Who’s up against Alero Design Studio’s Jesy and Jaemi Cruz at the WAF 2019?

August 14, 2019



Judith Torres

Imagine competing against the likes of Foster+Partners, Safdie Architects, Bjarke Ingles Group, Heatherwick Studio, and Zaha Hadid Architects. Or going up against Buro Ole Scheeren, Studio Gang, Effekt, UN Studio, Perkins+Will, Herzog & de Meuron, Grimshaw Architects, Takenaka Corporation, Tezuka Architects, or Ateliers Jean Nouvel. The brilliance of the names sends even the maturest of architects into a tizzy. That’s what the World Architecture Festival is like. So picture Jesy Cruz and Jaemi Cruz, a brother-sister, interior designer-architect tandem in their early thirties thrown into the mix. They’ve designed a community center for Baliwag, Bulacan, in the Philippines, and are competing in the Future Projects – Civic category against 10 other shortlisted entries from Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and the UK.

It isn’t just about who you’re competing against, it’s also the fact that you’ll be defending your project in a live crit and answering questions from the jury with an audience and your competitors present. This 2019, the competition has 534 shortlisted entries from 70 countries competing in 33 categories.

If you’re lucky enough to present your project early on Day 1, you can spend the rest of the three-day festival watching other architects compete in their categories. There are 18 Completed Building categories, 13 Future Projects categories, and two Landscape Project categories. Those who win their categories then compete on the Day 3 for the main prizes: Future Project of the Year, Landscape of the Year, Small Project of the Year, and World Building of the Year. The WAF is three days of star-struck designers packing in as many presentations, talks, exchanges, and networking time as they can with new and old acquaintances and possible partners.

Alero Design Studio

Here are the Baliwag Community Center images Alero Design Studio’s Jesy Cruz and Jaemi Cruz submitted to the WAF. For the design concept, read: The World Architecture Festival 2019 shortlists Alero Design Studio 

Here are the images submitted by the ten other shortlisted entries to the WAF.

CAFASSO nv with B2Ai / EGM Architecten:

Prison Haren in Brussels, Belgium

CIAP Architects and Ong & Ong (Landscape):

Commonwealth Lane: Death & The Community in Singapore

FaulknerBrowns Architects:

Vaux: New City Hall in Sunderland, United Kingdom

HCMA Architecture + Design:

Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre in Vancouver, Canada


CapitalMed Medical City in Cairo, Egypt


BST Park in Auckland, New Zealand

Moller Architects:

Tall Hut in Auckland, New Zealand


Bandy (Russian-hockey) stadium in Syktyvkar in Komi, Russia

China Architectural Design Research Institute:

Funeral Home of Tianmen Longevity Memorial Garden in Tianmen City, China

Warren and Mahoney Architects in association with Moller Architects and Woods Bagot:

New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland, New Zealand

Other Filipino finalists:

Apart from Alero Design Studio, there are three other Filipino firms with shortlisted entries competing at the WAF 2019. They are:

Previous winners from the Philippines are:

BAAD Studio, in 2017, which won the Future Project – Civic category for The Sunken Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes of Cabetican, Bacolor, and which also was acknowledged as Highly Commended for Future Project of the Year

Leandro V. Locsin Partners and Furunes, in 2016, which won Small Project of the Year for Streetlight Tagpuro, a completed orphanage and community center for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban.

Students of the University of San Carlos, in 2013, which won the grand prize in the Student Charette Competition, besting six other teams from Italy, Russia, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Singapore, and India, which were shortlisted out of 50 student teams that year.

Images courtesy of World Architecture Festival

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