In 1956, delegations of practicing architects from all over the world drew up a set of standard regulations for international competitions in architecture and urban planning, which UNESCO subsequently ratified. The framework and objectives embodied in the UNESCO Regulations have endured for more than sixty years, upholding equal treatment, transparency, qualified adjudication, quality and innovation. The authority conferred on the UIA by UNESCO allows us to serve as an expert advisory body in the realm of international competitions and awards in architecture and urban planning.



The UIA offer…


Advisory services

An architecture competition endorsed by the UIA receives expert guidance from the UIA’s International Competitions Commission (ICC), a panel of international architects with experience in organising and adjudicating architecture competitions.
The UIA Secretariat will also provide the competition organiser with tools and templates to help with the administrative proceedings, such as the UIA Competitions Guide and a Model Competition Brief.

Jury members

The UIA will nominate one jury member to the professional and independent jury. The UIA representative will be carefully selected based on their experience, expertise and affinity with the competition in question.

International visibility

A UIA-endorsed competition will benefit from increased visibility via the UIA’s international communications channels, thereby reaching national Member Sections, regional and partner organisations, architecture schools and the architectural press.
If you are interested in working with the UIA to organise your architecture competition or award, please contact us well in advance of the launch – we will help you with your preparations.


Before you go further…

Please note that in order to have the support of the UIA, the UNESCO Regulations must be followed throughout the competition process, from endorsement to the announcement of the winners.
Key points to remember from the UNESCO Regulations:

  • UIA-endorsed competitions must be validated by the UIA Member Section of the country in which they are organised.
  • Organisers must contact the UIA before launching the competition.
  • The UIA must name one jury member to the professional and independent jury. The UIA representative may balance the jury demographically, professionally or in terms of gender.
  • The independent, international jury must be composed of a majority of architects, and a majority of members foreign to the country in which the competition is being held.
  • The competition entries must remain anonymous from the moment a project is received by the organisers until the announcement of the winners following the conclusion of the meeting.

Did you know…

The following buildings all resulted from UNESCO-UIA endorsed architecture competitions:

  • Sydney Opera House, Australia, Jørn Utzon architect (1956)
  • Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, France, Renzo Piano, Richard Rodgers architects (1971)
  • Foreign Affairs Ministry in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Henning Larsen architect (1980)
  • La Grande Arche, in La Défense, Paris, France, Johann Otto von Spreckelsen architect (1982)
  • La Villette Park, in Paris, France, Bernard Tschumi (1982)
  • Tokyo International Forum, Japan, Rafael Viñoly architect (1989)
  • François Mitterrand Library in Paris, Dominique Perrault, architect (1989)
  • Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in Alexandria, Egypt, Snøhetta architects (1989)
  • Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, in Nouméa, New Caledonia, Renzo Piano architect (1991)
  • The National Museum, Seoul, Republic of Korea, Chang-il Kim architect (1995)
  • Grand Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, Heneghan Peng Architects (2002)
  • Forest of Light, Asia Cultural Center in Gwangju, Korea, Kyu Sung Woo Architects, Incorporated (2005)
  • Prehistory Museum, Jeongok, Korea, X-Tu Architects (2006)
  • Nam June Paik, Asia Cultural Center in Suwon, Korea, Kirsten Schemel Architekten (2008)
  • Bamiyan Cultural Centre, in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, Carlos Nahuel Recabarren, Manuel Alberto Martinez Catalan & Franco Morero (2015)