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The prequalified competition: how are architects appointed to invited architectural competitions?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture. (arc•plan)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9715-9656
2012 (English)In: ARCC JOURNALArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents findings from a study of prequalification in architectural competitions. The aim was to develop knowledge of how organizers in Sweden select architects/teams to invited competitions. Prequalification is a selection procedure used early in the competition process for identifying suitable candidates for the following design phase. Usually three to six architectural firms/design teams are invited to develop design solutions for the competition task. The research question is about how the organizers find these candidates.


There are ten competitions examined in the study. Five municipal competitions and five organised by government clients. The reason for the selection of cases is that the public sector is a major organizer of competitions in Sweden. The methodology of the investigation is a combination of mapping, case studies and document review. Results show that there are 375 applications from architects in the competitions. 43 architect firms/teams (11 %) have been invited to competitions. The vast majority of the applications (84 %) came from Sweden. This is explained by the fact that organizers require Swedish as the competition language.


All the organizers used a selection process that included two distinct phases. The clients start by checking whether the applications meet the requirements specified in the invitation. This is followed by an evaluative phase with assessment of the architectural offices professional profile, supported by relevant reference projects and personal references. Decisive in the final assessment is the organizer’s evaluation of the candidates’ ability to produce the project with architectural quality, to combine creative solutions with functional demands and to cooperate with developers and contractors. The assessment in the second evaluative phase is performed with the support of three different models: voting among reviewers, scoring merits in applications or by an overall assessment of candidates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Philadelphia: ARCC JOURNAL , 2012.
Keyword [en]
Prequalification, Architectural competition, Invitation, Procurement, Organizer, Client, Architect firms, Competition teams
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-109772OAI: diva2:584152

QC 20130115

Available from: 2013-01-08 Created: 2013-01-08 Last updated: 2013-01-15Bibliographically approved

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