Competition Conditions

1. Competition Promoters

The Competition is promoted by the Great Fen - a partnership comprised of the Environment Agency, Huntingdonshire District Council, Middle Level Commissioners, Natural England and The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

2. Competition Organisation & Enquiries

The Competition is being managed and administered by RIBA Competitions. All queries relating to the competition should be directed to:

The Promoters, the RIBA Architect Adviser, nor any other member of the Judging Panel should be solicited for information, as this may lead to disqualification from the competition.

3. Eligibility

The competition is open to design teams based in Europe and the UK and should include the services of an architect, landscape architect and a quantity surveyor. The design team may be led by a fully qualified, practising, registered architect or landscape architect. Architects should be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in the UK, or an equivalent, recognised overseas regulatory authority. The design team lead should complete the Declaration of Authorship form on behalf of the other team members, and insert the name and ARB registration number of the registered architect. Overseas applicants should provide the name of the equivalent regulatory authority in their country of practice, together with their registration number. Proof of accreditation may be provided as an attachment to this form if a registration number is not available.

On appointment, the design team lead will be required to arrange for professional indemnity insurance cover to the value of £2.5m for each and every claim.

The following parties are excluded from participating in the Competition and may not compete or assist a Competitor in any way:

  • Members of the Judging Panel, anyone employed by the Promoter, or any Consultant supporting the selection process as specified in the Brief;
  • Anyone who is closely related or has any kind of dependence, or close professional relationship to a member of the Judging Panel, Consultants specified in the Brief or the Competition Organisers.

4. Judging Panel

The Judging Panel [which may be subject to change] is expected to comprise:

Kate Carver Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire
[Great Fen Project Manager]
Cindy Walters Walters & Cohen Architects
[acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser]
David Thomas Middle Level Commissioners
[Chief Engineer]
Malcolm Sharp Huntingdonshire District Council
[Managing Director, Communities, Partnerships & Projects]
Sarah Smith Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire
[Head of Education and Community]
Louise Rackham Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire
[Great Fen Education and Community Manager]
Nigel Hugill Urban & Civic Ltd
[Executive Chairman]
Andrew Cuthbert         Great Fen
[Volunteer representative]
Jeremy Purseglove Landscape architect & ecologist
James Porter* RIBA Competitions
[Competitions Consultant]

* James Porter will attend the assessments to document the selection process and provide procedural support. Representatives from the Great Fen Steering Committee, the Project Partners, and/or the Great Fen Visitor Services Working Group [together with their appointed Consultants] may also attend the assessment meetings to provide technical advice, support and input.

In the event of a Judging Panel member being unable to continue to act through illness or any other cause, the Promoter, in consultation with RIBA Competitions, reserves the right to appoint an alternative Panel member.

The role of the Judging Panel will be to make a recommendation for consideration and ratification by the Great Fen Steering Committee, with whom the final decision on the appointment of the winning team will rest.

6. Site visits

Registered applicants will have the opportunity of attending an organised site visit to experience the potential of the site; the expansive, evolving landscape and the big fenland skies. Site visits will be held on Wednesday 07 and Thursday 08 November 2012. Please contact RIBA Competitions to reserve a place on a site visit - a maximum of 2 people may attend from each registered team. Site visit slots will be allocated on a first-come basis according to the number of seats available on the minibuses which will provide onward transport from the arrival location to Woodwalton Fen and New Decoy farm. Please note that general access to the site will not be available at other times. Those Competitors unable to attend an organised site visit should refer to the supporting information issued on registration, which includes an indexed gallery of images etc.

7. Clarification Questions

Questions relating to the Competition Brief and Conditions should be submitted to RIBA Competitions (via before close of business on Friday 16 November 2012. An explanatory Memorandum in response to all questions raised will be circulated to all registered competitors on 04 December 2012. This Memorandum will form part of the Competition Brief. Oral questions will not be accepted.

8. Evaluation & Award Criteria

The design proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

Stage 1 Evaluation Criteria
  • Overall design quality, inventiveness and flair
  • Response to the Brief, context, site opportunities and constraints
  • Response to the Great Fen partners′ key drivers for the project
  • Clear communication of ideas to explain the ethos behind the proposals
Stage 2 Award Criteria
  • Response to Clarification Points arising from Stage 1 assessment
  • Quality of the approach and scheme′s ability to fulfil project aspirations
  • Viability of proposals with clear balance of creativity versus pragmatism
  • Demonstration of understanding of Client requirements

9. Anonymity - Unique Registration Number & Declaration of Authorship

All Stage 1 submissions will be judged anonymously, via use of the Unique Registration Number [URN] and Declaration of Authorship form issued at the time of Registration. The URN should be prominently displayed on each element of the design submission - see Stage 1 Submission requirements.

