Architectural Design Competitions

An Architectural Competition is a good way to obtain the best design for certain projects. The benefits to the promoter of the competition are innumerable. The project would benefit from the creative minds of many architects, driven by the knowledge that they will have to produce their best work through a transparent evaluation/selection systems to have a chance of winning the competition.

The Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) has the ability and capability to organise open competitions in compliance to the SIA Competition Guidelines.

The competition, as far as possible, must be open and should be conducted in accordance to the SIA Competition Guidelines so as to benefit both the promoter and participants and achieve a win-win situation for all and in the process further enhance the built environment for the enjoyment of the public.

In the interest of constantly improving the quality of design, Architectural services and the built environment, these competitions must adhere to the following principles in order to realize and achieve the above objective.



To serve national good in eliciting innovative design ideas that will help in promoting good architecture and design and consequently a better built environment. It also uplifts the status of the profession, which will then further promote and encourage the development of new exciting and ground breaking design ideas for the good of both the promoter and the public.

This is a consequential follow up from the strategic level as the end tangible result of a competition leads to procurement of innovative design and architectural services. In order to ensure that the competition is successful and that the promoter will enjoy the best design for his building in terms of meeting his functional needs as well as a very high level of architectural design, competitions must adhere to the following principles in order to realize and achieve its objective.

In order to bring this about, certain prerequisites are necessary: –

  1. good building brief that sets out the purpose of the building, the client’s aspirations and the detailed description of the functional aspects of the required accommodation. This is very important, as unlike a conventional project where the architect can dialogue with his client to produce the building brief, competitions brief taking must be done professionally as the competitors will be solely reliant on it to carry out their designs.
  2. Professional advice is also required in order to establish the constraints of the site in terms of planning and other Authority requirements as well as cost constraints. This professional advice will ensure that promoter will be able to achieve design submissions that are appropriate for his site and buildable within his budget.
  3. Qualified judges are essential to the success of the competitions. The selection of the best and most appropriate design is the responsibility of the judges. The quality of the judges is especially important for open competitions as participants will only risk spending their effort when they have the confidence that the judges will be able to evaluate their submissions properly. In international competitions, it is virtually a necessity that there would be world renowned architects sitting in the judging panel.
  4. Anonymous submission and selection is another important element as this ensures a level playing field where the judges would not be influenced or prejudiced for or against any scheme because of the identity of the author. Anonymous submission ensures that the selection would be based solely on merit and will ensure that the promoter will have a worthy winning design.

The foregoing prerequisites require that an architect advisor be appointed to manage the competition. This is detailed hereinafter.


Architectural design competitions conducted in accordance to SIA Competition Guidelines

  • Proposed Development of St John’s Home for Elderly Persons
  • Wisma Geylang Serai Design Competition
  • Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre
  • Punggol Mosque
  • Indian Heritage Centre
  • Al-Ansar Mosque
  • Tampines Town Council Neighbourhood Renewal Program
  • Stadium & Museum Stations
  • NUS Alumni Complex
  • scape*
  • Maybank Chambers at Battery Road