Sony World Photography Award names best architecture images for 2021

The 2021 Sony World Photography Award has announced its winners, including two categories focusing on architectural photography

photograph of an art
The Professional competition winner for Architecture and Design at the Sony World Photography Awards 2021, Tomáš Vocelka from the Czech Republic
(Image credit: Tomas Vocelka)

The winners of the Sony World Photography Award for 2021 have just been announced; with a couple of exciting gongs going to snappers specialising in the architecture field. Architectural photography, from modernist buildings to powerful, colourful spaces, has appeared in two key sections of the prestigious honour – the Professional and the Open Competition, both dedicated to outstanding creative output in the global field. 

The former, a work chosen across professionals in their field, was awarded to Tomáš Vocelka from the Czech Republic. Vocelka's submission, titled ‘Eternal Hunting Grounds', is a series exploring a former military complex turned pet cemetery in his home country. The prize looks at a body of work of five to ten images and the winner's imagery is beautiful and haunting. Other themes in this category include Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Creative, Environment, Portfolio, Sport, Still Life and Wildlife & Nature.

art made with stairs

Klaus Lenzen from Germany won the Open Competition's Architecture category with his work, The Blue Window

(Image credit: Klaus Lenzen)

The Open Competition, on the other hand, draws on the power of one, single image. The winner, here, Germany's Klaus Lenzen, submitted ‘The Blue Window', a piece depicting ‘a ramp of stairs at the Hyatt hotel in Düsseldorf ascending towards a window from which a view of clear blue skies is reflected.' Graphic and powerful, the winning image leaves a lasting impression. 

The Award scheme also named today its overall winner, UK based documentarian Craig Easton, who will receive $25,000 (USD) cash prize and a range of Sony’s digital imaging kit. Meanwhile, supporting photography creatives of all ages, the Sony World Photography Award also features prizes for youth and student categories. 

A virtual exhibition of winners and finalists' work has just been launched through the organisation's website, where all artwork is available to peruse and admire. §

architecture art

Finalist: Abdulla AL-Mushaifri, Oman

(Image credit: Abdulla AL-Mushaifri)

photograph of the garden

Finalist: Aleksandr Lefler, Russian Federation

(Image credit: Aleksandr Lefler)

architecture art

Finalist: Ashwani Sarda, India

(Image credit: Ashwani Sarda)

architecture art

Finalist: Da Miane, Georgia

(Image credit: Da Miane)

architecture art

Finalist: Farshid Ahmadpour, Iran

(Image credit: Farshid Ahmadpour)

architecture art

Finalist: Holger Ostwald, Germany

(Image credit: Holger Ostwald)

architecture art

Finalist: Jordan Mcchesney, Canada

(Image credit: Jordan Mcchesney)

architecture art

Finalist: Kunkun Liu, China

(Image credit: Kunkun Liu)

architecture art

 Finalist: Simone Hutsch, Germany

(Image credit: Simone Hutsch)

architecture art

Finalsit: Steffen Ebert, Germany

(Image credit: Steffen Ebert)

architecture art

Finalist: Vitaly Medvedev, Russian Federation

(Image credit: Vitaly Medvedev)

architecture art

Finalist: Vytenis Jankunas, United States

(Image credit: Vytenis Jankunas)


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).