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COMPETITIONS Ezine April 2016


In Memoriam – Zaha Hadid


Zaha Hadid by Mary McCartney   
Photo: ©Mary McCartney


As was the case with many in the U.S. who had not seen her work, my first encounter with a Zaha Hadid project and with the architect herself was at the dedication of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati (COMPETITIONS 2003, Vol. 13, #2), with the headline, “Cubism Comes to Cincinnati.” This was a real challenge, because the CAC site was not generous in size or configuration, but constrained on a prominent corner location in downtown Cincinnati. Because of site and floor plan limitations, the staging of large exhibitions is in itself a work of art. And the generous space allocated for the stairs in the atrium, while bringing in much needed light and resulting in a moving experience for visitors, did reduce valuable space for exhibits. This was an additional case that posed the question: whether Zaha’s design talents could also produce a building that would work ideally for users.
Later projects, such as the BMW plant in Leipzig, indicated that function and form could happily coexist. Even her unbuilt Cardiff Opera House, a competition so well documented by Nicholas Crickhowell’s book, Opera House Lottery, held promise as one of the world’s groundbreaking performance


Corner View b&w
Photo: ©Paul Warchol


venues. The Cardiff Opera house controversy may not have enhanced her reputation in the eyes of some potential clients; but she subsequently was able to design and build many projects around the world, but few in this country—one of the notable exceptions being the new Michigan State University Art Museum.
Over the years, Zaha’s firm became one of the foremost invited participants in competitions worldwide. We never counted them, but we were amazed that she could devote so much energy and time to the number of competitions which her firm participated in.

Read more…

Tintagel Bridge Castle Competition

An Adventure of the First Order

The Tintagel Castle Bridge Design Competition


©William Matthews Associates; courtesy MRC

Out-of-the-way places can be serious destinations, especially when they embody an object of historical significance. The medieval Tintagel Castle site is certainly one of these examples, attracting scores of visitors every year. Although only now a ruin, its history, linked to the tales of King Arthur, is certainly the tale which can be of interest to any serious English history buff. But getting to the crest of the hill cliff where it is located is only something for the hardy. The problem has been the steep ascent to the site, which could only be reached via a circuitous winding pathway. To address this issue, a new bridge in a more advantageous location was proposed to replace an existing, somewhat rickety span.
Organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, this competition’s call for expressions of interest drew 137 responses, with six firms being shortlisted for the design competition phase. At the conclusion of the adjudication process, the jury announced the team of Ney & Partners with William Matthews Associates as winners. The other finalists, without ranking, were:

• Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes with Terrell

• Marks Barfield Architects with Flint and Neill J&L Gibbons LLP and Mola

• Niall McLaughlin Architects with Price and Myers

• RFR and Jean-Francois Blassel Architecte with Engineershrw and WSP

• WilkinsonEyre with Atelier One


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Adding on….

The competition posted on this website about an expansion project undertaken by a Swedish university is a common theme for today’s architects. Libraries, universities, and especially museums have been the major beneficiaries of the add-on phenomena in the expansion of their facilities. In the past, add-ons were normally designed somewhat mimic the appearance of the existing, or at least not clash with it substantially in the eyes of the public. Although some references can be suggested—or even claimed by the designer—the move is toward using a 21st-century modern structure as a drawing card, addressed to a public that is now immersed in a hi-tech society.

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St. Hilda’s College, Oxford

Gort Scott
Image: ©Gort Scott; courtesy MRC

St Hilda’s College has selected Gort Scott to design a new £10m+ front-of-house development for its exceptional riverside site in the conclusion of the Redefining St Hilda’s invited design competition, organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants. St Hilda’s College was one of the original group of five women’s colleges founded at Oxford at the end of the nineteenth century. Since 2008, it has selected its undergraduates and graduates without regard to gender. St Hilda’s now has one of the highest proportions of international undergraduate students of any college within the University.
A five-strong shortlist was asked to produce concept designs for the new gateway to the College, approached from Cowley Place, which will include social and conference spaces, suites of academic and teaching rooms, a new Middle Common Room and accommodation for students and Fellows. The project will form the centrepiece of St Hilda’s 125th anniversary celebration.
The five short-listed U.K. firms were:
• Gort Scott, London
• Tim Ronalds Architects, London
• 6a Architects, London
• DRDH Architects, London
• Hall McKnight, Belfast
The winning Gort Scott concept design features a slender tower – announcing the entrance to the College on Cowley Place – rooftop gardens with wild-flower planting, and a riverside pavilion. The proposal positions much of the residential and teaching accommodation on the urban boundary of the site, and creates new open spaces, which run from the re-positioned College entrance to the River Cherwell, and set-up views to Christ Church Meadows and beyond.
According to Fiona Scott, principal of Gort Scott, “The competition process gave us confidence – there was a well thought-through brief and an engaging process that really gave us the opportunity to explore the potential of the project. Our proposal focused on responding to the riverside setting – making a lyrical pavilion set within the College’s picturesque gardens, framed by a robust building that defines the boundary of the College. The pavilion balances a sense of decorum and gravity from the rhythm of strong brick piers, with a lightness and delicacy that is in dialogue with the changing qualities of the river.”

