The New7Wonders Foundation relied on the following expert panel to create the final list of 21 candidates from a list of 77 sites nominated from people around the world. When the group completed the list in January 2006, it was then put to vote by the people around the globe.
The actual selection of the Official New 7 Wonders of the World, which was announced in a live global telecast on July 7, 2007 – 07.07.07, was made by popular vote. At this point the panel’s job was done, and it was the people of the world who decided.
Federico Mayor Zaragoza
The former Director-General of UNESCO, Spain’s Prof. Dr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, has been appointed president of the panel.
The job of the panel was an extremely difficult one. At the end of 2005, they had to choose just 21 potential wonders from among the 77 sites which attracted the most votes throughout the campaign. The choice of the international experts was based on the architectural and cultural importance, as well as the beauty of the monuments and structures.
Argentine-born American Cesar Pelli, architect of the Battery Park buildings in New York, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Canary Wharf in the UK and the second tower of the new Hong Kong Financial Centre, is also a panellist.
As the first non-white architect, Aziz Tayob graduated from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 1969. Since then he creates buildings that are honest, functional, though provoking and innovative. He aims to achieve the best design for the very limited resources and space available to the underpriviledged communities of South Africa.
Zaha Hadid became the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize when she did so last year. She has designed buildings around the world and was described by judges as being “one of the most gifted practitioners of the art of architecture today.”
Tadao Ando was also awarded the Prizker Prize, in 1995. His love of architecture was inspired by the designer Le Corbusier and he is renowned across the world for his unique, artistic way of combining East and West in his work. One of his most acclaimed projects is the Church of the Light in Osaka, Japan..
Yung Ho Chang
Yung Ho Chang, one of China’s most accomplished contemporary architects and the founding director of the Graduate Center of Architecture at Peking University, was appointed head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Architecture in July 2005..
Harry Seidler (1923 – 2006)
Harry Seidler was one of Australia’s finest architects, responsible for the design of numerous prestigious buildings in Sydney as well as further afield, both at home and abroad. The Vienna-born architect is the author of “The Grand Tour,” a respected guide to the most beautiful buildings in the world.
Sadly we have to acknowledge that Harry Seidler (born 1923) has passed away on March 9th, 2006. The world has lost a great master and a true enthusiast of architecture in the real sense of the word. He is survived by his wife, Penelope Evatt, a fellow architect whom he married in 1958, and by their son and daughter. We will always remain grateful for Harry’s support for the New7Wonders campaign, and will remember him throughout.