The WAF shortlist: a moving kiosk and an opera house open for everybody

Two more finalists of the Best Use of Certified Timer Prize, supported by PEFC, highlight why timber is a really special construction material!

The WAF shortlist: a moving kiosk and an opera house open for everybody

28 August 2019 Sustainable construction

Have a look at two more finalists of the Best Use of Certified Timer Prize, supported by PEFC: a kiosk inspired by the local market stalls in Hong Kong and an opera house that has opened up for the public.

Harbour Kiosk - LAAB Architects 

Harbour Kiosk is a food kiosk that sells local snacks and drinks at the Avenue of Stars along the harbour front of Hong Kong. The architecture combines design with engineering to create transformations that pay tribute to the moving images of the cinema industry. The kiosk is the first kinetic public building in Hong Kong.

Inspired by the compact, transformable local hawker stalls, Harbour Kiosk organizes its space by opening and closing its foldable structure. While automatically transforming its gate into an awning during the day, it returns to its compact shape at night. The structure and system were designed to withstand the typhoon season in Hong Kong.

The facade features three strata of certified, profiled timber slats to conceal the machine room doors and accommodate different types of public functions. Each timber fin was precisely made with digital fabrication. 

A wave generator system moves the timber fins of the Kiosk throughout the day to resonate with the waves of the sea. The mechanical movement is powered by a linear motion system made of 49 connected robotic arms installed behind the timber fins.

Royal Opera House London – Stanton Williams

Striking a balance between heritage and 21st century life, the transformation of the Royal Opera House re-imagines the world-renowned home of ballet and opera into an inviting cultural hub for London. 

Improved access, a completely new theatre and new foyers, terraces, cafes, bars, restaurants and retail facilities extend the life of Royal Opera House outside of performance hours to allow for informal encounters between people and art.

Certified timber is at the heart of the new expanded foyer, finely crafted from American black walnut timber, marble and brass. The foyer welcomes guests into the new Linbury Theatre, a 400-seat public performance space created in American black walnut.

The result is a beautiful and revitalized venue that amplifies the Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’ mission to take down barriers – both physical and social. The new Opera House invites new audiences and generations, while respecting the renowned heritage and special character of the place.

Stay tuned for more WAF finalists next Wednesday!

The Best Use of Certified Timber Prize, supported by PEFC

For the second time, the World Architecture Festival and PEFC will award the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize, recognising architects for using certified timber as a main construction material for buildings outstanding in sustainability, innovation, quality or aesthetics.

39 architects from 18 countries entered their projects into the prize. The jury will choose the winner at the WAF in Amsterdam, on 6 December 2019.

Designing the future with sustainable timber

Across the world, the architecture community is embracing solid and engineered wood to deliver high profile, award winning projects and everyday designs - from houses, schools and hotels to offices, theatres, supermarkets and swimming pools.

Under the theme Designing the Future with Sustainable Timber, a range of stakeholders have come together under the leadership of PEFC to promote the use of wood in construction in general and certified wood in particular. Join us! Contact us at

Photo credits: LAAB Architects - Otto Ng, Stanton Williams - Hufton+Crow

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