Winning Entry
Gort Scott
London, U.K.

Gort_Scott4 Gort Scott 3
Gort_Scott1 Gort_Scott5
Images: ©Gort Scott; courtesy MRC

6a Architects
London, U.K.


6a_architects_A437_160115_Competition Boards_6a_architects_A
Images: ©6a Architects; courtesy MRC

DRDH Architects
London, U.K.
DRDH Redefining St Hilda's Project Boards A3 DRDH
Images: ©DRDH Architects; courtesy MRC


Hall McKnight
Belfast, U.K.
Hall McKnight 2 Hall Mcknight1


Tim Ronalds Architects
London, U.K.
Tim Ronalds_View1_final2 Tim RonaldsView3_final2
Images: ©Tim Ronalds Architects; courtesy MRC

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Open Competitions

Tall Building Design Competition

Sponsors: CTBUH and KPF (Kohn Pedersen Fox)
Type: Open, International, student
Eligibility: Open to students in accredited schools of architecture
Language: English
Fee: none
Monday, July 18th – Registration deadline
Monday, July 25th – Submission deadline
Monday, August 8th – Short-listed “Semi-finalists” announced
Thursday, August 18th – Top-five “Finalists” announced
Monday–Friday, October 17th–21st – CTBUH 2016 Conference, Top-five Finalists will present to the jury in Shenzhen. Winners will be announced during the conference.
First Place: US$6,000
US$3,000 cash + stipend to attend CTBUH 2016 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)
Second Place: US$5,000 US$2,000 cash + stipend to attend CTBUH 2016 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)
Third Place: US$4,000 US$1,000 cash + stipend to attend CTBUH 2016 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)
Fourth Place: US$3,000 Stipend to attend CTBUH 2016 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)
Fifth Place: US$3,000 Stipend to attend CTBUH 2016 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)
Honorable Mentions A select number of entries will be recognized as Honorable Mentions and awarded with a certificate separate to the Conference.
Exhibition: A poster exhibition of the five “Finalists” and up to 20 selected “Semi-finalist” entries will be exhibited during the CTBUH 2016 Conference.
The competition consists of two juries. The first-round jury will narrow the submissions down to 20 Semi-Finalists. The second-round jury will then select the five Finalists from the Semi-Finalists. The members of the second-round jury will consist of prominent professionals involved in the CTBUH 2016 Conference, creating an international, multi-disciplinary group of tall building experts. The final jury selection announcement will be made closer to the start of the CTBUH 2016 Conference.

Design Challenge:
The goal of the competition is to shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society.
As worldwide populations continue to urbanize and grow, creating megacities, the role of the tall building in the twenty-first century has moved beyond simply addressing spatial and economic efficiencies. The permanence of these structures necessitates careful forethought into how they will interface with the surrounding urban context, the natural environment, their inhabitants, and the world as a whole. Although they are statically embedded in our cities, skyscrapers must employ a dynamic spatial and functional dialogue, allowing them to remain active and relevant for not just decades, but centuries.

For more information, go to:


New SkyRider Competition Cancellation

To the Competition Participants:
First of all, please accept my deep apologies for the situation.
The tendering procedure of New SkyRider International Competition project, conducted by Urban and Rural Development Department, New Taipei City Government (hereinafter referred to as ”Agency”) has been suspended due to the project site, located in the Wenzizhen Redevelopment Zone, cannot be obtained in expected schedule. In the consideration of rights and interests of all sectors and misunderstandings of local people, the Agency has suspended the tendering project starting from 2016/3/31 until the site acquisition problem has been solved; then the Agency will reevaluate the implementation of the tendering procedure.
   I sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm and participation of this project and apologize and understand the loss for the preparation of tendering documents of participants. The Agency will continuously evaluate and promote the New SkyRider project to the whole city and enhance the communication with local people. If the project is resumed in the future, it is hoped that you can continuously support this project.
Ching-Pin Chiu, Director General,
Urban and Rural Development Department
New Taipei City Government


