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Grand designs: winners from the World Architecture Festival

The world’s biggest architectural event is underway in Barcelona, with the first round of winners announced today.

The annual festival recognises some of the most impressive designs from across 85 different countries, and was opened this morning by the Mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu:

'In Barcelona, architecture, urban planning, education and society merge to create an urban fabric that is constructed entirely for its inhabitants. Barcelona is architecture - and much more.'

The Festival's curators are responding to the theme of 'Transformations' and will relate to the way in which the built environment can be transformed by a combination of client commitment, architectural imagination, technological development and professional teamwork.

Another key theme at the Festival includes 'the new urban paradigms of Barcelona'. Some of Barcelona's most innovative and exciting designers will discuss recent work, demonstrating why Barcelona has, and continues to be a creative mecca for architecture and design.

Alongside the Festival's main programme is the World Architectural Festival Awards (WAF Awards), which will see unsung local buildings will take on internationally acclaimed projects in what is the world's biggest architecture contest. Over 235 projects from 55 countries will go head to head during the Festival, where unlike other architectural competitions, architects will present their work in front of leading industry judges and a live public audience as they compete for the accolade of 'World Building of the Year 2010'.

Buildings by internationally renowned architects such as Foster + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, Will Alsop at RMJM, and Terry Farrell & Partners (Farrells), as well as smaller practices are represented among the shortlisted projects being presented this week.

Click here or on the image to view the images of the winning buildings