Architecture competitions in Europe

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.

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