Modular Building of the South Czech Philharmonic

Sponsor: KOMA Modular Technology
Location: Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic
Type: open, international
Eligibility: Open to students of architecture and civil engineering and young architects and civil engineers within 5 years after graduation
Fee: None
28 April 2016 – Q & A period closes
30 May 2016 – Submission deadline
International Jury:

• Caroline Bijvoet (NL) / architect, Bijvoet architectuur & stadsontwerp, teacher

• Joseph di Pasquale (IT) / architect, AM Project, Joseph Di Pasquale architects

• Václav Hudeček (CZE) / Czech violin virtuoso

• Petr Šikola (CZE) / architect, DOMY JINAK, teacher, Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Czech University of Technology

• Radek Vopalecký (CZE) / architect, VISION ARCHITECTURE

• Marcel Růžička (CZE) / architect

• Otakar Svoboda (CZE) / director, South Czech Philharmonic in České Budějovice

• Martin Hart (CZE) / marketing director, KOMA MODULAR.

• Jan Němec (CZE) / master architect of the city of České Budějovice

1st Prize – €2500
2nd Prize – €1500
3rd Prize – €1000
Design Challenge
The topic of the competition is the design of a multi-purpose centre of the South Czech Philharmonic with a variable hall for an audience of up to 1,000 persons, combined with an open stage for open-air concerts with all the necessary amenities for the artists as well as for the visitors of the cultural installation of the South Czech Philharmonic.
   Knowledge about modular construction and the use of the system in practice is a principal aim of the competition. The competition will especially award creative approaches with atypical solutions to the presented problems. The assessment will also consider the quality of the architectural and urban solution of the design, the layout and functional solution of the designs, as well as its originality. For the design itself, it is important to explore modular technology and its limits, to examine the contribution of modular architecture as well as the application of sustainable principles in designing modular buildings.
For more information:


New York State Pavilion Competition

Sponsors: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Borough of Queens, etc.
Type: open, international, one-stage, ideas
Eligibility: Must be 13 years of age to enter
Fee: None
Language: English (program in Spanish and Chinese)
1 July 2016 – Submission deadline
1st prize – $3,000
2nd prize – $1,000
3rd prize – $500
Fan favorite – $500
Design Challenge
Designed by Philip Johnson, the New York State Pavilion was the “shining star of the 1964-65 World”s Fair, unlike anything anyone had ever seen. After decades of disuse and deterioration, the structure is poised for a comeback…but as what? The challenge is to re-imagine this landmark building.
For more information:


Plural City Ideas Challenge

Sponsor: Center for Pubic Interest Design, Portland, Oregon
Type: International, open, one-stage
Eligibility: No restrictions
Language: English
$30 – early registration
$40 – late registration
29 May 2016 – Registration and submission deadline
1st Prize – $1,000
2nd Prize –   $500
3rd Prize –   $250
• Brent Brown, bcWORKSHOP
• Brentin Mock, CityLab
• Dan Pitera, Detroit Collaborative Design Center
• Katie Swenson, Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship
• Belinda Tato, ecosistema urbano
Design Challenge
The competition’s objective is to envision the design of an imaginative, sustainable, viable resource exchange in an area threatened by economic displacement and homogenization. Submission ideas can focus on a range of scales and methods, such as innovate material use, sustainable construction, individual structures, infrastructure, neighborhood design, and tactical urbanism.
For more information:



Lord Stanley’s Gift Monument Jury Announced

Note: Public Art Competition for Canadian Artists


•  ADRIAN BURNS, BA, LLD (CHAIR), Chair, Board of Trustees, National Arts Centre; Director, Shaw Communications

• MARIE-EVE BEAUPRE, BA, MA, Curator of Collections, Contemporary Art Museum, Montreal

•  STEPHEN BORYS, PhD, MBA, Director/CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery

•  VICTORIA HENRY, BA, MA, Former Director, Canada Council Art Bank

• ROCH CARRIER, OC, Former Head, Canada Council for the Arts; Former National Librarian of Canada; Author, The Hockey Sweater

• KEN DRYDEN, PC, OC, Former NHL Goaltender;, Former MP;, Author, The Game

• ROY MACGREGOR, OC, Globe and Mail Journailst; Author, Home Team; Author, Canoe Country

• VICTOR RABINOVITCH, BA, PhD, Former CEO, Canadian Museum of Civilization

• KIM RATUSHNY, BA, LLB, LLM, Former Women’s Hockey Player, Team Canada

• JONATHAN SHAUGHNESSY, BFA, MA, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada

For more information: http://lordstanleysgift.com