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Optimal competition briefs for a public design process: Three Swedish briefs in architectural compe­titions on housing for dependent seniors
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture. (Arc Plan Research group)
2010 (English)In: Conference 2010: Construction Matters, Managing Complexities, Decisions and Actions in the Building Process, 2010, 28- p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper deals with the structure of the competition briefs used in three Swedish architectural competitions arranged by a public body and focusing on housing for dependent seniors. In Sweden, housing for elderly frail people is part of the municipal responsibility. The design of this type of housing is subject to recommendations found in the Swedish Social Services Act, which act as design criteria for the architectural space. The intention is to promote the sensation of a homelike and residential architectural space which supports an elderly person’s ability to take in and find his way in this particular space. A dilemma arises, since the Swedish Local Government Act allows these recommendations to be interpreted independently according to the principle of local self-government. The dilemmatic character is even further emphasized in the situation of an architectural competition, where the municipal organiser writes the competition brief, and to an equal extent has the need of both controlling and promoting the innovation of architectural space for dependent seniors. This paper has two purposes: I) to explore how the competition brief is used and perceived by the participating architects and its possible link to the jury assessment report. And II) to investigate how three Swedish municipal organisers have prepared and structured their competition briefs for use in an architectural competition focusing on the habitat for the elderly frail people in need of 24 hour assistance and care, or housing for senior citizens in general. This paper draws seven preliminary conclusions from the three case-studies executed in three different Swedish municipalities. During the period 2000 to 2009, this public body organised an architectural competition either on housing for elderly frail people in particular, or housing in general for independent or dependent senior citizens. The three competitions briefs had various discursive characters, which were related to the authorship and the design task. The successful competition brief has three clear objectives: to convey the organiser’s intentions; nourish the creative thinking of the participants; and to equip the jury members with solid arguments during the assessment process. The study support ground for a general conclusion: the competition brief is the fundamental document for a well executed architectural competition. It requires a thorough preparation in order to accurately define the design task, its perimeters, assessment criteria, jury composition and referential consultation process. This is a shared responsibility between the organiser and the national association of Architects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. 28- p.
Keyword [en]
competition brief, public organiser, assessment process, competition jury, appropriate housing for senior citizens
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-61353OAI: diva2:478949
Conference 2010: Construction Matters, Managing Complexities, Decisions and Actions in the Building Process. Copenhagen, Denmark. 5 May - 7 MAY 2010

QC 20120425

Available from: 2012-01-17 Created: 2012-01-17 Last updated: 2012-10-23Bibliographically approved

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