Those who have based the development of our professional activity as architects in presentations of architectural competitions, we know that many factors influence. We can control some of them, not others.

The composition of the jury and their philosophy

It is one of the great unknowns. When a jury meets, it is unclear how events will develop.

Which member will play the leading role. Normally, the “guest star” is responsible for it. But that person arises, usually, by the choice of the contestants and it is not known until the architectural competition has been delivered.

In any architectural competition you have to make decisions. To make waivers. Doubts arise during the design process: what will be more valued by this jury? They are generic questions: what will be more taken into account, the use or the shape of the building? Or more specific What will they prefer, a wider lobby or more generous services?

Number of participants

They are becoming in more and more. Each time you have to make more effort.
And, unfortunately, the effort involved is not paid.

Cenital view of the crowd sitting on a stadium

Projects are not intended according to the number of participants but, undoubtedly, it is a determining factor.

I always say that participate in an architectural competition is playing the lottery, the ticket is months of hard work.




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Uncertainty or inconsistency in the program

Nobody as a contestant gets on the project. The comment always comes: “who has made this tender of the architectural competition does not know what he is talking about.”

There is little to do about it. Thinking and making decisions. Crossing fingers to be able to be right or rather, to match the discretion of the jury. To sum up, it is crazy.


It is fundamental. When you have not them, it is very difficult to achieve success in an architectural competition.

I am not saying it is lawful, but it is a reality.


Many clovers

Determinant factor when there are so many variables in play. You can develop a magnificent architectural competitions but as if you are not lucky enough to match the discretion of the jury, that several competitors violate the specifications, that you fulfill it (you need a lawyer by your side when it is time to interpret them), that the plotter is not ruined hours before delivery, that your contact step back, that you have a bright day, etc, etc, etc

Maybe, you could also be interested in this other article : 5 things to consider in your images for a contest