Open for entry for 2021

Standard Deadline: Thursday 20 May

This year’s global WAN Awards will acknowledge and celebrate excellent architecture. Now in its 13th year, the awards will recognise the outstanding works of innovative, visionary and imaginative architects worldwide. 

And to give all entrants new opportunities to showcase their work, the World Architecture News website will be hosting detailed updates of entries as they come in. 

As in previous years, the 2021 WAN Awards will judged by an extensive panel of top international experts who will put entries through a rigorous and trusted process and reinforce the awards’ truly global outlook.

A note from the World Architecture News editor

Alison Carter, Editor

"All architecture, and the interiors that lie within, have a vital impact on our lives.  

Despite the current challenges as the world grapples to manage the pandemic, the WAN Awards and the WIN Awards shine a light forward and promote the visions of the creative and outstanding work of innovative and imaginative architects and interior designers worldwide.

The awards are supported by World Architecture News (WAN) and World Interiors News (WIN) which provide a global news platform for architects and designers.  In 2020, the site was regularly viewed by 221 countries worldwide. 

It’s important to amplify and celebrate the positive news in these global sectors and 2020 saw the launch of Female Frontiers, Powered by World Architecture News. This new awards scheme, specifically designed to for women in architecture, is supported by the extremely popular Women Build podcast. Each episode highlights inspirational women in the global architecture arena, asks what’s important to them and points the spotlight on outstanding projects. 

Enter this year's awards to showcase your projects, talent and expertise on an international scale and affirm your position as a global leader in architecture."

World Build Podcast

This podcast will tackle the important questions that need to be asked around architecture and design in today's challenging world.

Entry information

Entry fees

Main categories
Early Bird - £495 + VAT
Standard - £555 + VAT

Future Projects
Standard - £495 + VAT

Rising Star/Emerging Practice of the Year
Standard - £395 + VAT

Pro Bono Architecture
Standard - £295 + VAT

All prices are per entry and exclusive of VAT. VAT will be applied to UK based companies. Entries submitted after Thursday 20 May 2021 are subject to a £75+VAT late fee.

Key Dates

Early bird entry deadline: Thursday 29 April 2021

Standard entry deadline: Thursday 20 May 2021

Final entry deadline: Friday 4 June 2021

Shortlist announcement: Late August 2021

Results to be announced: November 2021


To be eligible, projects must have been completed since 1 January 2018, except pop-ups and temporary exhibitions, which should have been completed since 1 January 2019.

View the FAQs here. 


Showcasing architectural excellence across the spectrum of sporting and recreation facilities. We will be looking at a variety of different building uses for this award, to name a few: stadia, sports complexes, Olympic venues, sailing pavilions, grandstands, skiing facilities, training facilities, gymnasiums, fitness clubs and indoor swimming pools. We encourage entries to acknowledge the impact of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).


Highlighting designs that create new models for living and new ways of inhabiting space. We are looking for the best examples of recent multi-occupancy residential builds, from
apartment blocks to University campuses.

Please be reminded that homes which are one-off builds; from economical to luxury, should go into the House of the Year category, NOT the Residential category.


Rewarding ideas that enhance movement and access. Whether large or small, we’re celebrating designs across the whole transport spectrum, from train stations to transit hubs, airports to seaports, and parking structures to cycling and pedestrian schemes. We are looking for transportation systems that reimagine the way in which we move within and experience the built environment.


Mixed Use
Mixed-use projects inherently overlap with other sectors but still often form the backbone of large-scale urban developments. Given the volume of mixed-use projects being constructed, our judges here will be looking for designs that elevate your project above the others. One or more of the following will score points: innovation in your approach, how the mix of uses delivers the client’s commercial drivers, if and how your design engenders a sense of community, does your project provide flexibility for future uses?, does it create a secure environment?, does it generally enhance the development? This category is open to a mix of uses within a development, not restricted to the same building.


Urban Landscape
Recognising designs that respond to and enhance the urban environment through the creation of engaging, meaningful places. From interactive public spaces to major infrastructure works, enhancements and small developments to the largest master plans, this category provides the ideal platform to showcase the ground-breaking work being carried out across the world today. In this category, judges will also be looking for projects that engage with and enhance surrounding buildings and local community.


