This article presents a study on a commission competition with a list of imperative requirements and its implementation. The competition opened in January 2012, but had to be interrupted prematurely and prior to a jury assessment process. The aim has been to develop knowledge about an alternative type of architecture competition oriented towards building construction companies in close collaboration with architects. The overall research question has been to understand the motives for this choice of competition organization and its applicability to the issue of innovating housing for the senior group of citizens.
The study has used case study methodology that has included document review (close reading) and an interview guide with questions on the background of the competition, development of the invitation to participate, the assessment process of the applicants to participate, the selection of companies, and the reasons for the interruption of the competition. Given the alternative form of the competition, the process was subject to confidentiality. Despite access was given to secret information that arouse from the process, the extent of the study has restricted. Therefore, the five participating teams for architects and building contractors have not been possible to interview, nor an access to the submitted entries in the competition. The sample of informants consists of three persons who were involved in the decision-making process of this competition.
The invitation to a commission competition was developed during a negotiation process within the organizing body, a principal local municipal real estate company and four other similar partners from other municipalities in close collaboration with a local association for senior housing. This consortium initiated discussions with the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology (SIAT) and the Swedish Association of Public Housing Companies (SABO). In addition, a team consisting of an architect, a legal expertise and representatives from the building sector acted as advisors to the consortium. The ambition with the competition was to promote cost efficiency with new thinking in design.
In this case, the commission competition and its assessment procedure developed in a technical orientation. The selection process of candidates for participating in the competition was based on a numeric value system that was attributed different imperative requirements. However, the invitation only attracted a sparse interest from six teams of architects and building contractors. All of these candidates were approved and were invited. In this aspect, the organizer had to simplify the selection process since the estimate on interested partners reached 10. However, none of the candidates were assessed as fully competent in relation to the imperative requirements, and, therefore, the competition was interrupted prematurely, and prior to the jury assessment process. The main conclusion from this study is that, in this case, the commission competition has been planned and managed from a rational perspective that has amputated both the force of competing in architecture. The selection committee represents an expert model. The respond from the building sector can be seen a disappointment.
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012.