RIBA launches global 'best building' competition

Entries are now open to all qualified architects, for buildings of any type, budget and from any country

A new international architecture award for the world’s ‘best new building’ has been launched by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The global prize, which is now open for entry for any qualified architect, can be awarded to a building of any type or budget, in any country.

According to RIBA, the winning building will set a new global standard for architectural achievement, and “will demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context”.

For the inaugural year of the prize, entries must have been completed within the past three years (between 1 January 2013 and 1 February 2016). For each year thereafter, the prize will be awarded to a building completed within two years.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, described by RIBA as a ‘Grand Jury’, led by acclaimed architect Richard Rogers, and including Kunlé Adeyemi, founder and principal of NLÉ and Philip Gumuchdjian, founder of Gumuchdjian Architects, and chair of RIBA’s awards committee. More judges will be announced in due course.

The judging process will include six finalists selected following judges visiting each shortlisted building twice in person. Each six will then be visited once more by the Grand Jury to decide on the winning building, which will be announced at a ceremony in London in December 2016.

RIBA president Jane Duncan said the Institute was thrilled to launch the new awards to recognise and celebrate architectural excellence across the world.

“It is our intention that the RIBA International Prize will uncover the world’s most innovative and visionary architecture and spark local and global debates about the positive impact that well-designed buildings and places can have on their communities and environment,” Ms Duncan said.

This being the first time RIBA has opened their awards to any architect from any country; RIBA judge Kunlé Adeyemi said he looked forward to exploring how architects worldwide were responding to the unique challenges and opportunities of their local geographies with resourceful and innovative solutions.

The RIBA International Prize is being held in association with the UIA (Union Internationale des Architectes). All entries should be submitted by Tuesday 9 February 2016.