How can architects, especially the new generation, find out what design contests are announced in Europe? What considerations should they make to decide if they’re going to participate in an architect selection abroad? And what is the chance a winning plan will be built? Architect selections for commissions below EU thresholds are not published on the official website Tenders European Daily (TED). Smaller commissions stay below the radar and, above all, not all European countries are members of the European Union.
In order to gain better insight into the current situation, Architectuur Lokaal will host a two day international conference in Amsterdam: Competition Culture in Europe, on September 28 and 29. The conference will mark the start of a four-year program on competition culture in Europe.
Architectuur Lokaal is the only independent organization in the Netherlands that is consistently engaged in improving the competition culture. In recent years we have noticed a growing interest in design competitions in the Netherlands. Design competitions contribute towards new solutions to new questions and offer opportunities to young architects who struggle to get access to (European) tenders. Competitions have proven to be a relevant instrument that fits well into the new relationships and positions surrounding spatial assignments.
The conference Competition Culture in Europe will mark the start of a four-year program of Architectuur Lokaal which will continue to work across the border in the coming years. The purpose of the program is to:
Further expand cooperation on competition culture in Europe by exchanging knowledge and information;
Increase access to competitions outside the Netherlands by disclosing the national platforms on which these competitions are announced;
Investigate possibilities for structural cooperation in accordance with Project Compass.
Good riddance to the Garden Bridge: an eye-watering waste of public funds
Walter Menteth article originally published 11 May, 2017 in
With one swift blow, London Mayor Sadiq Khan confounded plans to construct a leafy walkway above the River Thames. By refusing to guarantee further public funds, the mayor leaves the Garden Bridge project with a funding gap of some £70m, and a countdown of just eight months until planning permission expires.
Project Compass CIC have published a newly commissioned report covering UK architectural competitions that forms part of a comparative evaluation, stocktaking & exploration of European competition culture. It includes some case studies & has been undertaken to collate info. to further research the opportunities & potential expansion of alternative innovatory European practices. PCompass director Walter Menteth has written on some of the findings from the case studies separately in further detail here.
PCompass director Walter Menteth will be delivering an RIBA CORE CPD PROGRAMME in 14 English cities over 2017 entitled ‘An Essential Guide to Public Procurement: Better Prospects & More Opportunities’. These seminars are Open to the Public. Details of dates & venues close to you are availablehere.
The seminar will cover: the background & context; the new regulatory environment; Understanding a competition, the notice and brief Pre market engagement; RIBA Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes; Competitive bidding; The questions as to how change in procurement culture with better competitive processes and practices can be embedded, will also be addressed.
The seminar will provide: an update on public competition reforms, the principles & contributories, as well as efficiency & effectiveness, SME access & levelling the playing field. The RIBA Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes will be detailed, including advice on encouraging consortia bids from smaller practices, tips on consultant capability assessment, & selection of suitable building contracts. Competitive bidding & the bid itself will be explored, including do’s & don’ts on practices strengths & weaknesses, content & tone of responses to a tender invite, & identifying pass/fail areas, as well as understanding learning opportunities from the tender evaluation stage & feedback.
The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) came into force on 26 January 2016, is now aligned to UK procurements and its digital implementation across Europe will be completing in 2017 – What more do you need to know and do? Read more here.
(This article originally appeared on Dec. 16, 2017 on the Architects’ Journal website, HERE.)
Those with their noses pressed firmly to the grindstone of the public sector will know that 2016 presented an increasingly exasperating array of pungent procedures and cack-handed contracts.
Despite evidence of good practice emerging in isolated pockets across the UK, many of us continued to wrestle with excessively complex, unnecessarily verbose prequalification questionnaires and archaic and bewildering web portals seemingly coded on a Commodore 64.
It was a big year for high-profile cultural projects. The Museum of London began and concluded the selection of a design team for its new Smithfield home, with the award going to a talented team headed by Stanton Williams. Meanwhile, in Essex, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council commenced, abandoned, and began again its search for an architect to take forward the Thames Estuary Museum it had previously awarded back in 2009, but which had ground to a halt in the seven years since AEW’s original scheme won planning. Quite who’s up for taking on this apparently Sisyphean task might become apparent early in the new year.