Showcasing the finest in public sector architecture. Projects will be rewarded not only for their architectural quality and sustainability credentials, but also for their impact on the surrounding area and wider contribution to the local community with a focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) - from galleries to libraries, police stations to government buildings.


Celebrating pioneering projects that are purposed for business activities. We are searching for designs that are advancing practice and setting new standards within commercial architecture, whether an office, industrial, restaurant, retail outlet, hotel or shopping mall. The judges will also be looking for designs that facilitate flexibility in this fast changing sector.


Celebrating the best in architectural design for all levels of educational and research use, from nurseries and kindergartens right through to universities and research facilities.


Championing human-centred designs that enhance not only the patient/visitor experience but maximise operational efficiency and help improve patient outcomes – whether a hospital, clinic, care home or surgery.


Projects that can be submitted for this category include any of the following; concept designs, competition entries, projects under construction provided that they are not completed on or before 6 JUNE 2021. Our judges will be looking for designs that deliver new levels of energy efficiency, technology, sustainability and innovative solutions in urbanisation. Celebrating excellence for ‘design only’ projects across the seven core sectors:


Future Projects: Civic
Future Projects: Commercial
Future Projects: Education
Future Projects: Healthcare
Future Projects: Leisure
Future Projects: Residential
Future Projects: Transport
Future Projects: Mixed Use
Future Projects: Urban Design
House of the Year
Celebrating the most ambitious and inspiring projects that have been designed by architects across the globe. We’re looking for architects who have continued to push the creative envelope by designing ever more stylish yet sustainable single-family houses, balancing innovation with efficiency and functionality with aesthetic rigour.


Adaptive Reuse
In the pursuit of sustainable development and maintaining a connection with the past for the next generation, this highly competitive category celebrates buildings that have been renovated, restored or repurposed preserving the past for the next generation. Our panel of expert judges will be looking for projects that deliver the most striking transformative effects, while remaining sympathetic to the building’s original character in what will be an eco-friendly and considerate way of moving architecture forward.


Affordable Housing
This award recognises the importance of the affordable housing sector and showcases the innovation being applied to social and affordable housing projects. We are looking for the best examples of recent multi-occupancy residential builds, from apartment blocks to university campuses, submissions can be of any size, scale and proportion. We encourage entries to acknowledge the impact of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).


Colour in Architecture
Celebrating projects that harness the use of colour to dramatically transform a building or enhance the experience for its users and community. The judges will be recognising projects with colour schemes that are impactful in their respective building environments.


Championing the most innovative and original projects from across the globe recognising and promoting excellence in this increasingly important element of building design. Our judges are looking for designs that harness the latest technical advances to create visually stunning, cost-effective and highly efficient envelopes.


Small Spaces
A specialist category celebrating permanent and temporary small-scale architecture. With diminishing land availability, decreasing budgets and real estate at a premium, it falls upon architects and engineers to create ever more imaginative solutions to small-scale structures. From performance spaces, chapels, annexes and to cabins, restrooms and pavilion, our judges will be looking for smaller projects that demonstrate quality design excellence.


Sustainable Energy use within a Project
Sustainable Architecture supports the use of sustainable energy sources and where feasible, steps to design for energy efficiency, including the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal products. The energy efficiency of buildings and energy conservation is also key with the use of insulating materials, glazing and ventilation all ensuring best possible outcomes.


Use of Sustainable and Environmentally-friendly Building Materials
Sustainable architecture will use environmentally-friendly building materials, recycled or renewable if possible as well as materials that use minimal energy to manufacture. Natural materials which are harvested responsibly and locally sourced products which reduce travel and support local economies are all key elements for a sustainable architect.


Sustainable Design and Land Use
Sustainable architecture needs to be sensitive to its location and recognise the existing natural resources as well as accommodate local environmental conditions effectively into the build. Sustainable architecture uses, where possible, local energy provision and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment.


Best Overall Sustainable Architecture Project
This project incorporates all the key elements of a sustainable architectural design including demonstrating the use of sustainable energy sources, building materials as well as maintaining sustainable best practices in terms of land use.


Pro-bono Architecture
Brand new for 2021, this category will be focusing on projects with a humanitarian focus at their core. The winner will be an example of built work developed pro-bono or with particular attention from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) standpoint contributing to the built environment in a way that benefits communities.


Returning for 2021, the winner in this category will be awarded for excellence in the design and renovation of bridges. Including bridges for highways, railways, pedestrians, cycles or other light/heavyweight bridge structures.