Any submission that has identifying marks [including logos, text, insignia, or images that could be used to identify the submission′s authors] will be automatically disqualified.

The submission must be accompanied by the Declaration of Authorship form which should be duly completed with the URN entered in the box provided. The URN should also appear on the outside of the sealed envelope within which the duly completed Form should be placed. These envelopes will only be opened once the Judging Panel has selected the four short-listed schemes.

Each Competitor must be able to satisfy the Competition organisers that the submitted design is an original piece of work [prepared for the express purposes of the Competition], and that he/she is the bona fide author of the design proposals he/ she has submitted.

Submission of the Declaration of Authorship form acknowledges authorship of the design ideas, and by signing it, Competitors accept all conditions pertaining to the competition and agree to abide by the decision of the Judging Panel.

10. Disqualification

Submissions shall be excluded from the Competition:

  • If a Competitor shall disclose his or her identity, or improperly attempt to influence the decision;
  • If received after the latest time stated under Stage 1 Submission Method;
  • If, in the opinion of the Judging Panel, it does not fulfil the requirements of the Competition Brief;
  • If any of the requirements of the Competition Brief and Conditions are disregarded.

11. Stage 1 Submission Requirements

There are three elements to the design submission, each of which should bear the Unique Registration Number [URN] only.

  1. Competitors should refer to the Anonymity requirements and submit an illustrated A3 document, containing a maximum of 10 single sides of A3, in order to demonstrate an approach to the design of the visitor centre design within the overall site. This should include the following elements:
    • - Design statement describing the concept, initial ideas about materials etc. This should address the key aspects that will define the visitor centre project, namely relationship to landscape; bringing the outside in; water; sustainability, team working; community involvement; training opportunities; heritage strands; modular/ incremental development.
    • - A3 summary sheets outlining the design approach, using annotated diagrams and concept sketches as appropriate. The competition is not looking for a fully developed design at Stage 1, only an initial response to the site and the brief. No images should be included anywhere in the submission which would enable the authors of the proposals to be identified.
    • - Preliminary appraisal of the financial viability of the proposals and their ability to be delivered within the stated project budget.

    Architectural models will not be accepted as part of the Stage 1 submission nor at the clarification interviews at the conclusion of Stage 2. However images of models used to develop the design proposal may be included in the report.

    The URN should be prominently displayed on the front cover of the A3 booklet., with 3x hard copies submitted.

  2. Hard copy of the duly completed Declaration of Authorship form, which should be sealed in an envelope bearing the Unique Registration Number and marked ‘Declaration of Authorship’ form.
  3. CD-ROM containing:
    • - An electronic copy of the design report [saved as a single PDF file]
    • - An electronic copy [Word format] of a 150 word summary of the design proposal for potential future use in the printed and electronic media.
    • - Publicity images [up to 3] for use in the printed and electronic media. The images should be representative of the design ideas proposed and be readily identifiable as such. An on-line gallery resource of publicity images may subsequently be uploaded to the dedicated Competition micro-site. The images should be submitted in JPEG format, with low [72dpi] and high [300dpi] resolution versions of each image.

12. Stage 1 Submission Method

Each Stage 1 entry should be submitted in a single package and sent, carriage paid, addressed to:

  • The Great Fen Visitor Centre Competition
  • RIBA Competitions
  • The Studio [5th Floor]
  • 32 The Calls
  • Leeds
  • LS2 7EW

Overseas competitors should note that for Customs purposes no commercial value should be assigned to the design submission. When filling in the courier paperwork, please write ‘no value’ in the box marked Value for Customs. Under the section headed Payment please ensure that the sub-section Bill duties and taxes to is marked ‘sender’. Failure to do so may result in your submission being delayed and/or returned to you unopened, as RIBA Competitions will not be liable for any charges otherwise incurred.

Your submission should arrive no later than 2.00pm on Thursday 10 January 2013.

