Architectural Design Competitions:

A Key Policy Tool to Ensure Quality in the Built Environment


UIA PRESS RELEASE
30 OCTOBER 2019
Signature of the declaration by Georg Pendl, ACE President & Thomas Vonier, UIA President

Full Press Release transcript from the:

Conference on International Design Competitions organised by the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE), 25 October 2019. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

DECLARATION

Architectural design competitions (ADCs) are among the most effective ways to achieve excellence in building and community design. They yield optimal concepts and plans for a given building programme, planning or landscape design task. Because they are based solely on the quality of proposed solutions, focused on the specific needs of a carefully defined project, competitions result in high-value solutions of great benefit to end-users, adding to the overall quality of life and design excellence in the built environment. The International Union of Architects (UIA) and the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) urge policymakers and government bodies to include architectural design competitions as a recommended procedure in public procurement laws, in order to promote enduring, excellent and responsible solutions for buildings and communities.

• • •

Architectural design competitions place focus on quality-based, project-oriented procedures. Competitions in architecture, town planning and landscape design offer an excellent way to evaluate multiple design proposals in a formal, professionally driven procedure, in order to find the best project for the defined need. In accordance with evaluation criteria set forth in a competition brief, professional, independent jurors assess designs submitted by competitors. Competitions are quality-based because juries make decisions solely on the basis of the quality of the proposals. They are project-oriented because their objective is to provide optimal solutions, tailored to the needs of the clients and the site.

Architectural design competitions have produced many culturally significant buildings across the globe, including the Sydney Opera House, the Centre Pompidou, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Tokyo International Forum and the Egyptian National Library in Alexandria. We urge government bodies, public authorities and private clients to pursue quality and design excellence through competitions.

Competitions offer multiple benefits to clients, competitors and society

  • Quality: They result in architecture and urban developments of high quality.
  • Innovation: They are a source of innovative, economic and sustainable solutions.
  • Transparency: They are transparent and non-discriminatory, building credibility and public trust while promoting fairness and non-corruption via anonymous entries.
  • Flexibility: They are suitable for small and large entities, and for experienced clients as well as those with little experience.
  • Guaranteed quality: Highly qualified, independent professional jurors, along with client representatives, assess proposals against well-defined criteria.
  • Cost-efficiency and visibility: Costs for competitions are on the level of one percent of the overall construction budget, while compensating competitors adequately.
  • Public participation: They offer the opportunity to involve citizens in shaping the built environment, stimulating public debate on needs and design approaches.
  • Equal opportunity: All competitors have equal chances. Competitions can provide young and relatively unknown designers with the opportunity to complete major works; they are especially helpful in providing young professionals with a very good chance to enter the market.
  • Creativity: They create opportunities to test new ideas, inviting various approaches to formal expression.

The Architects’ Council of Europe and the International Union of Architects have developed detailed guidelines for organising fair and affordable competitions, covering these issues:

  • Principles of anonymity, transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination,
  • Independence and composition of the jury,
  • Nature and scope of the competition brief,
  • Prize monies and remuneration,
  • Copyrights,
  • Dispute resolution.

There are many possible competition forms and procedures. We have experience with all of them. Regardless of the chosen form and procedures, the combination of a good design briefgood procedures and a good jury guarantees a good result.

________________________________________

THOMAS VONIER
President
International Union of Architects
(UIA)
GEORG PENDL
President
Architects’ Council of Europe
(ACE)

TheProject Compass Design Contest Guidance: for selection of Architects and Design Teams’ for UK Architectural Design Competitions is available on our publications page.

This Project Compass Guidance provides recommended practices and procedures as described and aligned to the above UIA ACE declaration.

To find architectural competition across across Europe go HERE and/or to:

UIA COMPETITIONS WEBSITE

PODCAST OF THE UIA ACE CONFERENCE DECLARATION

thefulcrum.eu – expanded & relaunched

TheFulcrum.eu the first international portal for architecture commissions covering all European countries has now been relaunched. It remains free to all but with its new and expanded form it now covers thirty-nine European Countries. TheFulcrum.eu offers greater access and insights into public procurement and competition culture in Europe, contributing to improving construction culture across the continent.

The new easy to use TheFulcrum.eu homepage provides access to:

  • The European legislation which applies, and which can be read in each countries operating language.
  • The national flag links to the public procurement legislation of the country in question.
  • Public procurement and competition portals for each country so they can be directly accessed and consulted.
  • Competitions guidance, information and research publications from each country
  • Links to architecture networks along with public and private organisations involved in public procurement and competitions in that country.

Never before has all this information about each of the 39 European countries been compiled, presented and made so fully accessible.

