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RIBA Gulf Chapter launches student competition

The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Gulf Chapter is launching an architectural student competition open to students residing in the States of the Gulf Cooperation Council called Urban Exchange: The Souk.

The results of the competition will be announced at a high profile ceremony to coincide with the formal launch of the RIBA Gulf Chapter on 21st October at the British Embassy Abu Dhabi. Supported by the UKTI, the launch will be a fully multi-disciplinary event, engaging with key clients, consultants and contractors that influence the market for the built environment.

The objective of the competition is to explore new visions and develop design proposals for ‘the city’. The competition will set students the challenge of re-addressing the street culture and its human activities to the urban context. Students will be asked to choose a site in an urban context which they feel is in need of rejuvenation, and come up with ideas and concepts representing the modern interpretation of the Souk.

“The newly established RIBA Gulf Chapter has launched this scheme to celebrate the work demonstrated by students across the Gulf with focus on the theme of revitalisation of urban spaces. This new initiative forms part of the RIBA’s mission to promote design excellence in the region, to address key issues in appropriate design, cultural response and environmental sustainability. I am sure students will rise to the challenge of this exciting opportunity and look forward to seeing designs which will both inspire and demonstrate the creativity of a future generation of architects” – Sunand Prasad, RIBA President.

The competition will be assessed by an eminent panel of judges in the UAE in September 2009. There will be a 1st/2nd and 3rd prize awarded to the winning students and presented by Ruth Reed currently President Elect of the RIBA who will by then have taken up her Presidency.

The winning designs will take part in a touring exhibition post-competition and will be featured on the RIBA website, including coverage in the architectural trade press.

The competition brief will be available to download from 11th May 2009. The deadline for submission of designs is Tuesday 8th September 2009.

The competition will be run by the RIBA Competitions Office – www.architecture.com/competitions

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