Tall Buildings
Recognising designs that push tall buildings into new and exciting directions. Our judges will be looking for projects that redefine tall building design through the implementation of innovative technologies, plans, materials, and urban context. We encourage entries to acknowledge the impact of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).


Celebrating and highlighting projects that embrace and exploit the benefits of sites in proximity to water, whether working, living, or both. Whether it be a city port, harbourfront, canal or riverside, riverfront or the water’s edge, water plays an important role in balancing urban spaces. This award will aim to bring together some of the best designs and also highlight projects that have addressed the major issue of rising sea levels.


Concrete in Architecture
Recognising designs that explore the sculptural and expressive possibilities of this highly versatile material across all building types, from private residences to public buildings.


Glass in Architecture
Celebrating all things glass, whether an internal staircase or an external skyscraper wall. The judges will still want to see how the building’s eco-credentials stack up, mitigating both heat loss and heat gain.


Wood in Architecture
Celebrating the structural and aesthetic mastery behind the world’s most imaginative timber structures. Whether commercial, public or private, we’re searching for pioneering projects that take this highly distinctive material to new and exciting places.


Outstanding Project of the Year (Winner chosen at judges’ discretion – not open for entry)
The gold award winning projects from all other categories will be eligible to be considered for the Outstanding Project award.


Rising Star / Emerging Practice of the Year
Introduced to allow up-and-coming architects and firms to showcase their work on a global stage. The entry should feature at least 3 completed projects that the individual/firm are particularly proud of. This award runs across all sectors and will allow the architect/ firm to explain the rationale behind his/her designs and show a consistency of design quality and originality. The category is open to all firms under ten years old or founded after 1 January 2010.

Please note that in order to be eligible for this award, your entry must feature at least 3 completed projects.


Architect / Practice of the Year
This award is open to all architecture firms and individuals, however the winner will have a proven track record in delivering original architectural designs and include completed projects in at least three sectors. The judges will be looking for architects who take a holistic approach to design, who both embrace a challenge and inspire others with the completed building. Please note that in order to be eligible for this category, you must also enter at least two other categories.



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Managing Director
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REMI.C.T Studio
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Chapman Taylor
Aukett Swanke Group Plc
Managing Director - International
Design Director
Associate, Studio Director
Scott Brownrigg
Skidmore Owings Merrill
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Partner company
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Design233 Media
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Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects
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Mackay + Partners
Director and Founder
Dalberg Advisors
Formed Architects & Designers UK Ltd
Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Executive Director
MMA Design Studio
Blair + Mui Dowd Architects
Maggie Mullan Architects Ltd
C.F. M
Associate Partner
Levitt Bernstein
Associate Director
Nudge Group
Heinz Richardson
Buro Nineteen
Partner-Design Director
Sheffield University School of Architecture
Director Collaborative Practice
Dennis Sharp Architects
Tsinghua University, School of Architecture
Prof. Dr.
Bogle Architects
Managing Director
Woods Bagot
CBT Architects
Principal, Director of Urban Design
b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos
West-line Studio
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Senior Partner

WAN Awards 2020

Watch the 2020 Awards ceremony
The 2020 WAN Awards, powered by World Architecture News, took place as a digital ceremony on the 17-19 November 2020.

A big congratulations to all of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Award winners.

The WAN Awards also showcased four content sessions, which you can view below.

Watch the content from the Awards

Reshaping Architecture

Sustainability on a reduced budget

Unpacking Adaptive Reuse

Urban Landscape

Sponsorship Opportunities

Align yourself with excellence
The World Architecture News Awards brings together the most senior and influential professionals from across Architecture to recognise and celebrate excellence. The Awards shine a spotlight on the standout architectural projects and the amazing people and teams behind them. 

To ensure only the very best work and people make it through to the shortlist we bring together a jury of top industry professionals - we take pride in the depth and rigorousness of our judging process. 

The World Architecture News Awards offer you the chance to align your business with the people, teams and companies that are leading the way in Architecture.

As a marketing and business development opportunity, the Awards offer you the chance to promote your products and services to our audience. Build your brand at our premier events, whether in person or digitally, in our marketing campaigns as well as the awards website.

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Please get in contact and we can build a bespoke package to deliver any business objective, please contact Simin Bevis on: [email protected] or +44 (0)7717 888903

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