Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021: International call for proposals

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021 (SBAU 2021) will be the first global architectural event entirely produced on the aftermath of a pandemic that has altered and questioned the foundations of our modern, technological civilization. “CROSSROADS Building the Resilient City” illustrates its purpose to become a place of convergence.

The SBAU 2021, entitled “CROSSROADS Building the Resilient City”, will attempt to respond to the complexity of the relationships that shape our cities nowadays and to the pivotal moment that humanity is facing by drafting, thanks to its contributions a manifesto in favor of a more sustainable city.

The SBAU 2021 intends to gather different forms of intelligence to reflect on the city of the future as a more sustainable, resilient and comfortable place for its inhabitants. “CROSSROADS Building the Resilient City ” will feature works focusing on cities – understood as the superposition and interactions of inhabitants, buildings, infrastructures, flows and regulations – to examine, research and exhibit how they can be serve as positive assets toward a sustainable planet.

This Biennale will be structured in the form of five figures, referred to as the “Crossroads,” which will converge in their intention to promote more responsible, citizen-focused urban growth. These five thematic figures are the star- ting point for the main exhibition of the SBAU 2021 and for the international call for projects, which will enable the identification of its contributions:

• Crossroad 1 on urbanism: ABOVE / BELOW

will explore the architectural and urbanist approaches that aim to increase the thickness of ground of the city, by exploring potential interconnections between the surface and the underground: a strategy that makes it possible to increase the density of cities while also limiting urban sprawl.

• Crossroad 2 on architecture: HERITAGE / MODERN

will explore our relation with the built environment, while seeking forms of sustainable urban development. It will question notions of construction or destruction and explore perspectives for the optimization of what already exists.

• Crossroad 3 on design: CRAFT / DIGITAL

will examine the potential of the city as an instrument for remote production, accessible by anyone from anywhere as opposed to traditional production spaces and methods.

• Crossroad 4 on the landscape: NATURAL / ARTIFICIAL

will examine the way today nature is integral to the act of building. It will emphasize practices offering growing importance to the harmony between the built environment and nature.

• Crossroad 5 on the city: SAFE / RISK

will question the ability of architecture and urbanism to adapt, transform or to manage the wide range of risks of the contemporary world.


The international call for projects runs from 29 May to 31 July 2020. It will enable identification of the works that will be presented under the framework of the main exhibition of the Seoul Biennale.

Exclusively online, this call for projects is addressed to architects, urbanists and all designers and organizations that contribute to the making of cities and metropolises. Our intention is to gather a set of completed or projected works from some one hundred cities, from around the globe.

Proposals must explore one of the five announced thematic figures (crossroads), mentioned above.

Proposals will associate the content of the project with a design concept for their space. The key criterion is that it be the application of the proposal for a city, located anywhere in the world, without any size limitations. A broad range of projects can be submitted for consideration: built projects (within the last 10 years) as well as unbuilt, theoretical, academic or even fictional projects.

Based on these contributions, the third edition of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021 will open a vast main exhibition in the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (pictured below), emblematic building of the city of Seoul, built in 2014 by Zaha Hadid Architects. The epicenter of the Biennale, this vast exhibition will blend immersive spaces with an exhibition design imagined as a chessboard, upon which all the proposals and the 100 cities represented will compose diverse constellations.

The number of selected projects is not limited and all relevant projects may be selected. The selected proposals, provided they are technically and financially feasible, aim to be realized at the SBAU2021.

– The CFP is open to individuals, institutions or organizations, or cross-disciplinary teams from individuals, institutions or organizations.
– Team members may include but are not limited to: architects, designers, urban planners, landscapers, researchers, students (as a member of a team), writers, artists, critics.
– Each team must appoint a Team Leader who will represent the group and act as the main contact during the entire process. The team leader cannot be a student.

The expected proposals showcase a project and an exhibition design, in other words, a CONTENT and a FORM.
– Regarding the CONTENT, any project can be submitted: built (less than 10 years), unbuilt, theoretical, academic, fictional. Recent and unpublished projects will be preferred, and new proposals are welcome.
– The proposal shall imperatively be applied to a specific city. The city can be anywhere around the world.
– Regarding the FORM, the proposal should respect the Guidelines and the provided SBAU2021 exhibition concept plan. The proposal should match the allocated budget for their realization.

The CFP is fully online, on the CFP dedicated website, in two steps: a preliminary Online Registration before June 30th, 2020 / an Online Submission before July 31th, 2020.
Candidates must provide a set of:
– Completed Application Forms
– Proposal content Documents (A3 formats x2)
– Proposal form Documents (A3 formats x2)



• Andreas Ruby, Critic and curator of the exhibitions, director of the Swiss Architecture Museum (SAM) in Basel.

• Haewon Shin Architect, exhibition curator of the Korea pavilion at the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale.

• Sarah M. Whiting Architect and critic, professor of architecture at Harvard University.

• Winy Maas Architect founder of the MVRDV firm, Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Delft University of Technology.

• John Hong, Architect, professor at the University of Seoul.

• Francis Rambert, Journalist and critic, Director of the Département de la Création architecturale at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris.

• Miquel Adrià Architecte, Directeur of the architecture journal Arquine and cultural advisor to the Mayor of Mexico City.

• Farrokh Derakshani, Architect, Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

• Yoonhie Lee Architect, professor in the Architecture Department of Ewha Womans University, Seoul.

• Barry Bergdoll, Historian, specialist of modern architecture, Professor at Columbia University, New York.


Η πρόταση ΜΕΣΟΤΟΙΧΙΕΣ των Papalampropoulos Syriopoulou Architecture Bureau απέσπασε το 2ο Βραβείο στον αρχιτεκτονικό διαγωνισμό "Συγκότημα Κοινωνικής Κατοικίας στην Ενορία Αγίου Νικολάου" στο Δήμο Λάρνακας