3Twenty10 Competition, RIAI Research Contest, Irish Architecture, Design Ireland

3Twenty10 Competition, Ireland : Entry Information

3Twenty10 Competition Ireland – RIAI Design Contest

3Twenty10 – RIAI Research Competition


The end of the largest building boom in Ireland’s history has left the nation with the challenge of how to deal with large volumes of development of the wrong type, in the wrong locations and, in the most extreme cases with little future other than demolition.

Notwithstanding the many positive developments during the Celtic Tiger years, and significant improvements to the quality of the country’s built environment, many commentators attribute much of the crises facing us today to our mismanagement of planning, and our failure to co-ordinate private development with public infrastructure during the boom years, with consequent negative impacts on the delivery of essential infrastructure, economic competitiveness and our quality of life.

Despite major strides in Irish architecture over the last decades, and many internationally recognised projects, and successful new building types, architects frequently stand accused along with developers, bankers and politicians.

Architecture must therefore demonstrate its added value and the importance of quality and design in architecture and urbanism to the delivery of Ireland’s economic, social and environmental policy objectives; to deliver attractive and sustainable built environments, to enrich our distinctive culture and heritage, to contribute to the competitiveness of our economy, and to improve quality of life for the people of Ireland, today and in generations to come.

Last year’s RIAI strategic review examined how architects might face up to these challenges, not only in terms of survival, renewal and recovery, but also how the profession might contribute to the wider debate about national recovery and how architects might bring a unique perspective to that discussion.

The Government Policy on Architecture which was published in late 2009 sets out key issues under; Strategy For Architecture; The Need For Evidence And Research Capacity; Leading By Example; Developing The Demand For Quality; And Implementation And Review. This document is supported by the RIAI and provided a background for the RIAI strategic review process.

One outcome of the twelve-month strategic review was the consensus that less work should not mean less analysis and few ideas, rather the opposite. The current recession offers a time for reflection on the achievements and failures of the past decade and how this reflection can feed into positive initiatives for the future.

The resulting Action Plan 2010-13 sets out 11 key policy objectives to promote the value of quality and design in architecture to the advancement of Ireland’s economic, social and environmental policy objectives. In pursuing these objectives the RIAI is now promoting a competition to initiate a number of research-based projects that will put forward solutions to the challenges facing Ireland in dealing with the aftermath of the boom and respond to specific issues in the area of the built environment.

3TWENTY10 – RIAI Research Competition


The RIAI wants to promote the ideas and problem-solving abilities of Architects and develop a number of research projects that will provide solutions to problems in the built environment, whether existing or impending and to give Architects the opportunity take the initiative by providing solutions. Architects are in a unique position given their training, which is based on strategy and lateral thinking to identify and resolve problems.

Through this research competition the RIAI is promoting Architects as the first port of call for responsible, sustainable development.

The Action Plan 2010-2013 which is included in the competition pack, sets out the RIAI’s policy objectives and actions for the promotion, regulation and support of Architecture in Ireland.

Objective 3 of the RIAI Action Plan is to: Champion the theory and practice of Sustainable Development; to combat climate change and to improve quality of life for the people of Ireland, today and generations to come.

Objective 10 of the RIAI Action Plan is to: Promote the need for evidence based research in architecture, conservation, construction, urban design and the built environment – including green enterprise – and identify key research objectives relevant to architectural practice and consumer protection.

Twenty ideas for 2010

All of the ideas submitted will be posted on the competition website and of these entries twenty will be selected to exhibit in Westport at the RIAI Conference 2010 entitled “The Architecture of Recovery – a 2020 Vision for Ireland”.

The twenty ideas will form the basis of discussion for the second day of the conference and will be presented “Pecha Kucha” style in two minute powerpoint presentations by the authors.

Following the conference, the twenty ideas will be shortlisted to three by our panel of judges, yet to be announced, and each of the three entries will receive a stipend of €5,000 and the input from a specialist in the area of the particular research to achieve a feasible result.

All submissions will be put on the dedicated competition website with comments invited from the public.

All ideas remain the intellectual property of the competitors.


The general theme for the ideas should cover the area of Sustainable Communities and deal with particular issues such as those illustrated in the non-exhaustive list below:

  • Ghost Estates
  • Zero Carbon Housing
  • Consolidation of Settlement Patterns
  • The Irish Village
  • Dispersed –v– Compact Village
  • Public Realm Design and Urban Design Case Studies
  • Unused/useless Public Space
  • Unused ground floor retail space
  • etc.

This research competition is the first in a series initiated by the RIAI and is intended to take place over the lifetime of the Action Plan.


This research competition is open to persons who are currently included on the Irish Register of Architects.

Jury: To be Announced

Prize-fund / Stipend

Each winner / team will receive a stipend of €5,000 to develop their project and the input of an expert in each area to ensure a feasible result.

Competition Programme

Stage 1:

  • 25 Jun Competition Announcement
  • 28 Jun Registration opens
  • 9 Jul Withdrawal of registration and refund of fee
  • 16 Jul Questions deadline
  • 30 Jul Answers circulated
  • 3 Sep Registration deadline
  • 10 Sep Submission of Projects
  • 17 Sep Launch of Website (press campaign)
  • 27 Sep Announcement of 20 Shortlist
  • 1 Oct Westport Exhibition Opening
  • 5 Oct “Pecha Kucha” presentations of 20 ideas at RIAI Conference

Stage 2

  • 15 Nov Announcement of research bursary winners
  • 16 Mar Submission of completed feasibility projects
  • 28 Mar Launch of Projects on Website and Exhibition Opening

How to register

The registration form is available in the Competitions Section of the RIAI website www.riai.ie

Download and complete the registration form including payment / payment details for the €50.00 registration fee (inclusive of VAT at 21% i.e. €41.33 registration fee).

Please note that a €10.00 registration fee is offered to those who are unwaged (inclusive of VAT at 21% i.e. €8.27 registration fee).

Registrations are accepted via email, fax or post.

Email: koneill@riai.ie
Fax: +353 1 6610948
Post: 3TWENTY10, RIAI, 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland

A registered competitor may withdraw a registration on or before Friday, 9 July 2010 and will be entitled to a refund of the registration fee. After that date no other refunds can be made in any circumstances whether a valid entry is submitted or not.

We accept Cash, Laser, Visa, MasterCard, Electronic Funds Transfer, Bankers Draft, Euro Cheque and Irish Cheques. Cheques/Drafts should be made payable to the RIAI.

Submission requirements

  • One A1 panel describing the idea and a report in A4 format of a maximum of 2 no. pages describing how the competitor would develop and expand on their initial submission for stage two.
  • Each board should have a title that is the hook for the project.
  • The report should cover the following headings:
  • Concept Outline: Description of the problem or issue identified with statistical/factual basis for the idea
  • Outcome: What outcomes are expected to be achieved by further developing the project
  • Competitors, once registered, are free to make as many submissions as they like.

Please note: One idea only per submission.

We are looking for achievable, realistic solutions which can be realised in the current economic environment in the short-medium term, while demonstrating the ability of Architects to propose solutions in a lateral and holistic manner.

Enquiries contact

Karina O’Neill, Competitions Officer, RIAI, 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Email: koneill@riai.ie Tel: +353 1 669 1480 Fax: +353 1 661 0948

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