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RIBA Souk contest winners unveiled

The RIBA has awarded all five finalists equal commendations in a student competition to design a new ‘urban souk’ after failing to find an outright winner

Coinciding with the launch of the RIBA’s Gulf Chapter, the reception for ‘Urban Exchange: The Souk’ competition at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi saw the winning teams awarded with certificates of commendation and a prize of £500.

Students were invited to choose a site in an urban context which ‘in need of rejuvenation’ and to propose modern interpretations of a souk, or market, which addressed the nature of street culture, in particular its ‘human activities in an urban context’. Nineteen teams submitted competition proposals.

Peter Jackson, Jury chairman for the competition, commented: ‘Student architects are generally taught to focus a great deal on the form and function of individual buildings, and as a result often fail to see buildings in relationship to one another.’

He added that ‘it was these special qualities of urban and architectural design that this competition sought to draw out’ and praised the enthusiastic and diverse range of submissions to the competition.

The five commended entries were:

  • Nasreen Al Tamimi, UAE, studying at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalunya, Spain
  • Shruti Gupta, Abu Dhabi, studying at the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi
  • Esraa Ali Osman Mohammed, Marwa Ahmed, UAE University, Al Ain
  • Navid Nikpour, Islamic Azad University, Dubai Campus
  • Haitham Mohammed Al Busafi, Aliya A Sattar Al Hashim, Ahmed Abdullah Al Muqbali, Adi AL Farei, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Readers' comments (2)

  • An 'urban souk', you say?

    souk or suq (sk, shk)
    A market, or part of a market, in an Arab city.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • "Historically, souqs were held outside of cities in the location where a caravan loaded with goods would stop and merchants would display their goods for sale. Souqs were held when there was a caravan or more available. At that time, souqs were more than just a market to buy and sell goods; they were also major festivals and many cultural and social activities took place in them.

    Later, due to the importance of the marketplace and the growth of cities, the locations of souqs shifted to urban centers."

    Quote from Wickipedia - I think Anonymous is being a little too quick on the pedantic trigger there!


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