Competition Client

The competition client is Planning and Regeneration, Birmingham City Council led by Jim Wilson. Jim was the client project manager for the recently completed Eastside City Park. The park was the first park to be built in Birmingham for a hundred years and Jim played a key role in making it happen. Eastside City Park has subsequently won multiple awards including RIBA Client of the Year for Birmingham City Council.

The competition is being managed and administered by RIBA Competitions to whom all queries relating to the competition should be addressed.

Competition Format

The competition will follow the Open Design competition format and will be organised in the following stages:

Stage 1 :

Submission of concept designs which will be assessed anonymously

Stage 2 :

A shortlist of up to five designs will be selected, with anonymity lifted and the authors invited to develop further their design concepts. Shortlisted teams will then be invited to interview to present their designs to the judging panel and discuss in more detail.


The competition is open internationally to architects, landscape architects, urban designers and students of these disciplines. Collaboration with artists and other relevant disciplines are welcomed.

Architects should be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in the UK, or an equivalent, recognised overseas regulatory authority.

Please note that professional and student entries will be judged together anonymously. In the event that a student entry is selected to proceed to the second stage, the student competitor should consider from the outset a professional partner to collaborate with. If required the client can assist with this.

No member or employee of the client body, the judging panel, or any partner, close associate or employee of them is eligible to compete or assist a competitor.

How to Register

You may only submit an entry to the competition if you are officially registered through RIBA Competitions and in possession of a Unique Registration Number (URN). The competition is subject to a non-refundable registration and administration fee of £50+VAT for professionals and £15+VAT for students. Please visit RIBA Competitions and follow the appropriate link under 'Live Competitions' to make an online payment.

Once your payment has been processed, you will be issued with a Unique Registration Number (URN) and a Declaration of Authorship Form.

Declaration of Authorship & Acceptance of Competition Regulations

The declaration form acknowledges authorship of the designs and by signing it competitors agree to abide by the competition conditions and accept the decision of the Judging Panel as final. The declaration form should be completed and uploaded to the digital entry system along with the design submission.

Please note the team members stated on the declaration form will be used in all promotional activity so please ensure this is reflected accurately.

Judging Panel

The Judging Panel (which may be subject to change) is expected to comprise:-

  • Jim Wilson

    Project Delivery Manager, Planning and Regeneration, Birmingham City Council

  • Sasha Bhavan

    Knox Bhavan Architects, RIBA Adviser

  • Councillor Ian Ward

    Deputy Leader, Birmingham City Council

  • Vicky J Smith

    Acivico, Architect

  • Andy Wayro

    Planning and Regeneration, Birmingham City Council,
    Senior Landscape Officer / Urban Designer

  • Stakeholder representative

    x 2

* Joanne Wallis, RIBA Competitions will attend the assessments to document the competition process and provide procedural support.

In the event of a Judging Panel member being unable to continue to act through illness or any other cause, Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, in consultation with the RIBA, reserves the right to appoint an alternative panel member.

Competition programme

The anticipated programme, which may be subject to change, is as follows:

Activity Date
Official Competition launch & Brief available 20 October 2014
Deadline for Questions 4 November 2014
Response to Questions issued 11 November 2014
Deadline for submission of Stage 1 Design Proposals 2 December by 2pm
Assessment of Stage 1 Design Proposals w/c 8 December 2014
Short list notified w/c 15 December 2014
Submission Deadline for Stage 2 12 May 2015
Exhibition of shortlisted designs / public consultation May 2015
Final Interviews/Presentations to Judging Panel June 2015
Announcement of Result End June 2015


Questions relating to the competition brief and conditions must be submitted to RIBA Competitions before 5pm on 4 November 2014. A statement in response to all questions raised will be emailed to all registered competitors by 11 November 2014. Oral questions will not be accepted.

Evaluation & Award Criteria

The design proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

Stage 1:

• Overall design quality 50%
• Response to the brief, context, site opportunities and constraints 30%
• Clarity of presentation 20%

Stage 2:

• Quality / innovation 40%
• Response to feedback 20%
• Viability of the submission and costs 20%
• Ability to deliver the project & work in partnership with the client group 20%

Stage 2 designs will be subject to a public consultation and the results from this will be taken into account by the Judging Panel during the final assessment.


