Uniquely among the professions, architects, through the medium of architectural competitions, provide and fund a vast quantity of work at virtually no cost to the community. Such competitions represent a considerable investment in terms of time and overhead costs and, in return for this investment, architects ask that architectural competitions be held in accordance with recognised norms.
The RIAI has a responsibility for architectural competitions nationally, for architectural competitions in the EU in accordance with the regulations of the Architects Council of Europe, and internationally in accordance with the regulations of the International Union of Architects.
For an architectural competition to be successful it should meet the following criteria:
- the project should be of importance to the community;
- the competition should comply with national and international standards; the documentation should provide the best possible level of information and briefing to the competitors;
- there should be experienced architectural assessors of standing;
- entries should be anonymous;
- the competition should result in a commission to the winner.
The main forms of architectural competition are
- Open Design Competition
- Invited Design Competition
- Concept / Architect Selection Competition
The RIAI and the Department of Education and Skills will announce an open two-stage architectural design competition later in 2011 for the design of a new Post-Primary school. Plans for the competition were announced by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn at an RIAI Colloquium on Designing Primary Schools for the Future in July and at the RIAI Annual Conference in Carlow on 24 October.