Architectural Design Competitions

Architectural Design Competitions

The AF continues to run design competitions of all scales, ensuring high quality contemporary architecture and supporting emerging practices.

The Architecture Foundation is an independent think tank with a long history of providing architectural consultation services to public and private sector organisations. It frequently initiates and co-ordinates design and ideas competitions to ensure high quality contemporary architecture. Many AF competitions have played a key role in raising the profile of emerging architectural practices.

Design competitions work to improve the quality of the built environment with projects that range in scale from buildings and temporary structures to masterplans and public realm transformations. Our competition clients include some of the biggest names in property, as well as regeneration agencies, local government and cultural organisations. Ideas competitions aim to cultivate new architectural thinking, addressing social, economic and cultural issues relevant to London, the UK and internationally. Ideas competitions also provide a platform for alternative and emerging voices to contribute to debate.

As director of the Architecture Foundation, Ellis Woodman is one of the country’s foremost authorities on architecture and commissioning. He has practised as an architect, is the Daily Telegraph’s architecture critic and critic-at-large for the Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal. Ellis is sought after for advice in formulating design briefs and as a jury member for architectural competitions. Recently he provided expert advice on juries for property developer Almacantar, Pocket Homes and the EU’s European Prize for Urban Public Space. He also sat on the jury for the Winderemere Jetty and Garden Museum competitons, both due to complete this year.


Case Studies

The following case studies represent a range of competitions that the Architecture Foundation has run since 2006.

Institute of Psychoanalysis. Launched: 4 February 2016 (ongoing)

Donnybrook Quarter. Launched: 2001, completed: 2006

Olympic Village architects selection process. July 2007




The Architecture Foundation occupies a central place within the culture of emerging practice in the UK, as is exemplified by the recent publication of New Architects 3, its guide to the best emerging practices of the past decade. Working collaboratively with partners, the AF can advise on the development of procurement strategies that provide emerging architects with opportunities while ensuring that clients are not placed at undue risk. It can employ its extensive mailing list and online presence to advertise commissions and manage any submission and interview process. Most significantly, it can also draw on its uniquely rich knowledge of the capabilities of practices, both small and large, to ensure a successful appointment.


For further information about AF competitions please contact