The Architectural Photography Awards 2021 shortlist is unveiled

The Architectural Photography Awards 2021
(Image credit: Helen Trust - The Architectural Photography Awards 2021)

The Architectural Photography Awards has unveiled its 2021 shortlist. For the first time, Iran was on the list of countries that entered alongside the UK, the USA, China, Germany and Canada, just to name a few. Nearly 2000 entries were submitted into six categories: Exterior, Interior, Sense of Place, Buildings in Use, Mobile (with the theme of greening) and Portfolio (with the theme of Buildings with History).

The panel of judges were asked to look beyond the architecture and consider other elements such as composition, use of scale and the photographer's sensitivity to the mood of an image. This year, the judge's panel consisted of leading architecture and photography professionals including Richard Bryans, Hamish Crooks, Laurian Ghinitoiu, Chloe Grimshaw, Katy Harris and Marco Iuliano.

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The photos will be displayed at the World Architectural Festival in Chendu, China from the 1- 3 December allowing the delegates to vote for their favorite. Winners will then  be announced at the end of WAF on 3 December and two photographers will be selected per category – one chosen by the judging panel and the other by WAF representatives. Prizes range from $100 for the mobile award delegates winner up to $2,000 for the judge’s overall winner. 

Buildings with history portfolio shortlist - Hangzhou Metalhands Coffee in Beijing, China (Image credit: UK Studio - The Architectural Photography Awards 2021)

Greening the city mobile shortlist - inside and out in Taipei, Taiwan (Image credit: Yu Tzu Chin - The Architectural Photography Awards 2021)

Exterior shortlist - Bully Hill House in New York, USA (Image credit: Brad Feinknopf - The Architectural Photography Awards 2021)

Sense of place shortlist - Taihu Show Theatre in Wuxi, China (Image credit: Wei Pinyou - The Architectural Photography Awards 2021)

Sense of place shortlist - Rita Restaurants in Aro Valley, New Zealand (Image credit: Andy Spain - The Architectural Photography Awards 2021)

Exterior shortlist - Maggie Centre in Oldham, UK (Image credit: Alex De Rijke - The Architectural Photography Awards 2021)

Hamish Crooks, the media licensing and archive consultant for Magnum Photos said, “This was a tough competition to judge and I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of all the entries… From my background in social documentary photography, I was leaning towards those pictures that show some social interaction between the architecture and humanity and the environment, looking specifically for those suspended moments…”

Paul Finch, Programme Director at the World Architecture Festival said, "Photography as a means of communication has become even more significant at a time of reduced travel and lockdowns. The impact of image on eye and mind is as strong as ever."

The Architectural Photography Awards is now in its ninth year and aims to highlight the expertise, skill and creativity of architectural photographers. The WAF 2021 will take place from 1 - 3 December and will be live-streamed via interactive digital. 

Scroll down to see a selection of this year's finalists. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.