Design Competition for the New Headquarters for the Kuwait Foundation of Sciences (KFAS)

The UIA is pleased announce the pre-selection phase of the international, restricted two phase architecture competition for the design of the new headquarters for the Kuwait Foundation of Sciences (KFAS), a private, non-profit organisation dedicated to progress and to the advancement of the society through science and technology. The pre-selection phase of the competition is open to both “experienced and young architects, large and small offices.” The organisers are looking for the “highest degree of creativity,
innovation, sensitivity and commitment.”

The new headquarters of the KFAS will include a convention centre, both buildings covering 11 000 square meters each, and a master plan covering 60 hectares. In keeping with the ambitious mission of KFAS, the new headquarters should be “forward-looking, innovative and cost-efficient,” meeting the “highest sustainability standards” and should “offer a flexible and modern working environment for its staff.” The competition aspires to result in exemplary buildings, which can be a model for further developments in the Gulf region.

The competition is organised by KFAS and managed by the German agency [phase eins]. The UIA has endorsed the competition because its regulations are in accordance with the UNESCO Regulations for International Competitions in Architecture and Town Planning.

An independent committee will select between 40 and 60 participants to move on to the first phase of the competition. Selection is based on three reference projects. Candidates must provide technical data and a collage of illustrations and should be ready to prove the “comparability of their projects with the competition project and the location in the Arab region as well as the innovative character and quality of their design.” Selected candidates will have approximately two months to prepare their projects, which will be assessed by an internationally renowned professional jury. From the participants in the first phase, approximately 10 will be selected to participate in the second phase.

Anonymity will be maintained until the shortlisting period at the beginning of the second phase.

Announcement 26 March 2018
Application deadline 16 April 2018
Selection of participants 30 April 2018
Working period Stage 1 7 May – 4 July 2018
Participants’ Colloquium Stage 13 May 2018
July meeting Stage 1 31 July and 1 August 2018
Working period Stage 2 16 August – 1 November 2018
Participants’ Colloquium Stage 2 August/September 2018
Jury meeting Stage 2 2-3 December 2018

The language of the competition is English.

Mr. Abdlatif Yousef Al-Hamad, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (Kuwait)
Prof. Markus Allmann, Architect (Germany)
Ahmed Abdullah Al-Manfouhi, Engineer (Kuwait)
Prof. Nezar AlSayyad, Architect (USA/Egypt)
Prof. Amale Andraous, Architect (USA/Lebanon)
Prof. Hasan-Uddin Khan, Architect (USA/Pakistan)
Prof. Mark Mack, Architect (USA/Austria)

The pre-selection phase is open to all architects. Participants chosen to move on to the first phase are encouraged to possess demonstrable knowledge of the social and cultural context of the Gulf region.

A total of 530 000 USD is reserved for prize money.

For the 6-10 participants selected by the Jury to proceed to the second phase, a budget of 400 000 USD will be divided equally, providing each competitor with an honorarium between 40 000 and 66 000 USD. Competitors will be awarded 130 000 USD as prizes for their work at the end of the second phase.

KFAS will reward the commission to the prizewinning architect. The jury may attribute by unanimous vote two First Prize winners.

For more information, see the competition site: