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Iran in 2017 World Architecture Festival
Iran in 2017 World Architecture Festival

Iran in 2017 World Architecture Festival

The 2017 WAF Awards is now closed for entries; but since the festival officials have reestablished ties with Iranian architects, they have created a special WAF Award for the best building designed and completed by an Iranian architecture company in the p

Iran in 2017 World Architecture Festival

After a three-year hiatus, Iran is participating in the 2017 World Architecture Festival (WAF) in a special award category.
The WAF is slated for November 15-17 in Berlin. The venue of the international event is the Arena Berlin complex.  
WAF is a platform for the world architecture community to meet, celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired. At the event, key speakers from among the industry’s most influential figures sit alongside live critique presentations and judge over 400 award finalists. The festival also features a 500 project strong gallery and an international product exhibition.
"Because of the sanctions, Iran could not attend WAF for three consecutive years. One major reason was that our architects could not pay the festival entry fees due to restrictions on money transfer through banks," architect Reza Najafian told ILNA.
The 2017 WAF Awards is now closed for entries; but since the officials of the festival have reestablished ties with Iranian architects, they have created a special WAF Award for the best building designed and completed by an Iranian architecture company in the past three years. 
For this purpose, WAF will create a special jury who will meet in Berlin on November 17, where shortlisted Iranian architects will be able to present their designs. The prize will be presented at a gala awards dinner on the same evening. This year on its 10th anniversary, the closing ceremony of the festival will take place at the historical building of Postbahnhof in Berlin, once a major hub of railway mail traffic. 
Renowned Architecture Awards Event
"WAF is among the most renowned architecture award festivals across the world. It is held annually and includes a wide range of categories. Meticulous projects from around the world compete at the festival which is held in a different country each year," Najafian said.
About the special section at the 2017 WAF designated to Iranian architecture, he said: "When we are out of the international competition, our projects cannot be evaluated at the global level."
He recalled that in 2015, Iranian Architects Society, based in Tehran, signed a petition urging WAF to reconsider their decision to exclude Iranian architects from the 2015 World Architecture Festival.
Following WAF's new arrangements now which allow conditional participation by Iranian architects, the Iranian Architects Society sent WAF another letter, requesting international participation, not a separate section for Iranian architects. So far, over 500 acclaimed Iranian architects have signed the letter, including Najafian.
"The letter calls for Iran's inclusion in all categories of WAF. It is the diverse competitors that make such festivals attractive … If we are supposed to be compared among ourselves, we will not be able to fully appreciate or compete in the festival."
He stressed “We hope to be able to participate in the international section of the festival like the rest of the world."

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