Intrinsic Mismatches within Architectural Competitions: Case Sibbesborg

Tiina Merikoski, Susa Eräranta


The architectural competition is an instrument used to investigate possible futures and create knowledge for architectural design and land use planning. In this paper, architectural competitions are discussed as vehicles to finding transformative and effective solutions for planning and building sustainable communities. We argue that the competition as a tool has features that limit its capacity to actually provide solutions for the problems that it is primarily intended to solve.

The paper explores this argument in light of an open international planning competition held in Finland in 2011. The key research questions of this study have been: How did the case study competition proposals perform in terms of the given guidelines and assignment; and, did novel and transformative ideas or solutions emerge?

The results of this study should prove useful to both competition organizers and competitors. They also provide thoughts on how competition practices need to be reformed in order to better respond to the requirements of the 21st century.

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