, together with strict setback regulations at the western edge of the site. d’Leedon’s design turns these challenges of the site to the advantage for residents, embracing the concept of differentiation, where single apartments have been customized and specifically designed according to their location and position within the site, as well as the requirements of the residents.

Investcorp Building for Oxford University’s Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, UK (2015) – Higher Education and Research Category

Integrating new academic and research facilities within a design defined by the existing built and natural environment of the college, the Investcorp Building maintains the detached character of the college’s existing buildings, allowing them to be read as separate elements. The design weaves through the restricted site at St Antony’s College while its stainless steel façade softly reflects natural light to echo the building’s context.

The curved form of the library reading room’s western façade accommodates the century-old Sequoia tree and its extensive root network with a drainage system below the foundation slabs to ensure the tree receives enough moisture. The new Investcorp Building connects disparate buildings within the college, defining a series of spaces for the centre’s renowned archive, library and seminar programmes; allowing the Middle East Centre to expand its commitment as a vital forum of research and debate. In its citation, the RIBA Award committee noted: “This is a project that demonstrates great virtuosity and a huge amount of technical skill… the architect, the contractor and the client worked well together to produce a superb building which will stand the test of time.”

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) is the world’s largest international architectural event consisting of awards, conferences and exhibitions. The 2016 WAF will take place in Berlin, Germany, between November 16 and 18 and winning projects in each category will go on to challenge for the “World Building of the Year”.

Previous ZHA projects shortlisted by the WAF include London Aquatics Centre, DDP Seoul, Jockey Club Innovation Tower in Hong Kong and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku. The MAXXI Museum in Rome was named the WAF “World Building of the Year” in 2010.