Celebration of building design will focus on 'new global economy', with extended categories of awards

The annual contest for the world's best building launches today, focusing on architecture in the new world economy.

The World Architecture Festival, the globe's biggest architectural summit, will take place in Barcelona for the second year running.

Programme director Paul Finch confirmed that the festival would take place in the Spanish city on 4-6 November, following its successful inaugural year last year.

Final Wooden House
One of last year's winners at the World Architecture Festival: Final Wooden House by Sou Fujimoto Architects

The festival's thematic exhibition, “Less Does More”, will examine the challenges facing architects in the new world economy. It will focus on how creative design and imaginative thinking can reduce the amount of time, energy, material and finance needed to create buildings and cities.

Last year, the festival attracted nearly 2,000 delegates from around the world and more than 500 architects and planners have already registered their interest in the 2009 event.

Finch also announced that this year's awards would feature three new sections, in addition to the 15 categories under completed buildings. There will be awards for interiors and fit-out (eight categories), structural design (nine categories) and future projects (eight categories), creating 42 awards to win in total.

A jury of distinguished architects and industry figures from around the world will judge the awards. Confirmed jurors this year include Rafael Vinoly, Sir Peter Cook, Kengo Kuma and Will Alsop.

Every design entered will be exhibited in the awards gallery at the festival.

Online entry to the awards is open until 26 June.