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Competition: Power installation, RIBA gallery

Playing the Picturesque by You + Pea
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The RIBA has launched a contest to design a £25,000 temporary installation at its central London gallery space

The ‘Architecture Open’ competition is open to RIBA members, chartered practices and architecture students, and seeks innovative proposals that respond to this year’s London Festival of Architecture (LFA) theme of ‘power’.

The winning team, to be announced in April, will receive a £4,000 fee to deliver their proposal inside the RIBA’s 66 Portland Place headquarters in time for the festival opening in late May. The installation will remain on site until September.

In its brief, the institute describes Architecture Open as ‘an annual opportunity for creatives at all stages of their careers to develop an artistic and architectural installation. The proposal can be an existing project or idea, however evidence of experimentation, thought-provoking ideas relating to the theme and imaginative thinking around audiences are encouraged.

‘Clear consideration of material and construction methods should also be expressed, especially in relation to best practice in sustainability. Architects and architecture students are welcome to develop collaborative ideas with artists or designers.’

RIBA head of exhibitions and interpretation Marie Bak Mortensen said: ‘In its five-year history, the RIBA Architecture Gallery has commissioned architects and designers to present their ideas in critically acclaimed exhibitions, including Assemble, Pablo Bronstein, APPARATA, Giles Round, Sam Jacob Studio and Pezo von Ellrichshausen.

‘The 2020 theme of Power is a pertinent and broad one which will no doubt encourage a range of responses, and I look forward to seeing the breadth and quality of the proposals submitted this year.’

The RIBA opened the £900,000 architecture gallery – designed by Carmody Groarke with Julian Harrap – inside its 1934 London headquarters six years ago. Landmark exhibitions have included the Brutalist Playground by Assemble and the Periscopic Pavilion by Max Dewdney Architects.

The winners of last year’s Architecture Open were Luke Caspar Pearson and Sandra Youkhana of You+Pea. Their ‘Playing the Picturesque’ scheme (pictured) involved a series of scaled folly structures and digital projections creating a virtual game environment which responded to visitors.

Applications for the latest commission must include a team description, 400-word project description, up to two A4 pages responding to this year’s theme, up to five images of previous relevant projects, and a spatial proposal for the gallery. Schemes will be judged on their response to the theme and use of sustainable materials and methods.

The deadline for applications is 13 February 

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: opencall@riba.org

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