Dezeen Magazine

World Architecture Festival 2015 finalists presented at Populous-designed exhibition

World Architecture Festival 2015: Aaron Richardson of Populous explains how the architecture firm used paper and cardboard to create a portable display system to showcase shortlisted projects for this year's World Architecture Festival, in this movie filmed by Dezeen.

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

Populous's exhibition design, which was unveiled at the World Architecture Festival's London satellite event in June, consists of a gallery displaying shortlisted work, as well as a large structure made from stacked pieces of cardboard.

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

"We've created an architectural form out of 101 pieces of honeycomb card," Richardson says in the movie.

"What we've done is bring to life the identity of the festival. So it's made up from W-shaped forms that clip together to create a display over eight-metres high."

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

The large structure screens off a performance area, where finalists presented their work.

"It breaks up the space and provides an anchor for the various event activity going on," Richardson explains.

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

Tasked with displaying over 300 different awards entries in the gallery, Populous chose to maximise space by displaying the projects on strips of paper suspended from the ceiling with wire and magnets.

"The thought in the gallery space is that we float everything and bring it off the wall," Richardson says. "So it's almost like you're walking through a forest of submissions."

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

Half the space is filled with completed projects, which include a ribbon-like chapel in Japan, a cavernous wooden grotto in Canada and an Australian house designed to look like a village.

The other half of the gallery is dedicated to future projects, while interiors shortlisted for sister event Inside Festival are displayed in a row along one side of the space.

"Everything's taken off the wall, everything's floating," Richardson says. "The way you navigate it is up to you. There's no prescribed route through this thing."

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

Richardson says that portability was an important part of the brief set by the World Architecture Festival.

"This is the start of something new for World Architecture Festival, " he says. "In future WAF want to do more of these satellite events, so this is a designed experience that they can then physically take with them to other places. Everything came in a small van, it can be moved anywhere."

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

The exhibition's next stop will be Singapore, where World Architecture Festival's main event will take place from 4 to 6 November at Marina Bay Sands.

Winners will be selected from across 31 categories and announced during the festival, while one project will be selected by a super jury to become World Building of the Year. Judges this year include Sou Fujimoto, Charles Jencks and Peter Cook.

"Everything you see here will be packed up and taken to Singapore, where the winners will be announced later this year," says Richardson.

World Architecture Festival exhibition designed by Populous

Last year the World Building of the Year award went to The Chapel, a community space in Vietnam designed by local firm a21studio. Other past winners include an art gallery in New Zealand and the Gardens by the Bay tropical park in Singapore.

Dezeen is media partners for World Architecture Festival and sister event Inside Festival.

Aaron Richardson of Populous
Aaron Richardson of Populous. Copyright: Dezeen

This movie was produced by Dezeen for the World Architecture Festival. It was filmed at World Architecture Festival London, which ran from 24 to 27 June at Ambika P3 at Westminster University, London. The music featured is by UK producer 800xL.

Photography is by Hufton + Crow, unless otherwise stated.