International Union of Architects
How to

The UNESCO-UIA International Competitions Programme

The UIA can recommend a specific type of competition suitable to the Organiser's particular project and needs.  There are two main types of competitions, Project competitions, resulting in a realisation, and Ideas competitions, which concentrate on theoretical concepts.  Competitions can be open or restricted, according to the specific aims of the Organiser. Competing teams can be multidisciplinary (and led by an architect) or composed entirely of architects. The UIA and its team of experienced advisors are available to assist and advise you. 

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, participating in and adjudicating architecture competitions. The competition also benefits from the UIA's international networks, including national Member Sections, regional and partner organisations, architecture schools and museums.

Competition organisers interested in obtaining an official endorsement from the UIA should contact the UIA Secretariat well in advance of the anticipated launch of the competition. The UIA Secretariat can provide useful guidance to the competition organiser, including the UIA Competitions Guide, a Model Brief and the UIA Competitions Endorsement Fee Structure as well as one complimentary, informational interview with one of the ICC Co-Directors or members.

The UIA will need at least one week to review the competition brief and to offer its recommendations. The brief and competition rules are evaluated based upon its adherence to the UNESCO Regulations, which embody the key values of the UNESCO-UIA Competitions Programme: Transparency, Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination and Fairness

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 enjoy the support of the professional national 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.

Why a UNESCO-UIA International Architecture Competition? UNESCO-UIA International Competitions & UIA Prizes List