An architectural design competition is a type of design competition in which an organization that intends on constructing a new building invites architects to submit design proposals. The winning design is usually chosen by an independent panel of design professionals and stakeholders (such as government and local representatives). This procedure is often used to generate new ideas for building design, to stimulate public debate, generate publicity for the project, and allow emerging designers the opportunity to gain exposure. Architecture competitions are often used to award commissions for public buildings: in some countries rules for tendering public building contracts stipulate some form of mandatory open architectural competition.
Winning first prize in a competition is not a guarantee that the project will be constructed. The commissioning body often has the right to veto the winning design, and both requirements and finances may change, thwarting the original intention. The 2002 World Trade Center site design competition is an example of a highly publicized competition where only the basic elements of the winning design by Daniel Libeskind appeared in the finished project.
Architecture competitions have a more than 2,500-year-old history. The Acropolis in Athens was a result of an architectural competition in 448 B.C., as were several cathedrals in the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, many projects initiated by the Church have been decided through design competition. Examples are the Spanish Steps in Rome or in 1419, a competition was held to design the dome of the Florence Cathedral, which was won by Filippo Brunelleschi. Open competitions were held in the late 18th century in several countries including the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, France and Sweden.
In 19th century England and Ireland there have been over 2,500 competitions in five decades, with 362 in London alone. The Royal Institute of British Architects drafted a first set of rules in 1839 and a set of formal regulations in 1872. The German Regulations were introduced in 1867. In the same period in the Netherlands, an association for the advancement of architecture (Maatschappij tot Bevordering van de Bouwkunst), started organising conceptual competitions with the aim of stimulating architects' creativity.
There are a variety of competition types resulting from the combination of following options:
The rules of each competition are defined by the organiser; however, these often follow the guidelines provided by the International Union of Architects, respectively the relevant national or regional architecture organisation. Competition guidelines define roles, responsibilities, processes, and procedures within a competition and provide guidance on possible competition types, eligibility criteria, jury composition, participation conditions, payments, prizes, publication of results and other aspects.
In France and Germany design competitions are compulsory for all public buildings exceeding a certain cost.
Most significant among architectural competitions are the ones which are internationally open, attract a large number of design submissions, and the winning design is built.
|Competition Name||Location||Year||Winner(s)||Design entries|
|White House||Washington D.C.||1792||James Hoban||9|
|Walhalla memorial||Donaustauf||1816||Leo von Klenze|
|Houses of Parliament||London||1835||Charles Barry||98|
|Vienna Ring Road||Vienna||1858||Ludwig Förster - Friedrich August von Stache - Eduard van der Nüll and August Sicard von Sicardsburg||85|
|Hofoper||Vienna||1860||Eduard van der Nüll and August Sicard von Sicardsburg|
|Paris Opera||Paris||1860||Charles Garnier||171|
|Law Courts||London||1866||George Edmund Street||11|
|Beurs||Amsterdam||1884||Hendrik Petrus Berlage|
|World Exhibition tower||Paris||1889||Gustave Eiffel|
|Austrian Postal Savings Bank||Vienna||1903||Otto Wagner|
|Stockholm City Hall||Stockholm||1903||Ragnar Östberg|
|Helsinki Central railway station||Helsinki||1903||Eliel Saarinen||21|
|Peace Palace||The Hague||1905||Louis Marie Cordonnier and J.A.G. van der Steur|
|Tribune Tower||Chicago||1922||John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood||260|
|League of Nations Building||Geneva||1926||Henri Paul Nénot & Julien Flegenheimer; Carlo Broggi; Camille Lefèvre; Giuseppe Vago||377|
|Lenin Library||Moscow||1928||Vladimir Shchuko|
|ANZAC War Memorial||Sydney||1929||Charles Bruce Dellit||117|
|Termini Station||Rome||1947||Leo Calini, Eugenio Montuori, Massimo Castellazzi, Vasco Fadigati, Achille Pintonello and Annibale Vitellozzi|
|Town Hall and Church||Seinäjoki||1950||Alvar Aalto|
|Sydney Opera House||Sydney||1955||Jørn Utzon||233|
|Toronto City Hall||Toronto||1956||Viljo Revell||500|
|Amsterdam City Hall||Amsterdam||1967||Wilhelm Holzbauer, Cees Dam, B. Bijvoet and G.H.M. Holt||804|
|Supreme Court||Tokyo||1968||Shin-ichi Okada||217|
|Centre Georges Pompidou||Paris||1971||Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers||681|
|San Cataldo Cemetery||Modena||1971||Aldo Rossi and Gianni Braghieri|
|Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank||Hong Kong||1979||Foster Associates|
|Parliament House of Australia||Canberra||1979||Romaldo Giurgola||329|
|Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie||Paris||1980||Adrien Fainsilber and Sylvain Mercier|
|La Grande Arche de la Défense||Paris||1982||Johan Otto von Spreckelsen||420|
|Parc de la Villette||Paris||1982||Bernard Tschumi||471|
|Opéra Bastille||Paris||1983||Carlos Ott||750|
|Carré d'Art||Nîmes||1984||Norman Foster||12|
|Shonandai Cultural Centre||Fujisawa||1985||Itsuko Hasegawa||215|
|New National Theatre||Tokyo||1984||Takahiko Yanagisawa and Tak Associates||228|
|Tokyo International Forum||Tokyo||1987||Rafael Viñoly||395|
|Kansai Airport||Osaka||1988||Renzo Piano Building Workshop||48|
|Jewish Museum||Berlin||1989||Daniel Libeskind||165|
|Bibliothèque Nationale de France||Paris||1989||Dominique Perrault||244|
|Centre for Japanese Culture||Paris||1989–1990||Masayuki Yamanaka, Kenneth Armstrong & Jennifer Smith||453|
|Guggenheim Museum Bilbao||Bilbao||1991||Frank Gehry|
|Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum||Helsinki||1992||Steven Holl||516|
|Austrian Cultural Forum||New York||1992||Raimund Abraham||226|
|Royal Danish Library||Copenhagen||1993||Schmidt Hammer Lassen||179|
|Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal||Yokohama||1995||Foreign Office Architects||660|
|Felix Nussbaum Museum||Osnabrück||1995||Daniel Libeskind||296|
|Millennium Bridge||London||1996||Norman Foster, Sir Anthony Caro, and Ove Arup||200|
|Federation Square||Melbourne||1997||Lab Architecture Studio||177|
|GeoCenter Møns Klint||Møn Island||2002||PLH Architects||292|
|Philharmonie de Paris||Paris||2011||Jean Nouvel||98|