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Competition: Sziget festival pavilion, Budapest

The Sziget Festival in 2008

An international contest, judged by Sam Jacob, has been launched to design a £13,000 pavilion for the Sziget music festival in Budapest, Hungary

Open to individuals and teams of students and architects aged under 40, the single-stage Structures of Freedom competition seeks proposals for a temporary and flexible centrepiece for the week-long event.

The project, supported by ArchTalent, will deliver a 100m² shelter on a flat site within Budapest’s city centre Old Buda Island, which has hosted the 500,000-capacity music festival since its launch in 1993.

In their brief, the organisers say they are ‘searching for new ideas for the design of an ephemeral structure as a gathering place for people to meet and rest while enjoying the interaction of music, art and the magnetic and historic context of the festival and the island.

‘The space should serve also as a shelter and must be an iconic oasis for the warm and sunny weather of Budapest in August, where comfort, in terms of design and sustainability, will be guaranteed. We are also looking for proposals that encourage people to engage, experiment, and explore their environment. The competition aims to be an explosion of creative energy. A celebration of participatory music, art and culture where everything is possible.’

The festival was launched following the collapse of state funding for the arts after the end of Communism. It has now grown into a major international event with up to 496,000 visitors from 95 countries. Headlining acts have included Prince, the Prodigy, Motörhead and Judas Priest.

Named Sziget – meaning ‘island’ in Hungarian – after the landscaped 108ha River Danube islet it occupies, the festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary this summer from 9 to 16 August.

Proposals must be easy to construct within 10 days and quick to dismantle, while being constructed from durable materials able to withstand the impact from use by festival-goers as well as the wind, sun and rain.

Individuals and teams must register on the ArchTalent website, and entries should be in English and include a title page, brochure, concept page, budget and completed entry form. Participating teams may feature up to three people but must include at least one architecture graduate aged under 40.

Submissions will be judged on their overall design, depth of innovation, response to the context, recyclability and sustainability. Judges include Sam Jacob of Sam Jacob Studio, Caroline O’Donnell of CODA, and the festival’s creative director Dávid Ráday.

The winning team, to be announced on 9 June, will receive a £2,600 prize and VIP tickets and accommodation to attend the festival. The winning scheme will be constructed in the week preceding the event from 31 July to 8 August.

The registration deadline is 22 May and submissions must be completed by 23 May.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: Structuresoffreedom@archtalent.com