Competitions are a big part of architecture. Loads of interesting commissions are obtained by means of competitions, and quite some offices solely obtain their jobs from competitions. And that's not only the big, invited competitions that the stars of architecture participate in, also smaller design competitions play a huge role for offices.
But also for young, emerging architects, competitions can form a breakthrough moment to obtain commissions one would otherwise never get. Just think of the offices that started out after winning Europan, or something similar.
And the internet is, of course, a brilliant way to actually find different competitions. It's easy to browse through online databases with competitions, select local ones that might be interesting, choose certain types of commissions and more. The downfall is that there are just so many websites filled with competitions out there, that it's hard to keep the overview. And that's exactly what I'm trying to do with this post: make some sort of overview of the (many) websites that regularly display overviews of architecture and design competitions. It will definitely not be complete, so if you think a website is missing, let me know...
The Danish institute of architecture keeps an overview (and helps with the organization) of Danish competitions - and adds some international competitions to the site, too.
Archined is a Dutch architecture portal, on which they keep a small selection of competitions, calls for papers and so on. It's devided in "national" (Dutch) and "international" (worldwide) competitions.
This international portal has a free mailinglist service, to keep updates on competitions. Other than that, they have some information/discussion about competitions on their forum.
This Dutch website gives a small overview of Dutch and international competitions. However, the site is only in Dutch.
The Architect's Newspaper
It's not the website with the clearest overview, or the best way of searching through the listings, but they have a lot of competitions and awards on their website.
The Architecture Room
This all-round architecture website has a nice variety of competitions. They also have some nice non-architectural design competitions on here, every once in a while.
This site has the full overview of architectural competitions and awards in Austria. It shows results, new competitions, it has different ways to search the database: all in all, it's very complete. But only in German, though.
An overview of German and international competitions, in German. A nice selection, but I'm pretty sure this is a collaboration with Bauwelt, so they have the same competitions featured.
An overview of German and international competitions, in German. A nice selection, but I'm pretty sure this is a collaboration with Baunetz, so they have the same competitions featured.
The American website Bustler has loads of information on competitions, events, awards and all that.
This German website is all about competitions. Whether it's competition announces, competition results, you can find it here. It's mainly regionally confined to the German speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), but they also have some more international competions on the site. The website is in German.
This website is solely dedicated to architecture and design competitions. And they have a nifty newsletter-service, too!
An overview of Spanish architectural competitions. Or at least, I assume it is. I hardly understand Spanish, so I'm not completely sure.
Death by Architecture
A decent overview of a wide assortment of competitions, mainly US-based. However, it seems that the website had more content some time ago - or would it be that there are less US-competitions because of the financial crisis?
Well, it isn't architecture, but this site features some design competitions, every once in a while. I figured that that's close enough to earn a position on this list...
If you are able to read German, you can pretty much find all European competitions and tenders through this site.
This Italian website remains somewhat of an enigma to me - and not just because of the language. It's clear that they have tons of information on competitions, but I've got the feeling that you have to be a (paying) member to be able to see the most crucial data.
National Association of Norwegian Architects
If you are looking for a competition in Norway, this is the site to turn to. However, don't bother if you cannot understand Norwegian - It's all in Norwegian, as far as I can tell.
Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland
An overview of some competitions in Ireland. However, I get the feeling that this website isn't updated very regularly.
Royal Institute of British Architects
If there's an architecture competition in the U.K., It's bound to come from this website. The RIBA organizes and publicizes the British architecture competitions.
The Swiss association of architects has a database with all kinds of architecture and building commissions. The website is both in German and French.
This Dutch organisation helps with organizing competitions, makes sure that competitions follow the right procedures for competitions and such - albeit only in the Netherlands. Correspondingly, it has a (small) database of live competitions in the Netherlands. The Website is in Dutch.
Swedish Association of Architects
An overview of live architecture competitions in Sweden, mixed with some international competitions. Unfortunately, even though there is a ton of information in English on the site, the contents of the competitions are mostly only in Swedish.
TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) gives an overview of all European Tenders - which means all kinds of public commissions that fit within the rules of the European Tenders. Part of these are architectural works, but most are otherwise. A lot of great jobs can come from a site like this, but it takes time to search it, and (depending on the country) it can be a hassle - including stringent demands on behalf of the competitors - to enter the competitions.
Union of International Architects
Within the site of the Union of International Architects, there's a small section dedicated to international architecture competitions. Most of them can be found elsewhere, too.