UAUIMInternational Students Competition: upgrade | continuity & change

International Students Competition: upgrade|continuity & change

Theme | Rules | Events | Winning Projects | Jury Comments | Contact

September 2009 - March 2011

Feb 12th, 2011

Brief announcement:

The international jury, organizers and exclusive sponsor congratulate all participants in this international competition for the interesting approaches capable to highlight - in so many different ways - the issue of upgrade through architectural design intervention.
After evaluating for two days the 65 entries, the jury short listed 20 designs, from which 13 are awarded with distinctions and 7 nominated.

Images from the ceremony:

Jan 21st, 2011

Competition Jury Note


Oct 3rd, 2010

Deadline extended

The competition organizers announce the extension at 22nd of November 2010 for the deadline of projects submission.

Upon the specific request of numerous participants (architecture schools from more that 5 universities) the competition scientific committee validated the deadline extension. This decision was made such to encourage the knowledge and debate deepening within this international competition.



Ageing places, buildings and natural environments require delicate interventions. There are two frequently used approaches: subtle changes acting as a neutral background to highlight valuable building features; or broad changes permeating the place, establishing a dialogue between old and new features, possibly creating a new interpretation. There is however a further type of approach, one that empowers the place.

Many ageing buildings loose their character and are forgotten; similarly some entire areas, for various reasons, do not keep up with the times and fall out of fashion. These are the places we must address through architectural intervention generating empowerment, giving them an “upgrade”.
There are previously overlooked areas which can be empowered by an inspired architectural intervention. Subsequently, an upgrade may help communities by providing architectural support to answer their needs.

The modern era developed a preference for fractured progress. Displeased, rightfully or not, by the development and evolution of art, people have proved themselves willing to initiate radical changes, introduce new rules, reverse almost anything, and ultimately invent new universes. And more than once, cultural movements fused with or became companions of political ones. Denying almost everything that had occurred until then, new movements were introduced as the “real art” portraying a new version of the perfect world. But for a culture to exist and mature, one crucial ingredient is essential: CONTINUITY. Only continuity over generations offers a culture the chance to survive historical changes. Continuity however does not mean imprisonment in one point of time but perseverance and trust in a value system.

Continuity does not follow fashion trends and neither aims, emphatically or arrogantly, to alienate them. Novelties are not a nuisance to a culture. Instead, they are - precisely through continuity - easily assimilated and accepted. Therefore the continuity of one culture means a permanent transformation, without an extreme departure from everything that existed before.
No architect thinks that a building that they design would ever become an artifact; on the contrary, all architects believe that they are creating buildings that would always house life. Buildings are permanently changing, according to the lives of people and communities they accommodate. Yet within the changes there is a consistency that ensures CONTINUITY.