Architecture competitions in Europe

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Architecture competitions in Europe

Annually, the Royal Institute of British Architects conducts a competition inviting architects from Europe to participate in it. The winner receives RIBA Jencks award. In 2015, the winners in this competition are Pierre de Meuron and Jaques Herzog. Herzog and de Meuron are Swiss architects. The works of these architects include Beijing National Stadium, Allianz Arena located in Munich, Prada store located in Tokyo, and Elbe Philharmonic Hall located in Hamburg. The award consists of 1000 Pounds sterling along with a certificate.

But RIBA is not the only European institute or body that conducts such competitions. The list of such prestigious architecture competitions in Europe includes

a. FAD Architecture and Interior Design Awards;
b. New London Architecture Awards;
c. Royal Gold Medal; and
d. Best Architects 16.

History of architectural competitions in Europe

Royal Gold Medal, perhaps, is one of the oldest such competition. This competition was started by the British Monarch as far back as 1848, and hence it is a European competition. However, it is an International competition. Moreover, the award is given by assessing many of the architectural works of the person or firm. The first annual FAD or the Fostering Arts and Design Association awards were first given almost 57 years ago, i.e., in 1958. However, the first FAD awards were given as far back as 1899. ArquinFad convenes this festival annually, entries for which need to be submitted before February 1st each year. The structures considered for these awards are essentially those built on Iberian islands and peninsula. New London Architecture awards are given by Pipers Projects Limited. These are a decade old awards given for architectural excellence in London, UK. The list of architectural works considered for these awards include conservation structures, retrofit, heath care structures, homes, hotels, office buildings, housing complexes, etc. Even the interior designing is considered for giving these awards. Best Architects 16 awards were established in 2016. It is an annual award, restricted to countries that spoke German. But this year, i.e., in 2015, participants are invited from all over Europe.

Future of architectural competitions in Europe

New technologies have opened new possibilities for architecture as well. It is also difficult to confine judgment of architecture to any region now. International participation will certainly help to improve knowledge and come up with innovative solutions. New world now has new requirements as well, and architecture across the world needs to tighten its belts to meet the needs of future, such as energy conservation and green homes. It is not only about creating unusual and striking buildings anymore, though they are important. It is also about making optimal use of available resources, and creating long lasting masterpieces. Competition is stiff, and issues such as transportation and parking also need to be considered. Contemporary requirements need to be incorporated in any design and the end result should be beautiful like the Japanese flower arrangements. It is a tall order, but European architects as well as International architects are rising to the occasion. There have been criticisms too, which will help these European organizations to improve their standards and make these awards equivalent to the Nobel prize in this field.

architecture competitions in the us

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architecture competitions in the us

The U.S remains on top of the biggest providers of architecture competitions. It is still considered as a central hub for innovations.
The US is the home of some of the most advanced architectural practices, and several organizations and corporations are involved in crafting yearly architectural competitions.
Competitions like the U.S pavilion exhibition for 2016 Architecture for Venice is only one of the examples of competitions where US architects are involved.

Architects in the US are open in joining competitions that are revolutionary and will involve the use of imagination.
The Architectural Imagination and curated exhibitions are usually a part of some architecture competitions in the United States.
Architectural projects are usually funded this way, and after the contest the projects are displayed inside a pavilion or a public space where people can view them and discuss the changes that are occurring when it comes to architecture.
The architecture competitions in the US are usually supported by major universities like the University of Michigan
Taubman College of Architecture and urban planning and also supported by websites like

The architecture contests in the country are also widely supported by The American Institute of Architects as well as the Technology in Architectural Practice, Knowledge Community or TAP. It is usually presented together with AIA TAP innovation awards in order to recognize the innovation of
top-notch architects who continue to present new ideas.
Architecture contests are usually empowered by the idea of management and building new environment designs together with the help of new advanced processes and technologies.

The competitions that are being given are usually related to emphasizing architectural projects that emphasize on history, urban design, and will tackle on social responsibility and effect of architecture in a certain community.
Most of the competitions in the US are open to different nationalities and are not limited.
The winners are recognized for their outstanding contributions in categories of Architecture, including that of Interior Architecture, including that of Historic preservation, innovation, rehabilitation programs, and issues of sustainability in and design that will usually involve young structure designers.

