SAFA in English

Character of the Architectural Competition

In architectural competitions, the organiser formulates the competition task. Depending on the scope of the project, the implementation schedule and the desired degree of detail, the competition can be carried out as either a planning or ideas competition. In a two-stage competition, different competition types can be combined, so that the emphasis of the design task is on cityscape ideas in the first stage and on a more detailed building design in the second stage.

Format of the Architectural Competition

The character of the competition task and the desired number of alternative solutions influence the decision to hold either an open or invited competition.

Open architectural competitions


An open architectural competition gives the potential for the creation of new, innovative planning solutions and architecture. An extensive material for making a comparison is obtained by charting both the implementation costs and user costs of different solutions. The number of participants in an open competition is not limited. In an open competition only those proposals deemed as best are awarded prizes or purchased (0% VAT). The size of the prizes depends on how demanding the design task is and the extent of the material required from the competitor. Arranging an open competition lasts 7-11 months, depending on the project.

Invited architectural competitions


Invited architectural competitions are used, for instance, when time is scarce and the task can be clearly demarcated. The multifaceted setting out of options for solutions is not necessary: the aim is to implement the project by studying only a few solutions. Only architects invited by the organisers can participate in an invited competition. The invitation may be preceded by a registration stage. Usually four to six architects or groups are invited to enter the competition. All those invited to a competition are paid the same size fee (+22% VAT), the amount of which depends on the extent and degree of difficulty of the task. Arranging an invited competition lasts 4-6 months, depending on the project.

Leppäsuo blocks in Helsinki invited competition 2006, winning entry, Tuomo Siitonen Architects

Leppäsuon korttelit v. 2006, voittanut ehdotus, Tuomo Siitonen