This project aligns with the European Ministers of Culture’s call in the Davos Declaration 2018, for development of a high-quality ‘building culture’ in Europe. TheFulcrum.eu has been created in close collaboration between ourselves (UK), Architectuur Lokaal (NL), A10 new European architecture cooperative (EU) and many partners in various European countries. The relaunched site further implements collaborations, analysis, research, findings and development scoped by Project Compass CIC, Architectur Lokaal, within the ‘European Competition Programmer Handbook:GreenArch project results‘, by the ‘Competition Culture in Europe Programme‘ and at International competitions gatherings held in Prague (CZ), Paris (FR), London (UK), Amsterdam (NL), Venice (IT), Chęciny (PL) and Vilnius (LT).

TheFulcrum.eu is being maintained with the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL by Architectuur Lokaal (NL). The portal will continue to develop over time.

Additions and feedback are welcome.

Project Compass director gives keynote address at RIAI Conference 2018

Project Compass director Russell Curtis has given a keynote address at the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) Annual Conference where he discussed the challenges of public procurement in the UK and how Project Compass is campaigning for reform to improve the dire situation experienced by most architects bidding for work in the public sector.

Russell provided a brief overview of the current state of public procurement of buildings, drawing on data from the RIBA “Building Ladders of Opportunity” report from 2014, together with some thoughts on whether failures in commissioning might have contributed to the Grenfell tragedy.

Continue reading “Project Compass director gives keynote address at RIAI Conference 2018”

Competition Culture in Europe: Voices

Competition Culture in Europe: Voices
Competition Culture in Europe: Voices

Competition Culture in Europe: Voices is a publication from Project Compass on architectural competitions, with a series of essays by 17 distinguished architects, competition organisers, scholars and commentators in 22 chapters, covering 11 countries.

The case studies, project data, discussions and interpretive glossary, that together include reflections on historic, contemporary and future competitions and their practices, opportunities and potential, in Europe and beyond, offer a valuable resource, practice compendium and unique insight into competition culture.

The publication, launched at the Venice Biennale, 25 May 2018, follows an open call in Dec. 2017 for articles and data on competitions which contributes to advancing the agreed 10 ten steps under the Competition Culture in Europe (CCIE) programme.

Hardcopies of the publication are available from Project Compass for £25.00 by emailing  ProjectCompassCIC@gmail.com.

The four-year Competition Culture in Europe (CCIE) programme is a collaboration between three not-for-profit organisations Project Compass, Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new Architecture cooperative, under thefulcrum umbrella, which commenced in 2017. The aim is to join together with others across Europe who value the culture of architecture, to inform a brighter future for design competition culture across Europe.

This is the second CCIE programme publication following the launch of ‘Competition Culture in Europe 2013 – 2016’, at the CCIE conference in Amsterdam, Sept. 2017 which provides the results of a pan-European survey executed by Architectuur Lokaal, A10 new European architecture Cooperative and Project Compass CIC. With EU data cards and examples of competitions in 17 European countries.

25 May 2018, 7.00-8.30pm, Palazzo Widmann, Venice

Competition Culture in Europe will be gathering and launching the publication ‘Competition Culture in Europe: Voices’ on 25 May 2018, 7.00-8.30pm, Palazzo Widmann, Cannaregio, Venice (Calle Larga Widmann 30121 Venice).   The publication arises from the European call in December 2017 for essays on architectural competitions.

The detailed programme is below.

In 2017 the collaboration of Project Compass CIC, Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new European Architecture Cooperative  started the Competition Culture in Europe program. At the end of the first year 10 concrete quick wins for 2018 were formulated.

During the Biennale in Venice we have been invited by AIAC (the Association of Italian Architecture and Criticism)  to present the progress made so far. We are happy to present a follow-up on the 50 case studies we collected last year in a new publication ‘Competition Culture in Europe: Voices’ which will be launched at the event. This publication draws on experiences from architects and organisers undertaking competitions, with discourse on competitions, and a draft-dictionary of terms for improving the pan-European understanding of competition discourse.  Research on the Reinventer. Paris project will also be presented.

In Venice we will focus on experiences with competition culture throughout Europe, compare practices all over Europe, and work towards mapping and establishing some common ground in terminology. You are welcome to join us at Palazzo Widman, Cannareggio, Venice.

The program

7.00     Welcome by Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi (AIAC-Italy)

7.05     Introduction by Indira van ‘t Klooster (A10-NL-moderator)

7.10     Tarja Nurmi (Finland) – Competition Culture in Finland – The MONIO Community School and Culture Education Building competition, organized by the Municipality of Tuusula in Southern Finland

7.20     Anna Yudina (France) – Reinventer.Paris

7.30     Q&A with presenters and audience, exchange of experiences, also in Italian context with Zaira Magliozzi (AIAC-Italy)​

7.45     Walter Menteth (Project Compass-UK) – ‘Competition Culture in Europe: Voices’ book presentation

7.55     Cilly Jansen ​(Architectuur Lokaal-NL) ​- introduction to discussion on European vocabulary on Competition Culture

8.05     Debate on vocabulary, glossaries, practices, confusions, solutions, etc

8.30     Conclusions, next steps

​            Drinks

Hardcopies of the publication will be available at the launch and digital copies will be made available on the Project Compass website shortly after.