History of Architecture in the US:

Design competition has been a part of organizations in the country for a very long time.
The construction of new buildings is always an invitation for young and veterans to shell out their design inspirations.
The design proposals are submitted, and the winning proposals are usually chosen by independent panel of design professionals and stakeholders and are then used for actual creation of buildings.
Design competitions in the country have always been relevant, history of architecture competitions would usually involve generating publicity for a certain project and allowing the emergence of new designers to gain exposure.
The competitions in the US are often used to award commissions for public buildings.
For example, the design competition that was released in 2002 for the World Trade Center site design has been unveiled and used as a design inspiration and this pattern of drawing ideas continues to be a part of the architectural history patterns in the US.

Future of Architecture Competitions:

The architecture competitions in the US are broad, and is expected to welcome more architectural styles and forms in the future.
It will continue to be as diverse as possible, due to the multicultural society.
The US architecture culture and pattern will remain rich and eclectic, while continuing innovative traditions.
The number of Americans is perceived to increase in the coming years, thus solidifying the need for more structures, there will be a lot of clients that are going to be serviced by architects and architectural companies around the US such as Austin architectural company
There will be major changes in the healthcare industry, security, transportation, production and economy of the US, which will reflect the need for more innovative designs and architecture competitions in the future that will help design the sustainability issues of the United States.

Architecture competitions in China

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The Chinese are known for their unique sense of style in architecture. This is an area they have greatly specialized in with architecture competitions in China dating back to very many centuries ago; it is generally old like the Chinese civilization. Their prowess and creativity in architecture has resulted in the unique and renowned Chinese architecture which has quite established and has been identified in East Asia for quite a while now; probably for centuries. Throughout time, the Chinese have continued to modify their architecture more and more; thus there are some differences between the past and modern Chinese architecture.

Ancient Chinese architecture competitions
Ancient Chinese competitions in architecture resulted in architecture characterized by the times, region and nationality. It portrays the rich Chinese history and culture. It saw great improvement on the technique of buildings made of timber. Builders had knowledge on earth ramming, firing tiles and building with stones. During the Southern, Northern, Wei and Jin dynasties, there was a lot of improvement on architecture technology with general increase in bricks, timber and tiles output and quality. Many Buddhist architectures were built at the time. Great improvements were done over time until the Ming and Qing dynasties; the last 2 imperial Chinese dynasties where ancient architecture reached its peak with high bricks production, high glaze tiles quality and quantity. Official buildings at this era were highly standardized. Features of the ancient Chinese architecture include;
Flexible Structures. The ancient structures have wood as their main material with other components e.g. columns, purlins and beams connected by mortises and tendons. This makes the structures quite flexible.
Elegant Appearance. Ancient Chinese structures are known for their elegant profiles and varied structures e.g. different roof shapes, overhanging eaves etc. the structures serve their practical functions as well as having beautiful and wonderful appearances.
Regular Layout. The ancient structures do have buildings e.g. temples, palaces, folk houses etc. in a single complex. This reflexes the unique recognition of symmetry and harmony in ancient China.
Gorgeous Ornaments. Ancient Chinese architects recognize the need for ornaments in a structure for aesthetic value; either in a wholly or in some parts.

The present and future Chinese architecture competitions
Present and Modern Chinese architecture is generally all that has been built since mid-19th century. It has a wide variety of styles in architecture; blending traditional elements and cutting edge modern icons of architecture. The present Chinese architecture is inspired both from home and abroad designed to be more market oriented. It also embraces technology especially digital influence and energy-saving green’ architecture. Modern architecture styles are the current mainstream; with most residential and commercial structures dominating Chinese cities especially along the eastern coastline.
The future of Chinese architecture is quite bright and spectacular. As earlier stated, the Chinese are very creative people when it comes to architecture and they never fail to amaze. New and more creative structural designs keep on coming up that gives one a glimpse of the architecture of tomorrow. With further diversification with fusion of foreign cultures and influence by technology, truly there is a lot to come when it comes to the Chinese architecture.

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