The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) celebrates the winning of the WAFX Award 2022 with the project designed by IAAC founder Vicente Guallart and BAD Architects directed Ali Basbous with the collaboration of Firas Safieddine, both IAAC alumni.

During the celebration of the WAF Prize 2022, held in Lisbon last week, the project “The Tower of Life” won the category WAF Future Project: Commercial mixed-use.

The Tower of Life – Landmark as an Ecological Machine

Tower of Life is a project proposal for an iconic tower in Dakar, Senegal, leading a design agenda where ecology, biocomputation, material engineering, decentralised economy, and sustainable development triumph. The project is an energy-positive construction wrapped with an onsite-printed earth membrane that operates as a living system, mobilising an economy of resources, energy, water, air, culture, and robotics. The Tower of Life is the Architectural icon of the Ecological Era. It defines the metrics for what, why, and how architecture performs amidst a planetary-scale climate crisis.

The proposal stands as a landmark and catalyst for defusing its logics toward a new African Architecture that recruits local resources, economies, and ecosystems into an ‘Ecological Machine’. That is a building where materials, energy, biodiversity, economy, and knowledge are not only consumed but also generated. Setting the rules for an Ecological Architecture, Tower of Life understands economy and ecology as a single hybrid entity and is designed accordingly. All systems are studied and organised in harmony as a self-sustaining wholeness, creating a bioresponsive and bioreceptive module to be followed.

As a context-specific landmark, the tower’s skin is constructed of 3D-printed locally sourced clay. Its cost is minimised by extraction and printing processes rather than transport and exported materials. The inner cladding system covers the tower and helps sustain a microclimate inside and around it with minimal emissions.

About World Architecture Festival (WAF)

The World Architecture Festival is dedicated to celebrating, sharing and inspiring outstanding architecture. It is the only architecture event where keynote talks from the industry’s most influential figures sit alongside live judging presentations from over 500 award finalists plus global networking and an international product exhibition.

The WAF awards sit at the heart of the festival and are recognised by architects and clients alike. The only global awards program where architects present their completed buildings and future projects live to a panel of internationally renowned judges and delegates from around the world.

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