All Stage 1 submissions will be judged anonymously, via use of the Unique Registration Number (URN) issued at the time of registration. The URN should be prominently displayed on the design submission sheet, 200 word design statement and declaration form. Please refer to the section "How to Register" to obtain a URN.

Any submission that has identifying marks (including logos, text, insignia, or images that could be used to identify the submission's author) will be disqualified.


Submissions will be excluded from the Competition:

  • If a Competitor shall disclose his or her identity, or improperly attempt to influence the decision;
  • If the entry is received after the deadline as 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 mandatory requirements of the Competition Brief and Conditions are disregarded.

Stage 1 Submission Requirements

There are three elements to the design submission, each of which should bear the Unique Registration Number (URN) only. Competitors should refer to the anonymity requirements and submit the following material digitally:

  1. A maximum of one A1 sheet (in PDF format):

    • The proposals should be presented in a clear and succinct manner to enable Judging Panel members to readily understand the essence and design drivers behind the scheme.
    • The URN should be prominently displayed on the front face of the design sheet in the top right hand corner.
    • Architectural models will not be accepted as part of the stage 1 submission. However images of models used to develop the design proposal may be included on the design sheet.

  2. A written design statement (maximum of 200 words) in support of the submission preferably in word format.

  3. Copy of the Declaration of Authorship form, which should be completed and bear the URN in the dedicated section on the form.

In addition to a pdf of the design sheet, one visual image of the design concept should be provided for publicity purposes. The image should be representative of the ideas proposed and be readily identifiable as such. The image should be submitted in JPEG format, with low (72dpi) and high (300dpi) resolution versions. This image will be used for the online gallery of entries at the end of the competition.

Stage 1 Submission Method

Each stage 1 design submission should be uploaded to the RIBA Competitions digital entry system before 2.00pm on Tuesday 2 December 2014. Further details will be issued to registered competitors.

Late entries will not be accepted and the digital system will not permit uploads after the 2pm deadline. Please note that the total upload should not exceed 20mb.

Stage 2

Shortlisted teams will be provided with feedback from stage 1 and asked to further develop their concept designs. Stage 2 designs will be showcased at a public exhibition in Birmingham (venue to be confirmed) and members of the public invited to comment on the designs.

Competitors will be required to demonstrate, as far as possible, the viability of their design and invited to attend an interview to discuss further with the Judging Panel.


The competition results will be published after competitors have been notified. 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 must not release their designs for publication to any 3rd parties until after the result has been officially announced and permission has been granted from the RIBA. Competitors should note that by entering the competition they are expected to honour the request for confidentiality, to prevent information of the winning team being leaked to the press before any official announcement is made.

The RIBA reserve the right to publicise the competition, any design submission, and the result in any promotional activity including social media channels. 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. This information will be taken from the declaration form so please ensure the details are reflected accurately.


An online exhibition gallery of all entries will be produced at the end of the competition to showcase the full range of design entries received, with each competitor acknowledged and anonymity lifted. Additional images, space and text will be given to the shortlisted teams.


It is intended that up to five teams will be selected to proceed to the second stage. The five shortlisted teams will each receive honoraria of £5,000 + VAT. The winner's honorarium represents an advance on their professional fee post competition. Birmingham City Council undertakes to pay the honoraria within 6 weeks of the conclusion of the competition. Invoices for payment should be submitted to RIBA Competitions.


The ownership of Copyright will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, that is Copyright rests with the author of the submitted design.


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

Up to £5 million construction costs for the project have been identified plus additional funding for fees, which is subject to final City Council approval when the winning design has been confirmed. It is the intention that the design team of the winning application will be appointed and retained for all RIBA stages of the project. Project Management and Quantity Surveying services will be provided by Acivico. The contractor will be allocated through the Constructing West Midlands Framework.

Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, 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 competition is being managed and administered by RIBA Competitions on behalf of Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council.

All enquiries relating to the competition should be directed to:

RIBA Competitions
The Studio (5th Floor)
32 The Calls

:  ++44 (0)113 2031490

Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, the RIBA Adviser, or any other members of the judging panel should not be contacted for information as this may lead to disqualification from the competition.

In association with


Competition Contact

The competition is being administered by RIBA Competitions, to whom any enquiries relating
to the general conditions of this competition should be addressed.

    0113 203 1490