Please feel free to disseminate this invitation to any others who may be interested in joining us. We look forward to welcoming you.

RSVP to ProjectCompassCIC@gmail.com

The Competition Grid: Experimenting With & Within Architecture

 

hCompetition Grid. Experimenting With & Within Architecture CompetitionsThe Competition Grid: Experimenting With & Within Architecture Competitions   (Theodoru. M., Katsakou A. (eds) RIBA Publishing, 2018. Project Compass Director Walter Menteth has contributed Chapter 10, ‘E-Procurement Delivering Better Design Competitions’ in Part 3-‘Experimenting with Architectural Competitions’.  “This is an engaging and extensive review of architectural competitions. Merging the immediacy of practitioners’ competition experience and the rigorousness of scientific writing, each section features comprehensive research and lively discussion from an international set of experts.”   Available from RIBA Publishing.

Open Call for the Venice Biennale 2018

PCompass Open Call for VenicePLEASE NOTE: the deadline for submissions has now been extended to 23 March 2018.

Short illustrated articles on your experiences of architectural competitions in Europe are invited for the Venice Biennale 2018.

This Open Call is part of a project that aims to improve architectural competitions and  design contests by appraising comparative performances, procedures and outputs across Europe to identify issues and best practices, for their improvement and reform. It  is part of the joint European programme on Competition Culture in Europe by Project Compass, Architectuur Lokaal and A10 New Architecture Co-operative to be presented in the Italian pavilion, Palazzo Widmann at Venice Biennale in May 2018. Outputs will also be available across Europe on thefulcrum.eu.

To submit please let us know, by writing to ProjectCompassCIC@gmail.com

SUBMISSION DETAILS & REQUIREMENTS:

Word length:

  • 400 -1000 words
  • Not including the basic details set out below and any references.

Images:               

  • Min. 2 – Max 6 images. Plans & sections are particularly welcome. Please ensure and confirm the images are licenced creative commons use.

Subject Areas:

  1. Experiences collected from architects who have won Design Contests* abroad, to better understand the conditions that apply after a specific competition win in another country, including the benefits and obstacles. 
  2. Critical reflection by architects on substantive competition issues including their practices and outputs. For example architects are still consciously and frequently participating in bad competitions, it is not self-evident that jurors read the rules first and clients are failing to honour results. 
  3. Collecting data that contributes to misunderstandings and preconceptions in competition culture, including the commonly held beliefs that all problems arise from regulations.
  4. Collecting data into how, in each country, European, national and local laws and regulations are arranged, weighted and customised in competitions so as to provide insights on the benefits and disadvantages of the varied national applications. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION – SEE THE FULL SUBMISSION DETAILS AVAILABLE HERE PCompass Open Call for VeniceWe look forward to receipt of your submission(s) to this Open Call for the Venice Biennale 2018

Architectuur Lokaal logoA10 new architectural cooperative

‘Competition Culture in Europe 2013-2016’ published.

‘Competition Culture in Europe 2013-2016’ is a new publication resulting from a pan-European survey executed by Project Compass CIC, Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new European Architecture Cooperative.

Continue reading “‘Competition Culture in Europe 2013-2016’ published.”

Design Contest Portals, by country

Design Contest Portals from thirty three European countries that announce architectural design contests and competitive opportunities are now published on Project Compass and  on thefulcrum.eu .

Open International contests, private contests and opportunities below OJEU thresholds and can also be found through this unique public listing

Produced as part of the four year programmeCompetition Culture in Europeand issued accompanying publication of Competition Culture in Europe 2013-2016, a Project Compass, Architectuur Lokaal and A10 collaboration, the list makes information more accessible for those seeking to engage.

We will continue to update this list but if you know of a country or a website that is missing, please notify us by email. Many of the results are also included along with the many opportunities and other insights now available.

the independent European portal for architectural competitions & contests.

Conference on Competition Culture

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.

Survey

A10 Logo

Architectuur Lokaal has mapped out the competition culture in seventeen European countries by means of the Steunpunt Architectuuropdrachten & Ontwerpwedstrijden (Helpdesk Architectural Commissions and Design contests), Project Compass CIC and the correspondents of A10 new European architecture Cooperative. At the conference, the results of the survey will be shared among the participating countries. The results will be analyzed in-depth in the presence of the researchers, various architectural organizations and other stakeholders from European countries. Afterwards, the preliminary results will be published online. Participation by invitation only.

Four-year program

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.

Information

For more information: contact Margot de Jager.

the independent, European portal for architectural competitions & contests.