Architecture competitions Recognising architectural excellence and innovation

Functionality, rigorous construction standards, the ability to create a dialogue with the landscape, demonstrate spatial virtuosity, preserve history, play a social role and embrace energy efficiency and digital prowess... these are just some of the criteria taken into consideration in architecture competitions and awards. Such awards recognise a major contribution in the field of construction, a specific project or a career achievement; they showcase the talents of architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape artists and public or private project owners, and celebrate the quality and originality of their projects. 

The Luxembourg Architecture Award: reflecting the vitality and quality of contemporary creation in Luxembourg

The Luxembourg Architecture Award (LAA) is held every four years. It is run by the Luxembourg Center for Architecture, or LUCA, in recognition of the achievements of architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and urban planners. It celebrates the quality of the built environment and projects that bring about improvements to our surroundings.

The competition was launched in 1995, and the eighth and most recent edition was held in 2019. All the eligible projects – there were more than 170 in total – were publicly displayed in a large-scale exhibition at LUCA. They are also all presented on the competition website, which not only promotes the quality of contemporary creation in Luxembourg and around the world but also serves as an archive of local creativity and excellence.

© LUCA

In 2023, a series of new finalists will be recognised in each of the five categories (residential architecture, non-residential architecture, interior design, civil engineering structures, and landscape architecture and outdoor/public spaces). Keep your eyes peeled for more news nearer the time!

The Luxembourg Center for Architecture (LUCA), a non-profit association, creates and shares knowledge about the history and current state of architecture in Luxembourg. It promotes the value of both local architectural projects and urban development as vital for civilisation and quality of life. LUCA is also a platform for dialogue and initiatives for the entire architectural community, and in this capacity it organises conferences, debates, exhibitions, guided tours and the Luxembourg Pavilion at the "Venice Biennale" International Architecture Exhibition. Publications, archives and a library provide additional information about the past and present of our built environment. 

Bauhärepräis: recognising the project owners that are building Luxembourg

The Bauhärepräis (Project Owner's Prize), run by the OAI (the Ordre des architectes et des ingénieurs-conseils, an industry association for architects and consulting engineers), has been the flagship event for the construction industry since it was set up in 2000. It is held every four years. The next edition will take place in 2024 and will once again recognise the achievements of private or public project owners whose well-designed, effective projects achieve outstanding results in terms of architecture, engineering, town planning and urban management

© OAI

The prize highlights the crucial relationship of trust between client and designer in the nine competition categories (single-family homes and apartment buildings, interior refurbishments, buildings for commercial, administrative or educational purposes, engineering projects, land development and technical facilities), which represent the work of the five professions represented by the OAI (architects, consulting engineers, town and local planners, interior designers, and landscape architects and engineers).

The prize also promotes contributions to our shared living environment, inspires and motivates future project owners, raises topics such as heritage and how we will live together in the future, and showcases local expertise. Each application is examined by a jury of professionals and stakeholders from political and cultural circles.

The OAI (Ordre des architectes et des ingénieurs-conseils) was set up in 1990 as an association for professionals in the fields of architecture and engineering. It represents some 714 design and consultancy firms and more than 5,000 people. In connection with its three missions – legal, professional and cultural –, the OAI promotes the work of its members at economic, social, cultural and artistic level, focusing above all on the creation of a sustainable, quality living environment. The OAI is a member of several international organisations, where it promotes the quality of Luxembourg's architecture. The OAI's members provide project owners with a comprehensive range of support services for their projects, from planning to monitoring during construction. The fact that the organisation represents five related professions facilitates the provision of coordinated services throughout the process.

Venice Biennale: presence on the global stage

The Venice Biennale has been one of the world's most prestigious cultural events for the past 120 years. The first International Art Exhibition was held in Venice in 1895. Nowadays more than 500,000 visitors attend the Biennale. In the 1930s, new festivals were added for music, cinema, theatre, etc. The first International Architecture Exhibition took place in 1980.

Luxembourg is a central player in this prestigious celebration of architectural achievement. In 2018, after nearly two decades, the Luxembourg Pavilion moved from the Ca' del Duca, a former Venetian house on the banks of the Canale Grande, to the first floor of the Sale d'Armi de l'Arsenale, a former production site of the Republic of Venice. The space is one of the two main venues for the event. It houses part of the official exhibition and several pavilions from other countries.

The Venice Biennale is held every two years. The 2020 edition was postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The curator and organiser for Luxembourg is once again the Luxembourg Center for Architecture (LUCA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture. Sara Noel Costa De Araujo, architect and scenographer, founder and director of the Brussels- and Luxembourg-based architecture firm Studio SNCDA, has been appointed as exhibition curator.

For this 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Luxembourg's contribution is entitled "Homes for Luxembourg". The installation encourages reflection on the question "How will we live together?", in reference to the overall title of the Biennale. The pandemic radically transformed our lifestyles, forcing us to live in a limited area, with minimal contact and reduced consumption. It challenged long-standing notions concerning the relationship between urban and rural, interior and exterior, home and work, the built environment and nature. The exhibition designed by Sara Noel Costa de Araujo focuses on these dualities. 

Did you know...

… that five Luxembourgers have been nominated for the 2022 Mies van der Rohe Award?

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe award this prize every two years. It recognises excellence in contemporary European architectural production. Of the 449 proposals from 279 towns and cities in 41 countries, the jury has nominated five works from Luxembourg:

  • Hôtel Graace – Christian Bauer et Associés Architectes Luxembourg
  • Holise Housings Buildings – Moreno Architecture architectes associés sarl, BEST, Dalzotto & Associés Luxembourg
  • Shopping Center Cloche d'Or – Fabeck Architectes, SchemelWirtz architectes Luxembourg
  • Water Tower Luxembourg Gasperich – Jim Clemes Associates SA – Luxembourg
  • New Sports Hall Bridel – Architecture + Aménagement SA