Two projects shortlisted for WAF Awards 2021

The finalists of this year’s WAF Awards were announced today, and we have the potential to win two prizes in the international competition, often referred to as the World Cup of Architecture. The Student House in Linköping and the Bølgen bath & leisure centre in Drøbak, Norway have been shortlisted in the Higher Education and Research and Sport categories respectively.

WAF Awards is one of the world’s most prestigious architectural awards. The festival and competition attract over 2,200 architects and clients from around the world each year. As a finalist in the competition, the next step is to present the project live during the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon in December to an internationally renowned jury.


The Student House, designed by White Arkitekter for Akademiska Hus with Peab Sweden as contractor, has 1,000 study places and is an identity-creating building for the whole campus. The award-winning building is an attractive meeting place with the highest sustainability profile that contributes to the development of the entire area. With its seven floors, the Student House stands out from the surrounding low-rise university buildings. The building is a clear new landmark for Linköping University and the new entrance to the campus area.

The solutions are based on our practical research to create a creative environment that puts people first. Daylight simulations have guided the design of the spaces and the choice of materials and parametric design were used to create the characterful red façade that is energy efficient and provides optimal lighting conditions. The Student House has been certified according to Miljöbyggnad Gold and the roof is equipped with 1,200 sqm of solar panels.

We are delighted that the Student House has been recognised internationally for its architectural qualities. The project is a clear example of how architecture can actively strengthen a brand, develop its surroundings and point the way to the future.
Linda Mattsson, Lead Architect

Bølgen bath & leisure centre
High up on a mountain plateau with magnificent views of the beautiful Oslo Fjord, Frogns Municipality has invested in the health of its residents in a new bathing and recreation centre. Bølgen is an extension to an existing handball hall that includes pools for training, teaching and play, a gym, and a restaurant. An extension to the handball hall houses the municipality’s psychosocial work unit – a mental and physical health function that targets children and young people, sometimes perhaps from families who would not otherwise visit the facility.

The municipality's ambition was a public health centre making everyone feel welcome. Low thresholds for trying out the various activities in and around the facility have been important throughout the project. It's very nice that it's appreciated and recognised.
Thomas Landenberger, Lead Architect

The extension to the handball hall was built on a very limited area between the existing facilities and a steep slope. The solution was a compact facility where movements, functions and activities are intertwined in planes and sections, creating a rich spatial and visual experience. Most of the sports activities in Drøbak are now concentrated in a single node. The new entrance and reception area together with the restaurant act as the social link between the different activities, creating a surface-effective and experiential connection between the programmes. You can come straight from a skiing tour in the forest to the restaurant, play in the childcare area and watch the older siblings ride the waterslide or have a coffee and watch a football match from the terrace.

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