Please note that RIBA Competitions will close for Christmas/New Year on Thursday 20 December 2012 and re-open for business on Wednesday 02 January 2013. It will therefore not be possible for submissions to be received between these dates.

It will not be admissible to submit entries via e-mail. Submissions received after the stated deadline will be automatically disqualified. Competitors are therefore strongly advised to plan their work and submission schedules accordingly.

Competitors requiring proof of delivery are recommended to use a ‘signed for’ delivery service and should check with Royal Mail/the courier provider in the first instance.

Please note that entries will not be returned and Competitors are advised to retain copies of all design material submitted. Whilst the Promoter and RIBA Competitions will exercise all reasonable care, they will not be liable for loss or damage to the submission material that might occur either in transit, during exhibition, storage or package.

13. Stage 2

The Judging Panel will select the four best responses to the Brief, with Anonymity subsequently lifted and clarification instructions issued. Short-listed teams will be required to demonstrate the viability of their design concepts and outline their design approach, proposed methods of working etc at a clarification presentation to the Judging Panel prior to a winner being selected.

Short-listed teams will be issued with clarification points arising from the Stage 1 assessment. The Shortlist will be required to present their schemes in sufficient detail to enable the Promoters, their professional advisers and Judging Panel members to satisfy themselves regarding the technical and financial viability of the proposals.

Further details of the Stage 2 submission requirements will be issued, but it is envisaged that this will involve:

  • Submission of an additional A1 board and design statement [maximum 10 single A4 pages] to clarify aspects of the proposed design.
  • More detailed statement on costs to enable the Promoter to assess deliverability of the design proposals within the stated construction budget.

14. Clarification Interviews

Short-listed teams will be invited to give a presentation to the Judging Panel to clarify aspects of the proposed design approach, the financial cost of the design and discuss methods of working etc.

15. Notification of Result & Publicity

The Competition results will be published after notification has been given to all participating Competitors. Please note that any requests for feedback should be submitted to RIBA Competitions within one calendar month of a shortlist, or a result being announced.

Competitors will be expected to honour a confidentiality agreement and must not release their designs for publication, or identify the name of the successful or unsuccessful designers to any third parties until after an official announcement has been made and/or anonymity lifted.

The Promoter and the RIBA reserve the right to publicise the Competition, any design submission, and the result in any way or medium they consider fit. Illustrations of any design - either separately, or together with other designs, with or without explanatory text - may be used without cost. Once anonymity has been lifted, authors will be credited and recognised in all associated media and publicity.

16. Honoraria

Each design team short-listed to Stage 2 of the competition [up to four] will receive an equal honorarium payment of £3,000 [+VAT] following attendance at the clarification presentation with the Judging Panel. The Winner′s honorarium will represent an advance on any professional fees post-competition. The Promoter undertakes to pay the Honoraria within 6 weeks of the conclusion of the competition. Invoices for payment should be submitted to RIBA Competitions.

17. Copyright

The ownership of copyright will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 - i.e. copyright rests with the author of the submitted design.

18. Post-Competition

The role of RIBA Competitions is limited to the administration and management of the competition process. RIBA Competitions will have no further role once the Winner has been selected and competitors notified.

The Great Fen partnership reserves the right not to proceed beyond the competition stage in the event that the requirements and aspirations set for this competition are not met, but all Honorarium payments as indicated will be awarded. The right will also be reserved to supplement the composition of the winning design team [which may include consultants not suggested within the competitor′s bid] to ensure the correct mix of skills and expertise.

As noted under Invitation, the competition is a Call for Design Ideas only in the first instance. Progression of the winning scheme will be dependent upon successful fund-raising activities together with attainment of necessary planning and statutory permissions. The winning design proposal will be used to help support fund-raising activities and will also need to be capable of attracting potential donors to the project. It is anticipated that a period of time will therefore elapse between identification of the winner and progression of the scheme. The partnership has identified a maximum design fee ceiling of £160,000 [+VAT] in respect of architectural services, quantity surveying and landscape design associated with the new visitor centre building. Participation in the competition will be on this basis - further details of which are provided under Invitation.

RIBA Competitions logo Great Fen Logo

Competition Management

The Competition is being managed and administered by RIBA Competitions. All queries relating to the competition should be directed to:
RIBA Competitions, The Studio, 32 The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EW
Tel: ++44 (0) 113 203 1490